How many coops have I built now? Ah, best not to keep track.

I honestly forgot that we had a chicken coop still here at our house in Portland (pictured above). Past tenants were interested in keeping chickens, so we left it here. It sat empty while we were away and isn’t really needed anymore.

Photo credit: Isaac Viel

We have a great coop now (pictured above) that has been working really well for us. It’s the one I included plans for in my book Modern Homestead. We love it because it’s portable, has a nice modern look and it gives the birds enough space while staying compact in the garden.

The ducks on the other hand need an equally nice, permanent solution. Currently we lock them up at night in their duck house and let them out in the morning to free-range. But it’s a drag to run outside in my pj’s every morning at dawn when it’s freezing. And it’s also a pain to go on vacation and be required to find a duck-sitter.

So we’ve torn down the old chicken coop, salvaging what materials along the way, because we need that space for the ducks. We’re building a (hopefully) predator-proof enclosure to keep the duck house and give the ladies plenty of room to play.

Dismantling the old coop took almost a whole day and poor Jay did most of the hard work. My growing belly is limiting what I can do, but I managed to help a little.

The space has been cleared though and materials neatly arranged for construction. Let’s hope the weather holds this weekend so we aren’t mixing power tools with rain. I’d love to hear what projects you are braving the cold to tackle this weekend!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson