Moneypit Manor: ‘Before” Tour of the Chicken Coop Makeover

Friends, an update on Money Pit Manor is long overdue. Today, we are exploring the “before” of our chicken coop makeover, and introducing you to our new flock! If you are just joining us, and want to know about the name behind our country home renovations-as well as the “before” home tour, click here.

When we started house hunting, we knew we wanted the ability to raise chickens. In fact, for us, one of the big selling points of this house was the outbuildings (including this fancy hen house). We weren’t expecting the little building to be so move-in-ready for chickens- I think their house is in better shape than ours! However, whoever built the coop must have been an expert at raising poultry; in addition to its beauty, it is as predator proof as they come! The house sits on a concrete slab that is reinforced with a perimeter of buried cinder blocks. The run is likewise protected by the blocks that will prevent enemies from digging under the fence. Our ladies enjoy working electricity for heat lamps or fans, functional windows with reinforced screens, and their “furnishings” (nesting boxes and a roosting ladder). Truly, the only plans we have for our chicken coop makeover, are purely cosmetic

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One reason we want to raise chickens is for the valuable lessons and enrichment this slower lifestyle will give our children! I’ve never seen them happier to clean than when they cleaned the house and run- the promise of baby chicks (and maybe some financial rewards) motivated them in completing this first- and worst- step of our chicken coop makeover. Our next step is to sand the door, make more nesting boxes, and update the exterior paint. In a perfect world, I would like to add some little window boxes, some Victorian trim accents, and a sign for “The Egg Plant.” The builder did a lovely job of matching the hen house to the human house- we intend to continue matching when we make updates.

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Like most aspects of Money Pit Manor, we’re receiving abundant lessons in patience! The “After” images for our chicken coop makeover may not happen for some time…. but part of the beauty of home ownership, is the ability to dream and plan.

Finally, let us introduce the lovely ladies in residence! We purchased the last five pullets at Tractor Supply Company– fortunately, they were the exact breed I wanted (Buff Orpingtons). Years ago, I knew I would name my hens after literary characters- meet the Miss Bennets- from Pride and Prejudice- Jane, Lizzy, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia!

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Although we were thrilled with the Bennet sisters, we’d planned on having a few more chickens. Therefore, we proceeded to do the scary thing and we ordered chicks from a reputable hatchery. Receiving baby animals (or any animal) in the mail was a scary first for us- but, thankfully, all of them arrived alive and well. We are now proud owners of 5 pullets, and 12 baby chicks (names and breeds to be determined).

For those of you who are interested in learning about what it’s like to order chicks, and sign for a package of peeping, fluffy happiness- we will go into detail next week.

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