Chicken Church

After losing so many of my sweet Silkie chickens to hawks over this past winter, we decided to make some changes for the remaining flock of hens. The conversations started with just modifying what I already had, however after a few quotes, I quickly came to the realization that maybe I just sell my current coop and dream bigger.

My husband and I had several discussion about what should be done if I wanted to continue keeping chickens. We began doing some research about what i want, what is practical and what is a dream. I have several books about raising chickens for ideas and I've been "pinning" to my Cottage Garden Sanctuary Board for several years. I've dreamt of having a place not only for chickens but also for storing much of my garden items. I am such a visual person that i needed to be able to see the ideas to share specific parts with someone who would actually be building the new space.  Its easy with so many ideas to floating in my head and on paper to begin finding myself heading in different directions with great big dreams. Finding someone build what is in my head into reality is another story. I remembered meeting Steve Kopa, who lives in Centralia a few years ago at the Pacific Northwest Home and Garden Show in Seattle. He was selling hat built sheds similar to what I love and wish to see in my backyard, so I reached out to him to see about building me a custom shed/coop. A few weeks later we were brainstorming ideas on my patio for several hours.  After several weeks of messaging sketches and ideas going back and forth we came to an agreement on what we started calling the chickens new home - "The Chicken Church".
Most of the material to create the structure are new and painted white. The character though came from all salvaged material that Steve had from tearing down old homes and rescuing material before it went to the dumpsters.  (lucky me, right) The floors were from an old deck that someone was tearing down and Steve stained it this dark color. This was the first to go in after the removal of the old coop and picket fence.

The walls were assembled off of the property and delivered in pieces. It was so exciting to see such a big difference in just one day.  Once the walls were up then everything was accomplished at a much slower rate.  I had so many ideas, but each section had to be created as it went because of window placement and honestly I didn't know exactly what I wanted inside until i could visually see the space and what we were working with.  A few specific details I was adamant on was the chicken wire size, nesting boxes, and shelving for the garden side. I had so many ideas. but this space was much smaller than I thought it would be.  

"The Chicken Church" name came from what was the main idea of using old church windows and salvaged materials from my contractors home town of Centralia. Although I dreamed big so the new coop set up would not only be a place for my chickens but I designed it to have it be my garden shed as well.  I wanted it to be functionable in both areas but still cute outside and inside of course.  The french doors and the church windows are my absolute favorite features of the entire shed. The character it gives the space is just so perfect. 

The inside is adorable with so much potential, but with so much going on, I've barely touched the surface of how cute the inside could be.  I'm still looking for inspiration and ideas. The chicken coop area is perfect even though I may have a couple extra chickens than I should. And I love the garden storage side, with so much potential.

The inside of the outdoor run is probably my favorite part.  I hope the chickens will be so happy being outside even in the colder fall and winter temperatures. The entire space is completely surrounded by small screening so that not even the smallest PNW predator can get inside.  I found this old tin sign in Snohomish recently and it's perfect to greet you when you open the vintage screen door to go inside. The little ladder is a great way for the chickens to get in and out of the indoor space of the coop, it closes from the inside at night using a pully system. My absolute favorite is the chicken swing that used to hang in my grandparents sister and cousins used to play on it when we were young. Before my dad sold their house i asked for that old swing and it's been in storage all these years. it's looks adorable in the outdoor run and it actually does get used. I grabbed an old bench from storage for the hens to roost on during the day and there is an olive tree sitting in a galvanized bucket for ambiance. 

There are so many details into making this Chicken Church look like it's been here for years. The garden truly looks like its grown around it and nothing about it looks brand new. I love the view from our patio and almost every window that faces the back yard from inside our home.  It is completely functionable for both the chickens and my garden needs. I still have more to do for the inside....something i am currently working on and feel it might just be always a work in progress. I've had a lot of fun decorating both the inside and the outside. 

Here are some of the pictures of the completed space.  Much of the decor i already had and some of it is newer flea market finds. 

Thank you so much for coming to visit today.  You can find more active on Facebook and Instagram.  Please let me know if you have any questions and if you use these photo's elsewhere please tag Fishtail Cottage in your posts. xxoo, tracie


Good Morning
That was amazing to watch come together. The best part is YOUR dream and vision became reality and its beautiful* I love every single thing you chose to do, the inside is fabulous the doors the windows. I love how it sits in your garden it looks perfect. You did an amazing job. Enjoy every second of it
Hope your feeling well*

This is so wonderful, Tracie! It really does look like it's been there forever! Pure magic...
Claire said…
I'm so so envious of your chickens! I would have to just evict them and take this over for myself. In my gardening "lifetime" I've had 3 garden sheds and now - as a result of downsizing -- a garden room. Two of my garden sheds were built from leftover lumber and salvage pieces and were little and cute. . One was built from brand new everything and too big. Guess which one I did not like at all ? After moving to a home on the river with no space for a shed, I figured out a way to add a wall and outside door to a long utility room and now I have a cute little garden room with a gorgeous antique door. I love it . But I adore your chicken church. Job well done!
Thank you Tracie, those chickens of yours now have a beautiful place to live. Of course i love it all and know you did and still have a lot to do but you have done a wonderful job,and your silkies are so cute, i have enjoyed all your instagram feeds, thank you so much for sharing.Have a blessed day.
Naperville Now said…
Stunning! Lucky chicks :)
Maribel said…
Good Morning!
It looks great, I´m sure the chickens love their new home. I love the colour of the rose, do you have a name ?
Have a lovely day /Best wishes Marika
So lovely! A dream for your chickens :)
Love from Titti
Wwwwooowww, it's sooooo beautiful, I want to make something like this!!!!!
Bernideen said…
So cute! This is the church - this is the steeple - open the doors and look at the ....chickens! That works too!

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