How We Got Backyard Chickens Chapter 2

Finally I have my husband on board with getting some laying hens, or backyard chickens. After much back-and-forth about all the important, boring details and research on owning chickens, we decided that buying a pre-fab chicken coop was not going to do. Most turn-key coops within our budget at our local farmer’s retailer were little more than rabbit huts. Though many chicken breeds are pretty hardy, I couldn’t imagine them lasting a winter here in Utah without some type of insulation. Plus, I come from a family of builders. My grandfather was a builder (he became director of Utah’s Federal Housing Administration). My oldest son is also quite creative, so I sent him a picture of a coop I liked. I asked if he thought he could build it for me, to which he replied “In my sleep”. Well, there you go! My mom is also an experienced expert when it comes to home DIY projects (she finished the basement in their house!).

The picture of that coop soon became just a catalyst for the ideas he and my 70 years-young mother came up with for a cute little coop that would keep the girls protected, look nice in the yard, and last for a long time. I quickly realized that other than directing the over-all size of the coop, I was going to have very little control over this project. But I trusted their skills and creativity to be able to tackle the job. Without more blah blah blah about this project, let me tell the story with pictures and less commentary. The interaction between Christopher and my mom, Kathie became quite comical, so I started keeping a notepad with me to record snippets of these conversations which I will share with you throughout the photo-story.

So, I bring you –

Build A Chicken Coop with Chris and Kathie


The most important first step. Where to put it and make it level. My mom, Kathie – “Should we try and find some plans on-line?” Chris- “I’ve got it all in my head!” …. Me, under my breath- “Lord help us.”



Ryan (my youngest) “How long before we get chickens?”



We have a square! And it’s level. And we are very, very far from being finished.



My mom is so excited she can hardly stand it! Plus, she’s having the time of her life. Building and Bossing are two of her best strengths. Hmmm… I’m just starting to remember that neither one of these “contractors” likes to take orders. My fingers are crossed behind my back and I am grateful that I am not a control freak. Otherwise, this story would have been called ‘How We ALMOST Got Backyard Chickens’.


Chris- “Wow, I love it. It’s perfectly drastic.” Kathie- “No, we need to redo it.” Me- (in my head this time) “Drastic? I’m not sure I pictured ‘drastic’ when I dreamed of having a chicken coop. And ‘redo’? Oh my heck, will this ever be done?” They may not have had written plans, but these two were fastidious about every nail that got pounded and every line that was cut! I kept yelling, “It’s ONLY a chicken coop!” I had to yell since they barely even looked up when I was talking. Wink

Can these two get this thing framed and roofed before winter??? – Part III coming soon.



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