Sort of Portable

portable chicken coop-4322

Jonny has a long list of projects at all times, both in progress, and waiting to be started.  His list fluctuates wildly at times, as does our life.  While we’ve talked about wanting a portable chicken coop for the garden for years, it has never been a priority, and it was not on the current list until a few weeks ago when mama hen hatched a few chicks and we realized they needed their own space.  For a couple of weeks our front porch was covered in lumber and power tools, sawdust and general mess, as Jonny built a small coop.  He used all sawmill lumber, salvaged cedar and a little black locust, so our only expense was chicken wire and roofing.  As the house itself progressed, I raised my eyebrows at the term “portable” being used to describe it.  “It sure looks heavy,” I said.  Jonny assured me that cedar is light and that it would be no problem to move this coop from bed to bed in the garden.  And it turns out he was right.  The house and the run are two separate parts, and they are indeed portable if you have one strong man and three teenage boys to move them.

The kids thought I would fuss about the pretty little details he added, but I didn’t.  Jonny makes everything pretty.  And while it’s true that I do like things to be done quickly and efficiently, building things is Jonny’s art, and he’s never going to build something plain looking.  I like that the coop is pretty (who wouldn’t?), because it lives in my garden!  This project took about two weeks start to finish (kind of a record fast project).  There are two nest boxes inside and a couple of roosts.  We’ll use it to house about four chickens at a time, for now mama hen and her chicks.  I think they like it.  I definitely do!

The current project making the top of the list is fencing for the goats, specifically Robin Hood and Ivanhoe.  But that could change….


  1. Oh, golly, dear friend . . . so many things to comment on and I never seem to have the time to say what I want to say . . . but, Hello! Things there look so lovely and busy. I am thinking of you and hoping you are well. Love love love, a

  2. What fine work he does. It was worth waiting for! (not that two weeks was a long wait when you’re getting such careful workmanship out of it) I love the nest hatch on the back wall!

  3. I love it! My husband is in the throes of the chicken coop build but it’s a large primary hen house. Maybe a portable one for another year. 🙂

  4. Wow, it is perfect. I love that it fits your raised beds just right. This will be great to move as the garden changes through the summer from one crop to the next. Bravo, Jonny! I love the details.

  5. This is beautiful! We’ve talked often about doing something similar, though we only have four raised beds right now. It would be great to have them turn over the beds twice a year! Right now I feel what we call “short timers” in military life…… we don’t know how much longer we’ll be here so I don’t want to do any projects that can’t easily be brought with us. The next two-three years will be month-by-month with where we are and what we’re doing…. I’m ignoring most of it and looking at small house plans and swooning over goats…. dreaming of the someday farm while we wait 😉

  6. It really is gorgeous, well done Jonny!

    Isn’t it funny how our children pick up on “what Dad does that will make Mum fuss?” They come to expect a certain reaction, as per the unwritten family rule book.
    As they grow up, we really do keep them on their toes by changing our couple’s “rules” now and then, just to let them know that it is our private conversation, even though they are witness to it every day…

  7. Beautiful! I love that he puts beauty into everything he makes!

  8. I love it! I just built Chicken Frontier in my back yard. I really need to post pictures of it!! I didn’t make a pretty detail in the front of mine. Since I make my living as a architectural millworker you’d think I’d have a fancy detail on the front of my coop…. I do however have a plan for a fancy detail it just isn’t there yet. Since my family mill work business started in 1878 I like to think we have always gotten things done and we have plenty of time to accomplish all of our little plans 🙂 Two weeks is hiccup in time 🙂

  9. What a delight to look at. I like a man who finishes things off well (and pretty)

  10. Gwendolyn says:

    Isn’t it fun having chickens? I love the house Jonny built. So pretty…and your garden looks great with the little building beside it. Larkspur sure looks like she is enjoying watching the chickens.

  11. The coop is very classy! Good for Jonny! (I received my bird shawl pin yesterday-I love it-Jonny does beautiful wood work!)

  12. it’s gorgeous. and similar to the chicken coop that my husband made a couple years ago. though his took much longer. -smiley face-

    we are waiting with new chickens until next spring. but we did unofficially adopt a dog over the last weekend so i guess we’re moving in the right direction…

  13. Wow! It’s beautiful and functional! But yes it looks like a task to move!

  14. I love pretty things and the added touches and details! 🙂 How fun to have this project done and that it’s so pretty, too! Happy weekend!

  15. very pretty indeed and it matches the garden!

  16. Alison says:

    Its beautiful, and I love the cedar! My husband finished our “mobile” coop about a month ago and we put it to good use last week as a broody-buster for two girls. We can’t have a rooster, so no use in them sitting in the nest all day… I can’t wait for fall to use it on our garden beds too! You will love having your chickens do a small portion of your homestead work 🙂

  17. Luz Maria says:

    Looks good. Jonny did a good job.

  18. Helena says:

    Kind of nice that he likes making things pretty. My husband can figure out how to make most things, but his solution is likely to be very utilitarian, and if I say I’d like something to be not ugly, I get eyerolls. Not complaining, as I do appreciate that he’s so handy, but I do sometimes wish he cared about aesthetics a little more. 🙂

  19. That coop is gorgeous! Jonny did an amazing job. I recognized the cedar wood right away. And I noticed he chose two woods that hold up really well in the weather, which will be great for enjoying that coop for quite some time. We always have a never ending list of projects around here too. It’s so satisfying whenever one gets finished!!

  20. I love it so much. For some years I’ve been trying to convince my not so handy husband that building a chook pen can’t be all that difficult. He’s yet to be convinced!

  21. The coop is beautiful; somehow the scalloped edges of the trim make me think of the houses in Jan Brett’s book about the Gingerbread Baby!

  22. That is truly a beautiful structure! Jonny did an amazing job with that!

  23. It’s beautiful!!! Lucky chickens and chicks. The roof is fantastic!

  24. I love the roof trim! Lucky you, lucky chickens!

  25. What a great addition to the garden! I’m wondering- how do the chickens fare in the winter?

  26. It really is charming! Good for him. 🙂

  27. Monica says:

    Oh it’s lovely!

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