Springtime in the U.P. brings all kinds of fun and amazing new changes around the farm!
I would be lying if I said I didn't look sideways at my Dad when I asked him to help me build a Chicken Coop and he suggested using the building that was on a trailer in the back 40 that my brother had gotten for free a few years back.
That thing had been sitting back there UNTOUCHED for almost 6 years, and I certainly stood there looking side eyed at Momma when she helped haul it in front of the shop wondering what I was going to make out of it.
I had been busy Pinteresting all these Chicken Coop ideas for weeks and standing in front of this shack my heart sank at first because this was NOT what I had in mind.
Now the picture you see above already has the new floor in it and a coat of paint on it, they already had the floor ripped out and the first foot cut off and replaced before I could get a photo of it!
When this rig first arrived it certainly had seen better days, but Dad likes a challenge & had no problems gutting it to bring it back to a solid structure.
Every single time I would leave to go to work to the boutique I would come home to a new piece added to the structure to make sure that the Chickens would be protected from ALL the elements!
My Brother chuckled at me because at the time I was asking him to make me Chick-inic Tables we didn't even have chickens yet!
Even though a straight run is headed to the farm from Sugar Island in the next week or so it didn't stop my oldest Little from grabbing a handful of beauties from Tractor Supply.
This Sweet Beauty is Dolly!
Followed by this quiet girl name Kaise!
Then this exceptional sweet girl, who defied all odds to survive named Grace!
And finally the sweet and sassy and definitely the Boss of the group Maddie!
Now Tucker our sweet farm dog is one heck of a Protector of not only our Chickens, but also our gardens!
He makes darn sure that the critters and birds aren't hanging out in our corn or beans or getting after our sweet girls!
Now let's head back to the Chicken Coop Chronicles!
The color we ended up choosing is called Bachelor Pad, kind of ironic considering the thing we are painting is a Hen House! :)
When choosing the colors for the hen house, we wanted to make sure it would be something that would match the main house and out buildings when we start to overhaul everything here at the farm.
Bachelor Pad seemed like the perfect shade of gray and the white accents offset it perfectly!
Cleaning and scrapping the old paint was a challenge for sure!
Not because it wouldn't come off easily, but because I was scrapping it in almost 90 degree weather!
A wire brush made fast work of it all and stripped everything down to the bare wood as good as it possibly could without us having to use paint stripper!
Next came pulling out all the old electrical inside the shed and making sure the stuff that remained was compliant.
(That was all Dad - This Ol' Gal knows NOTHING about that stuff!)
We installed a solar light in place of the outdoor existing light which means that we don't have to worry about trying to turn a light on and off come dusk and dawn!
At the same time that the electrical was getting an overhaul came painting the Milk Crates for our Sweet Girls to lay eggs in!
Y'all know how much I love that Tiffany Blue color, and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to let those sweet gals of mine the chance to love it too.
(Those cute spiderwebs will happen when you leave things out overnight to dry on the farm!)
Next came painting the inside of the coop, and if you KNOW ME you know everything I do has to be a tad EXTRA!
So it will come as NO surprise that the inside of the girls coop got some extra love as well.
Every GREAT & HAPPY Hen House needs an AMAZING name and we ended up settling on Cackleberry Castle!
Now everything from the inside, outside, ceiling and even the door got an overhaul.
Choosing a color for Cackleberry Castle's Main Door proved to be more of a challenge than we anticipated, but we did end up settling on this beautiful Gloss Dark Blue.
I mean we figured anything would be an upgrade from the original paint job, so we got to work overhauling the door.
The first couple coats had us cracking up because it was SO BRIGHT blue, but we all held in there until the next morning and ended up loving it!
(Stay tuned to the end to see the final product!)
Now Cackleberry Castle didn't come with any insulation in the ceiling, and since it was going to be a year round home for our girls we needed to make sure we could keep them safe and warm in the winter!
A safer alternative was quilt batting!
It will still keep the warmth in in the winter, keep it cool in the summer, and since we clip their wings they won't be able to fly up and eat it.
If it gets "dusty" or dirty we can just replace it since we purchased a box of it, plus it looks super cute in place of insulation.
With that in place next was getting Cackleberry Castle moved across the yard and to its new home next to the barn!
So we loaded up the rest of the tools and goodies and headed across the yard!
Cackleberry Castle survived the short move across the yard intact and was now ready for more upgrades!
I want to stop and take a moment to appreciate and bring light to the shelves inside the castle.
If you have followed along with After All This Time since the beginning you may recognize them!
They used to be the floating display shelves in our first boutique space on Ashmun Street!
We were able to repurpose them into shelves for the hen house and we are super excited about it!
Not only did it save us money doing so, it saved us time and having to stain them since they were already done!
Now if you follow along with the boutique itself you know we have a gorgeous chandelier inside the boutique.
It truly is a classy focal point that the boutique is built around.
I'm a tad partial to chandeliers both big & small and even have one in my guest room closet!
Once we overhaul the farmhouse inside there are sure to be more pop up in each room we do!
So it is only fitting that my Sweet Spoiled Girls also have their very own in the Hen House!
I once saw Thermaland Oaks
post about hers and knew in my heart of hearts that I one day needed my very own hen house with a chandelier!
The roosting sections themselves will be made out of Popular or Aspen Trees with eyelets and chains in different parts of the coop.
Pictures of those will come later on when we get them all installed and get the run in.
I had a hard time finding baskets and hangers in the colors I wanted so I ended up buying them anyway and painting them the colors that I did want!
Each element in Cackleberry Castle was extremely thought out and executed.
Doing it this way made pulling all the elements together easier when it was time!
The beauty in the whole thing is that it was an entire family affair, and every single member of our family was involved in different processes of Cackleberry Castle coming together.
In the process of overhauling Cackleberry Castle the girls have GROWN pretty quickly!
Each one is still just as sweet, equally as sassy and will ultimately enjoy moving into the castle in the next week or so.
Even though these 4 are for sure ones we plan to keep as laying hens, hopefully they will welcome another 3 or 4 to their flock with ease since we built the castle to accommodate them and a few more friends!
The other thing that just keeps right on growing and flourishing is the garden!
God has certainly been good to us this year already and we can't sing his praises loud enough!
Everything from Chives to Beans, Sweet Corn to Beets, Carrots to Potatoes are making its way through the ground.
Watching God work and put his hand on different things all across this farm has been the most incredible part of this entire process.
It has been A LOT of hard work y'all!
From putting in the garden to completely overhauling Cackleberry Castle, but it has all truly and honestly without a doubt been worth it.
So our end result from the overhaul of Cackleberry Castle came when we decided to put in the walkway, add the Cypress Mulch, a hanging plant, and some other beautiful decorative touches that included an American Flag!
Of course Momma saw the pictures when we were finished, laughed and said, "That's not a Chicken Coop, that's a She Shed!"
To which I responded, "Momma it is NOT a She Shed! It is MOST definitely a chicken coop, just a Rebecca styled chicken coop is all! To be honest Momma there is Absolutely Nothing Wrong With Being a Little Boujee In the Barn!"
Which in turn led to our brand new design for the Summer that will be available on our beautiful flowy tank tops and probably coffee mugs because y'all know I just can't get enough of those dang coffee mugs!
Click On The Picture To Order The Tank!
A Huge Thank You goes out to My Dad, My Momma (Y'all know her as Gram Jam), My Littles - Jordan & Morgan and also to Kayla.
Without y'all Cackleberry Castle would still just be a dream on a Pinterest Board. Y'all put up with my crazy & sometimes quirky ideas, but let me run with them just the same!
I can't Thank You enough for trusting in me and the process even though I know that sometimes y'all just don't understand what goes on in this beautiful mind of mine!
I have learned over the course of this overhaul that even if it wasn't quite what I had planned in the beginning, it truly ended up being the most perfect option for our family & farm. God ALWAYS KNOWS! <3
I invite y'all to stay tuned for more adventures from the Chicken Chronicles and if you aren't already signed up to get our newsletter to make sure that you do so you won't miss a single update!
I hope y'all have an incredible day and send us your incredible Hen House projects as well!
We will feature our favorites on our stories on Instagram & one of y'all will win a FREE Boujee In The Barn Tank & Coffee Mug just for submitting your photos!
Send those photos over to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Much Love & Many Blessings Y'all!