Harvard Hen House – Get The Scoop On The Coop

This picture of my coop was posted on my official Harvard Hen House Facebook page May 20th 2017. It received over 145,000 views in a months time and has caught the eye of many “chicken people” like myself.

I was in shock when a couple Facebook pages shared my coop photo such as Fluffy Layers and Fresh Eggs Daily. This brought a ton of people to my page and of course a ton of questions as well about my coop, the design, paint color, bedding and so on. I’ve promised again and again I would share the details on my coop and almost a year later I DELIVER!

From Garden Shed To Coop

The coop was made from a prefabricated shed I bought from a friend for $800. A well built, sturdy shed with a wooden floor and new shingles on the roof. It measures about 10ft x 16ft, two doors on the front side and a breaker box for electricity. I had been saving my money for a coop (or supplies to build one) and jumped on this opportunity as soon as it was offered. I saved so much time on labor and a lot of money. It must of been my day because I bought a rabbit hutch too that I now use for my younger hens before I introduce them to the flock. I will share more on that later.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for getting such a large building moved. My husband and his co-workers just so happened to be in the neighborhood with a truck and trailer, loader and skid steer. The process of moving the shed was tedious and nerve racking and I was informed that once it was where I wanted it, that is where it stayed!

Flooring

After spending a chunk of money on the shed I tried saving some pennies on flooring. I didn’t want the plywood floor to rot out and also wanted to be able to spray out the coop with a water hose so I covered it with scrap linoleum I bought at the local flooring store. I bought a few pieces and instead of using an adhesive, I screwed them to the floor. You’re probably thinking, “bet that doesn’t work so well.” You’re right.. After catching the overlapped edges with a shovel while shoveling out the shavings I realized how epically stupid that was. I’m reminded how stupid it was every time I clean the coop, which is quite often. If I were to it all over, and I will, I would use a full piece of flooring as apposed to a few scrap pieces. Cleaning the coop floor would be done in half the time had I spent a couple extra bucks on a full piece of linoleum. Live and learn. Live and learn.

Paint

After the flooring was screwed down *face palm* I decided the inside of the coop needed some color. So I added a coat of paint, and then another AND THEN ANOTHER! That plywood soaked it up like a sponge! I probably used 5 gallons of both the blue and the white. I wanted to give up painting as it took stinking forever but I was like “do it for Instagram” 😂 just kidding.. or am I? For those who wanted the paint color, it is Valspar’s VR080C “Gypsy Blue”.

Totally worth the sweat, tears and fumes.. I also think it inspires my Easter Eggers to lay beautiful blue eggs.

Ten gallons of paint later I invested in some chicken essentials..

The “Essentials” Are As Follows..

2 waterers. One for the run and one on landscape bricks inside the coop high enough that shavings won’t get thrown into the bowl.

2 feeders, which I suspended from the ceiling to minimize waste from chickens scratching feed out into the pine shavings. One for crumble and one for pellets. (People on the chicken forums have debates on which types of layer feeds chickens prefer so I decided I would offer them both and skip the debate all together.)

A 31 gallon galvanized trash can – for chicken scratch, treats and anything else I want to hide from the little scavengers.

A ten seater nesting box. When I first assembled the nesting box, there were 3 rows of perches. I had hens roosting on the perches at night time and pooing on the broody hens in the boxes. With that being said, I removed the perches as the boxes were low enough to the ground and they weren’t needed.

The nesting boxes have pop out inserts in the bottom of each box for easy cleaning. I can’t rave about them enough so I’ve included the link to the one I have. Brower Nesting Box

Pet door and ramp for going outside. I would suggest against a plastic pet or doggie door as they do not hold up to sun damage, ice and CHICKENS. I will be replacing my now broken plastic door with either a wood or metal one.

Roosts

The roosts are nothing fancy. Made from 2×4’s, the first row is 2 ft high and second is 4 ft high with 18 inches between the two. I painted them white and surprisingly they’ve stayed that color. The roost bars extend across the full length of the coop and seat 50 birds comfortably with room for more.

Vents

There was no ventilation in the shed when I bought it so I added 4 vents to the back wall so there would be no cold drafts by the roosts or nesting boxes. These vents are perfect for winter but provide no where near enough ventilation for the summer heat during the daytime so for now I open the front doors for additional air circulation. I will install more vents perhaps in the doors themselves.

Decor

When it comes to coop decor Hobby Lobby and Refunked Junque has the coop covered. With just two wall hangings and a chandelier, I tried to go easy on decorating the coop. Because having a mobile/chandelier is considered “going easy”, right? I’m sure I’ll add more as I just can’t say no to cute decor on sale or cute decor in general. But sometimes I have to think to myself “that’s going to be a pain in the ars to clean”.

The honest truth told by a seasoned “chicken tender”

Chickens literally make dust. These pictures were taken after thorough coop cleanings. Chickens also poop.. like ALOT. Pine shavings are added or replaced every other week. Eggs are laid in corners, behind the trash can and under the nesting boxes. I collect eggs from the nesting boxes and then do my daily Easter egg hunt. Water doesn’t stay in the waterer and the waterer doesn’t always end up elevated on the bricks where it belongs (it’s heavy). Feed bags are stacked in a corner out of sight in pictures. The place is a literal mess on a daily basis. It is WORK to keep up a coop this big and although it is beautiful I don’t want people to get in over their head, buy and fancify a shed/coop and assume it will stay that way for longer than two days. HOWEVER, when it’s clean, it’s lovely. It provides a safe, secure and cozy place for my chickens to call home and I truly enjoy the work and the coop itself.

I hope this helps you with designing your coop!

I will write about the chicken run attached to the coop and it’s design in a later blog post. It’s still in the making (:

For more DIY projects sign up on Chipper With Chickens mailing list!

To keep up with Harvard Hen House follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/harvardhenhouse or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/harvardhenhouse

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Tiffany & Co(w) Inspired Tack Room

Me: “Sorry my house is disgusting.”

Also Me: “Please take off your shoes before going into my tack room.”

Now let’s be honest..

This is a non-recent finished product of having time on my hands, a little jingle in my pocket, no children and some coffee induced motivation.

Now, there’s mouse droppings on the floor, a water trough in the center still messy from chicks that were placed in it weeks ago, empty feed sacks, empty feed bins and a girl that needs to clean up her tack room but “can’t even”.

But before the chaos of becoming a busy adult and then throwing a kid into the mix, there was this beautiful little tack room painted in Tiffany & Company blue with pink bridle racks and some d.i.y. trim that resembles cow print.

Here – I’ll include the deets!

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Trevor (my husband) and I build this barn or “lean-to” and poured a concrete floor the length of the barns width. The slab ended up 8ftx14ft-ish. We framed up the tack room  and added a couple windows that not much later my buckskin gelding would eat the screens out of. The door  now sports dings and dents from hooves beating on it too. This was our first go at doing drywall ourselves. Not too pretty, but I’ve seen worse. Also, Trevor’s first go at wiring. Again, not too pretty.. Just kidding, I now have 3 switches to different lights in the barn and a ton of electrical outlets. It’s really a cowgirls dream tack room.

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The Trim

My husband is in the concrete biz. Some slabs he pours up are formed with 1×6 pieces of wood. In order for the concrete to not stick to the wood or forms, they are oiled with basically what would be the Crisco (the spray kind) of the concrete industry. After a few uses, the pieces of wood get wore down, greasy, and some concrete pieces stick to them like those dang brownie pieces in the corner of the pan if you know what I’m saying. They’re useless. But not to me! These were perfect for my trim project.

I painted these greasy pieces of 1×6 with black paint knowing it would be selective where it would stick and dry.

I sporadically placed globs of Vaseline over the black painted wood with a paper towel. Let that sit for a bit and then painted over the entire board with white.

I ran over the entire board with a scouring pad once the white paint had dried. If you’re young and dumb like me, you’re probably wondering what a scouring pad is. It’s the green flat sponge your momma uses to clean the kitchen pans. You’re welcome. The pad removed the white paint wherever the Vaseline sat resulting in the patchy, cow spotted effect.

I then shabbily pieced the 1×6’s together at the ends and used them as trim bordering the floor, door and windows.

 

The Curtains

Made from burlap potato sacks they look alright on the front but the back side is a thread knotted disaster. I totaled out my sewing machine in this endeavor. Good luck to you should you decide to make burlap curtains without proper knowledge of how to sew burlap. R.I.P. Singer.

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Considering I went overboard with making my tack room look like a little girl’s room, I tried saving some money wherever I could. I wanted to save money and save space at the same time and found that Schneider Saddlery was THE PLACE for fixtures. The racks I purchased were inexpensive and so far everything has stood the test of time and has held up great!

I’ve included the racks and hangers I purchased here as well as links below.

The Easy-Up Bridle Rack $17.99

https://www.sstack.com/Stable_RacksOrganizers_TackBridle-Racks/Easy-Up-10-Hook-Tack-Rack/

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Pink Single Bridle Hooks $2.99

https://www.sstack.com/Stable_RacksOrganizers_TackBridle-Racks/Coated-Metal-Bridle-Rack/?green=9D288243-DB57-5575-A1D9-B0BA3C110413

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The Easy-Up Saddle N Pad Rack $24.99

https://www.sstack.com/Customer-Favorites/Easy-Up-Saddle-N-Pad-Racks/

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The Easy-Up Blanket Bar $8.99

https://www.sstack.com/Horse-Blankets-And-Sheets_Blanket-Accessories/Easy-Up-Blanket-Bar/?green=F3C83F42-3A5F-5E7A-9391-B39CF92CAB71

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I love how it turned out. Punchy, fancy and functional.

I hope this Tiffany & Co(w) tack room inspires you to style yours! You’re husband needed a summer project anyways, right?

 

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Floral European Mount

img_2369My friend Laura, the owner of Refunked Junque made this adorable floral European mount piece and had it for sale at her shoppe about a year ago. My home (50’s model) is basically a blank canvas and this what I’ll call “wall art” didn’t match a thing but I thought it was adorable and I had to have it. #impulsebuy So there it sits in our guest bedroom waiting for a place to take residency. I’ll post a link later so you can see all Laura’s amazing work.

In the meantime, my husbands best friend, Colton (hi Colton! you made the blog! Lol) found this awesome deer skull while cleaning irrigation ditch with his excavator. I shed hunt with hubby every spring and we collect a good amount of mule deer antlers but have yet to find a dead head (skull and all) so this was like gold to me. I know, bones. Weirdo. Anyways, I’ve kept this skull in my flower bed for a year now to let the bugs and Mother Nature do their thing. Clean it up and whatnot. Only a little bit of hide was left on the nose so I took care of that with my husbands toothbrush.. just kidding.. some needle-nose pliers did the trick. I didn’t think that required picture documentation.

The floral skull is the IN thing right now. From prints on clothing, boutique logos, boho decor and everything in between. If there’s a skull out there, there’s a girl who wants to slap some flowers on it and call it “chic”.

I’m that girl. So I took Laura’s piece as inspiration and did with my new skull what she did with hers but with my own flair of course. With $20 and a 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby I made it to match what we already had for decor in our home. It was super easy and I was able to do all within an hour while my newborn was taking a nap!

Here’s how I did it. Quick!

I used 3 stemmed peonies(but cut the stems off) from Hobby Lobby and a pallet wall hanging with white frame already attached.

I used a hot glue gun to attach the back of the flowers to the skull.

And a piece of suede lace to thread thru the back of the skull for hanging. I suppose a piece of wire or fishing line would work but baby napping = working on borrowed time and using what’s available.

Tack a nail into wood to hang skull on.

And hang. Pretty nifty! I mean, pretty “chic” 😉

Check out Laura’s Refunked Junque Facebook page!

www.facebook.com/refunkedjunque

And on instagram

www.instagram.com/refunkedjunque

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DIY (cheap ‘n easy) Poster Frame

img_2543So Henrys nursery is buffalo themed. Look up buffalo decor online and you’ll find that there is next to nothing out there! I kept searching and found this adorable buffalo head picture on Etsy. It was a digital download for multiple sized prints. I wanted the BIGGEST picture of this buffalo for above Henry’s crib. I purchased the digital download on Etsy (for $7.17) and had a 20”x30” printed at Walgreens photo center (for $23.99) and picked up by my sweet momma (for free).

After spending about $30 for this picture I started shopping for poster size picture frames to match current decor of the room.
HOLY CRAP ARE THEY EXPENSIVE. My options were to either buy a cheap ($15) plastic frame or $40+ frame that didn’t look AS cheap and still didn’t match jack. So I decided to make my own frame to match the crown molding and trim of the room. It was cheaper and I supported local business. It matches perfectly. WIN!

For starters,

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Since I’m literally framing a matte finished poster I didn’t want a glass front in the frame. Not only would that have cost more getting glass custom cut but it would have added a bit of weight to the frame which is hanging over where my baby will be sleeping. No thanks.

I bought 2 sticks of composite trim from the local lumber store. It’s lighter than wood, cuts just as easy if not easier with the miter saw, is much cheaper, and comes primed and ready for coat of white paint!

The cost of trim was $24 total. Everything else used in this project I already had available at home. If you’re a crafter or do it yourself’er you may have the same stuff available to you as well.

Measure the picture. Don’t just cut trim to 20 and 30 inch pieces assuming picture will be those exact measurements. The picture contained 3/4 inch of a white boarder, which I didn’t want showing. I measured the picture not including the boarder and the measurements were 29.25” x 19.25”.

Figure out which side of the trim you want on the inside and outside. Momma said put the thinner/ornate side of the trim on the inside so I did just that. (Mom’s always right).

Move project to the shop..

Cut end of trim at a 45 degree where thinner/ornate side will be made the short side. Luckily, our miter saw has the degree-lock settings.

Measure from the shorter side to the length desired for picture size. Mark, re-adjust miter saws degree setting, then cut at a 45 in the opposite direction. Do the same for the other 3 trim pieces.

Piece together trim pieces on top of picture to make sure everything fits together properly and no more cuts are needed. Pat self on back.

Assembling Frame

This is where things got tricky. The composite material of the trim is quite flimsy and light so I tried several things to piece them together. Heavy hardware would not do the trick.

First, clean up the rough, cut edges of the trim. You can use sand paper. I’m a girls girl and used the course side of one of my oh so many nail files.

The trim was so lightweight I was able to mend it together with hot glue. Remember to compress trim pieces together tightly so there’s minimal gap. Glue will express on both sides and it rolls off clean super easy.

After glueing, on a hard surface, pop a few staples in the back for reinforcement. I used a Craftsman staple gun and 3/8 in. staples. Make sure the staples you’re using aren’t too long and don’t go thru the other side. I learned the hard way and tacked my frame to the hardwood kitchen floor. I was only able to use two staples at each corner because there was only so much area they were short enough for.

Fill in gaps (if any) with caulk or wood putty. I used white adhesive caulk. The same we used for the crown molding in Henry’s room. It costs $2.99 at Ace hardware and dries quickly. Run down seam with finger and damp paper towel.

Add hardware for hanging. I used the hammer-in type of saw tooth hangers since the frame is light weight and the barbs on the hangers are shallow enough to not go through to the other side. You obviously want to hammer these in on a hard surface but be sure to place cardboard under the frame so you don’t scuff up the front while hammering. Use measuring tape to space out hangers evenly.

Paint frame. I used leftover white paint to match molding and trim in the room.

While paint is drying, adhere the poster to a piece of cardboard or foam board using double sided tape. I worked with an Amazon box. This keeps the poster from crimping or wrinkling. By using double sided tape the poster can be removed and switched out if room decor/theme changes down the road.

Tape or staple cardboard and poster to the back of the frame. My staples were too long and would have gone thru both poster and cardboard so I ended up using painters tape. Hopefully it sticks for a long while. (knock on wood).

Flip over.

Hang’er up!

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I seriously don’t think I would pass wood shop class or enter this mess in the county fair but it works for me!

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The Blog Begins

I literally just had to type into the search bar, “How to introduce yourself in blog post”. Here’s the first thing I came across..

“Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?”

Here we go.

Who am I and why am I here? I am Bailey Harvard. Daughter of the king. Married to the concrete guy. Mommy to Henry Dan. “Chicken tender” at Harvard Hen House. Fringe and rhinestone collector at Moose Creek Boutique. An awful cook. A try it yourselfer. Flunking student pilot. Stay at home mom. Crafter/mess-maker. Professional iPhone photographer and valencia filter abuser. Busy girl of many hobbies and interests. Story teller.. In short.

Why should they read your blog? Well, they probably shouldn’t. I’m kind of a bad influence. Bad influence on the pocket book. Bad influence on your marriage if you wanted 50 chickens and hubby says only 10. Hey, it all works itself out. We negotiated and now have 50. He’s over it and now loves chickens. Right, honey?

I document everything. If I don’t have a picture of it on my phone, it probably didn’t happen. I love sharing updates on projects, how-to’s and how-not-to’s. I usually forego instructions, look at the illustrations and hope for the best. These will probably make for the best blog entries.

I love teaching about chickens and will talk about them with anyone who has ears.  Have a question about your feathered friend? I’ve got an answer. If not, I’ll make something up.

I’ve got horrid style but some people like the frilly things I post for grabs on my online store, Moose Creek Boutique. And if I’m lucky, they’ll buy them. I’ll most likely blog about those things too but i’ll be home wearing my pink mud boots with chicken poop on them, skinny jeans and one of my husbands t-shirts.

I’m a builder. I married a builder. He’s building a company. I’m working on mine. We’ve started building a family. I love watching all things good evolve or people becoming successful with their small business. Have something you’re building worth sharing? Contact me! Heck, I’ll “build” a blog about it.

I’m a rambler but really want to cut to the chase. My husband and I were blessed with a baby boy January 17th 2018. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to be a “stay at home mom”. I’ve never felt like I was cut out for the stay at home gig as it sounded pretty boring an monotonous.  I love hanging out and caring for my “Bug” yet my mind often wanders outside of “momming”. What else can I do with a child on my hip? How can I reach out and share the cool things we are up to once we finally get to it? My hope is that my blog will be inspiring to others who live a busy life but still want to hang on to other interests and hobbies or may want to try something new. Start a side biz or collect chickens? Anyone? I hope my ill-written knowledge is beneficial or at least entertaining and my funny fails can bring a smile to someones face that can relate.

I think thats all for now. Adios “yall” ❤

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Henry’s Newborn Photo Sesh

Newborn photo sessions.. I’m assuming it’s not just in our case. If you have a boy, SOMEONE will get peed on before it’s all said and done.

Henry was a “dream baby”.. That means he was a sleepy boy. He slept the entire session which lasted about two hours. I was amazed at how the photographer could mold this little limp human into a puddle of cuteness without waking him up. Granted, he was only 9 days old at the time. But how he didn’t wake up during the squeals after she and I both were peed on is beyond me. Yea, he peed on us both but momma wanted “nakey” photos of her 8 pound 10 ounce boy. Luckily, I brought an extra dress to change into for our first family photos just in case this were to happen. Diana, our photographer pulled thru the rest of the session in soaked blue jeans. (You go Diana).

Note: To the ladies who want their first family photo with their naked bundle of joy held between them and their partner, TURN THE BABY TOWARDS YOUR PARTNER! #yourewelcome

Although our photographer offered cute props and outfits, I wanted to go with neutral colors and an all natural route. Hence, naked Henry. I did, however, have one request. This chicken obsessed gal wanted a photo of her baby in a chicken egg. So I found a digital download online of said egg, sent link to Diana for approval and man did she deliver!

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ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER (in my words)

Diana Andersen specializes in newborn, maternity and family photography. She is the bomb.com with photoshop (see Henry inside an egg for proof). Diana is located in Worland, Wyoming and works out of her home based studio, which is so cozy! She blogs about some of her sessions and shares great insight on how to prepare for sessions and when to book based on how far along you are in your pregnancy, for maternity photos as well as newborn. After having your maternity session with her, you’ll definitely want to use her for babies newborn photos! She offers great photo packages with very affordable pricing which includes a print release! You may also order prints through her as well.

Click here to read Diana’s blog entry on Henry’s newborn session!

https://www.dianaandersenphotography.com

..and here’s just some pics taken with my iPhone during the session.

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For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart 1 Samuel 1:27