Surprise … I’ve got chickens

After weeks and weeks of planning, constructing, and complaining, the Nelson Chicken Coop project has come to its completion. Tonight we’ll introduce our four hens to their new digs, which a particularly hip friend recently exclaimed is a “straight up chicken condo.” [Insert smileyface emoticon]

“But Jonathan, I thought you were a total curmudgeon and wanted nothing in the world to do with pets of any sort, save that uppity cat of yours, and as of just a few months back, the cat was the only non-human mouth breather at Chez Nelson.” I can hear your mockery even as I type.

The kids suckered me into saying yes to a rabbit first, and then, when in late July I left home for a week to attend a conference, their mother paid a visit to a feed store to procure a new hutch for said critter, without consulting me, I might add. Upon my return, I found the house void of people but strangely chirpy with a faint scent of barnyard permeating the downstairs. And there, in the new hutch I discovered beside the kitchen table, were four little balls of feathers.

Feed me! House me! Use my poop for compost!

Upon their return home, I inquired of my three lovely housemates how it was that we had chickens now, and had they realized that we had no coop.

get to work
Don’t worry Dad. You can build one.

“We figured that if they came, you would build it,” Cynthia said.

I haven’t had time to check into this, because I’ve been rather busy working on a chicken coop for the last nine weekends, but that’s not how I remember that movie quote.

Order of business 1: Get the chickens out of the kitchen.

the chicken run
This is where the chickens lived while they watched the construction of their coop and complained among themselves about how unbelievably lazy and slow the construction crew was. “I mean, they’re not even working on it today! That’s like five days in a row!”

Order of business 2: Make a plan. This phase is what Cynthia likes to call “analysis paralysis.”

Oh yeah, I drew up 22 pages of detailed plans. [Insert Macaulay Culkin Home Alone emoticon]

Did I mention the weather yet?

Order of business 3: Procure materials.

Just the beginning …

What follows is a progression of iPhone pics of the construction as it went along. Today, as I have come to the end of this journey, I feel the need to commemorate each and every step. Enjoy!

Laying the foundation
It’s a frame job.

The Hammer

“Uh, I don’t think so, slumlord Nelson.”
Test driving the doors …
Primed and ready …
Uh, yeah. We painted it green.
All wired up and a roof to boot.
Voila! Finito, Benito.


Now, lay me some eggs!
Walk the plank, chickies …

The new rice hull and hay decor
Come on in!
Mama’s happy.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. They got a dog, too. I’m now charging admission and a surcharge for feed if you come visit my new petting zoo.


6 thoughts on “Surprise … I’ve got chickens

  1. I hear pot belly pigs and ferrets make great pets- I know what to give the kids at christmas [insert Austin Powers pinky finger in the mouth emoticon here]

  2. Kirk, you are so bad.

    Jonathan, you are so good. (Now how often does it go like that?) Thanks for all you’ve done. It looks great and all the hens are happy!

  3. Great Page! I may just use your design for our next chicken coop. Do you have any other diminutional drawings besides the two above? Thanks!

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