Full of Care

So.  We are renovating the chicken coop.


We are effectively doubling the size of the fully insulated, winter cozy, multi windowed coop. This, at a time of year when we simply do have a spare moment to take on an extra project.  All because we have broken our cardinal rule: do not become too attached to chickens!  Or, in this case, hen.  That sweet little Phoenix hen was my gardening companion all summer. And I grew to love her. I like to think she feels the same, but who knows?


If you recall, we introduced a new flock of babes to our one remaining hen last Spring.  (Click here to read that sad tale: Garden Share – July)   That flock grew to produce four roosters, and everyone knows that’s at least 3 too many. We were especially disappointed to realize that both of the Silkies are fellas.  But it is the two Australorp guys that are bothering that sweet little hen – driving her to distraction, and causing us some real concern for her health.  Those guys could really hurt her in their enthusiasm.  For the past couple of weeks I have been keeping her in a dog kennel in the barn and only allowing her to free range when the other crowd stays in.  But that is far from an ideal situation.  With the weather turning cold, I worried she was cold at night, all alone like that.  And I feared she was getting lonesome.  We knew we had to make some decisions.


The solution is two of the roosters will have to go: one Ausralorp Roos and a Silkie.  We’d need two separate coops: one for the Australorp family and one for the Phoenix, Silkie, Houdan crowd.   Oh my, what a racket!

My carpenter (and mate) was home just for the weekend (between business trips) – and the rush was on!  Once started, it was important to get it done quickly and have every bird secure by mid-day Monday.  By early Monday morning, conversation went a little like this: Him: “Janet, I don’t think we can do it!  I don’t this we can make it!”  Me: “just focus on one task at a time…… focus! What do you want me to do?”


Which is how I got the exciting job of removing nails from boards.  I learned, the hard way, to take care not to kneel on this upturned nails.  And I tried not to comment (too often) about poses such as this which include too many blades and limbs.


In spite of all that, or maybe because of it – it’s amazing what can be accomplished with a firm deadline, we managed to finish to the point in which all birds are secure for the week.  This weekend we will insulate and finish the interior.  They will be snug and ready for winter … And no one will be sleeping in the dog house.


So, that’s how we came to be renovating the chicken coop.

weekly photo challenge: careful


16 thoughts on “Full of Care

  1. BuntyMcC October 29, 2015 / 10:03 am

    That’s one handsome fella! Did he get to stay?

    • JanetRimmington October 30, 2015 / 12:14 am

      That’s the problem – how does one make the decision? Who gets to stay and who has to go? But you are right. He is a very handsome bird. And he’s gentle.

  2. Julie@frogpondfarm October 29, 2015 / 6:14 pm

    Wow .. Good job. That photo with the blade is interesting .. Phew. Aren’t you good! 2 lads sure do need to go. Hard decision, but the best one. Your little gardening buddy looks so sweet. I always end up with a favourite too!

    • JanetRimmington October 30, 2015 / 12:24 am

      Thanks, Julie! I’m hoping to graduate from nail-removing detail this weekend. But, I’m not interested in power saws……

  3. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread October 30, 2015 / 11:50 am

    Chicken coops are a work of art and necessity depending upon the flock and the weather. You had a few issues to work around, but it sounds like you executed a successful plan. The photo of the saw and the arm gave me pause so I was glad to hear he had safety glasses on. 🙂

    • JanetRimmington October 30, 2015 / 12:39 pm

      I couldn’t resist snapping a photo when I saw this pose. Perhaps if I show him these responses, he will take heed. Because he certainly doesn’t listen to me 😉
      The trouble with renovating (chicken coop, or otherwise) is there are always more improvements that can be made to the original design…….and I’m working on a few of those now.

  4. LifestyleswithLia November 4, 2015 / 1:05 am

    Hi Janet!

    I enjoyed reading about your chicken coop adventure and I’m glad it all worked out in the end! They’ll be nice and cozy once winter sets in! I enjoyed looking at the pictures too that you included!

    I hope all is going well with you. I just moved into a new apartment last weekend so I’m getting settled in …And unpacking everything.

    Sending you all my very best, with big hugs and friendship!

    • JanetRimmington November 4, 2015 / 3:24 pm

      Congratulations on your new place! Whenever I have moved, I’ve always had a sense of fresh starts and a bit of re-inventing myself. It is disruptive, for sure. But energizing at the same time. Happy House Warming!! 😀
      Thanks for your thoughtful comments on our chicken coop. It’s all done, now. And every bird is settled. Finally.

      • LifestyleswithLia November 5, 2015 / 12:16 am

        Thank you!! Indeed moving to a new place means a change of routine and does revitalize me! I love your positive side to it.. Thank you for reminding me! I’m glad to hear the birds are all settled in to their new homes too! Big hugs from the Big Apple!

  5. greenmackenzie November 10, 2015 / 10:20 pm

    Gosh that was fast work indeed, and what a beautiful flock you have. They all look extremely healthy and content….even the one in the dog house…..but Im sure they’ll be even happier now with their new coop.

    • JanetRimmington November 10, 2015 / 10:27 pm

      Thanks! I sometimes question my sanity when I think of the time and energy we expend on keeping chickens happy. 🙂
      But, (bless their ungrateful little hearts) we are attached to them. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      • greenmackenzie November 10, 2015 / 10:36 pm

        presumably they repay your loving care with lovely fresh laid eggs each day….which makes it all worthwhile 🙂

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