Our Chicken Coop and Barn

June 15, 2023

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thorn cove abode chicken coop and barn

The Newest Members of Thorn Cove Abode

Can you even with these two?? This dang kitten I rescued off the side of the road has stolen all of our hearts. And now with her little chick friend-I can’t! I truly do not need one.more.thing. on my list of things right now, but their little faces make me so happy. Even Mark is smitten with this ridiculous kitten {see what I did there?}

thorn cove abode chicken and kitten

Thorn Cove Abode Land

Our chicken coop and barn are two places on our land I sort of let Mark do what he wants with. I mean, he deserves some space on our land to do his “man things” right?

Mark and I both grew up near where we currently live and knew we wanted to raise a family in the same place. Our families are nearby and we just love our area. So when an unlisted property on the water with some acreage popped up, we jumped on it! We built our “historically inspired” dream home and over time have added more, like the chicken and barn.

thorn cove abode chicken coop and barn

How our chicken journey started.

Shortly after completing our home build, I had a friend reach out about taking her three friendly hens and a small coop. She was moving and couldn’t take them with her to her new neighborhood, so we said yes. Initially, it seemed overwhelming to take on hens but they really are the simplest animals to take care of. The kids loved the chickens immediately and the rest was history!

thorn cove abode kids and hens

We found our larger coop on Facebook Marketplace and just fixed it up, Thorn Cove Abode Style of course. I don’t remember exactly, but I am pretty sure we paid a few hundred dollars for it. {Chicken coops can be very expensive, so the Marketplace one felt like a deal.}

Coop Progress

Originally, the chicken coop was gray with a small chain link fence chicken run attached. I wasn’t crazy about the look of it all, but knew I could make it cute. We already had the barn complete and painted so I just went with the same look. I like that everything has a more cohesive look.

thorn cove abode small chicken coop

The original coop just had the doorway and small side access to the run. We cut out and added the cute little window to allow more airflow during the warmer months. Also, it’s aesthetically adorable! We used an old window that I had been hanging onto (from the barn 😉 and popped in plexiglass for the window panes. To make it even cuter, we built a simple rectangle shaped box and added faux greenery under the window. If I was a chicken, I would want to live in this coop, wouldn’t you?

The coop came with a door and we just added a simple “X” to make it look more like a cute barn door and painted it brown to closely match the barn stain. We still actually use my friend’s small coop to isolate sick chickens or introduce new ones to the flock.

Current Coop Residents

Currently, we have one Rooster and eleven hens with two new baby chicks. We did have thirteen more fertilized eggs our hen was sitting on, but for some reason unbeknownst to us, she abandoned them!

In the past, we have actually hatched our own chicks before and I HIGHLY recommend that. (Here’s a little reel of Sevi and Jackson loving it!) It was so amazing to watch the process and be around when the chicks come out of their shell. I’m so glad the kids and I got to experience it, but now we just let the hens do their thing and we don’t have to get involved at all (also highly recommend that option!)

thorn cove abode chicken coop and run

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

After a few years of having chickens, the predators around here (coyotes, fox, raccoons and especially hawks) thought they could come by anytime for a free chicken dinner. So that forced us to build a much longer run to attach to the coop to keep them protected. In a perfect world the chickens would still be able to free range, but they stay in the coop and their run most days. Did you know they eat ticks and fleas? It’s actually super beneficial to have them running around, but we also want to keep them alive. We do let them out from time to time to get fresh grubs and stretch their legs when we know we will be home and outside.

Pro Chicken Tip

If you ever have issues with predators in or around your coop at night, buy an inexpensive battery operated radio and play a talk show station. Evidently when predators hear this and believe there are people around the coop. We started doing this, we didn’t have any more issues with creatures trying to break into the coop at night. 

Something else I was just recently told but haven’t tried out yet. Keep your hair from haircuts! Ask to bag up your hair after a good chop, take it home and spread the hair around the perimeter of your coop. Predators smell this and it keeps them away also. I haven’t tried this one yet, but will report back if I do!

If you’re considering getting chickens, I recommend this very informative blog!

thorn cove abode chicken coop snow

So Many Eggs

Fast forward to today and we have a lot more chickens and more eggs than a family of four can eat! Some of you know Mark’s mom lives on the same property as us and just recently retired. She has starting helping us around the coop and now we split chores and eggs with her.

Our family checks on the chicken feed and water daily, but honestly we usually have enough in the coop to last a few days until they need a refill or a good cleaning. We hang the feed and water containers off the ground to help prevent them from getting too dirty too quickly. Speaking of getting dirty, we usually have to do a thorough coop clean out once a month. It’s not too bad and Jackson and Sevi are old enough to manage most of it.

thorn cove abode barn

Thorn Cove Abode Barn

We call it the barn, but there’s really only one animal in there … Mark (LOL). The space was built for all of the overflow items we were not able (or wanting) to keep in our garage. On the flip side, we purposely built an open carport so that we would be forced to keep our garage nice and tidy, but the barn is another story. Mark keeps his home gym in there along with all the odds and ends like lawn care items, a work bench, garden tools, luggage, seasonal decor and more.

Let’s be honest, my DIY and renovation odds and ends have ended up in the barn. I’m sort of like the Little Mermaid with all my treasures. I may just start singing “Part of Your World” as I add my finds to the “barn.” I bet Mark would looove that!

thorn cove abode hens

Mark does get on to me from time to time when I let my finds get out of control. Right now the barn is full of furniture waiting to fill up the Carolina Cottage (hoping to have a reveal for you all next week!)

The “lean-to” {this is the South after all} on the barn houses more of my junk honestly and sometimes we park his Jeep under there. I have all of my wood stashes here, old sinks and projects I’ve abandoned. Are you seeing now why we didn’t want an enclosed garage?? Lol 

Mark really wanted a blue color for the barn. After he chose “blue,” he didn’t care what shade so I got to choose for us. I went with Newburyport Blue by Benjamin Moore with Riverwood Stain by Sherwin Williams. This stain ended up being my favorite color I’ve ever used on an exterior space. If I had found this before staining my front doors- this would have totally been my door stain color choice!

I don’t think I knew I would love having so much space for creatures and creative projects, but I really do! What should I add next?? Just kidding!

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  1. Kristin Lungaas says:

    Just adorable!! And with how the egg prices were you are one lucky family. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Susie says:

    I love this so much, especially the sweet kitten and chick!

  3. Shelly says:

    Would love to know where you got your barn…is it metal that looks like wood? Wood? Did you put it up yourselves etc? We are needing a barn but the expense of building one from scratch is prohibitive, buy if we could get a metal shed type and make it cute that would be ideal. Yours is perfect!