Our move to Eugene was a bit more frantic than moves from the past. It was challenging to juggle moving boxes and unpacking with the strong desire to plant seeds in this new patch of dirt. The most pressing piece of business, above all of these other pressing tasks, was building a temporary chicken coop for the girls.

The chicken coop in Portland has been great – it’s nice and roomy and does the job. A carpenter would certainly do a finer job, but the chickens were happy and so was I. Unfortunately, that coop is not really movable. That meant that the girls needed a home here in Eugene, but with school starting this week there wasn’t much time to build something well-thought out.

This August/September I plan to build a nicer, permanent coop that can also be portable. I will most likely move to a new spot in a year when Jay returns from NYC, and it would be great to come up with a design that can move easily with me.

It took a day in Portland to build this 2′ x 3′ hen house, which we moved to Eugene. Once here, we spent a few hours shopping at the local lumber yard to build the frame and run. It took a full day to build the completed project. The hen house is raised because it keeps the overall structure efficient – you don’t lose the space from the hen house because the chickens can roam around underneath. The run is approximately 4′ x 5′ in size and fits neatly right outside our back door.

The chickens made the journey south in a very large box, which kept them in the dark. They can’t see in the dark, so this kept them relatively calm during transport. Although we did get eggs the first day they were in their new digs, we haven’t received eggs yet. It’s typical for chickens to take a few days off when they undergo stress, and moving to new surroundings puts them through some stress.

They seem happy as can be digging up a new patch of grass and attacking new, unsuspecting bugs. I have heard rumors of a raccoon living nearby, so I am keeping a close eye on things at night. It’s funny how I have boxes and boxes piled in the house, but knowing the chickens are happy outside makes me feel like I am home.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson