Coolest Coops —Vaughn Victorian Coop
By Kaylee Vaughn, Idaho
When we decided to raise both chickens and ducks together (altogether, a flock of about 15), we knew that a traditional chicken coop wouldn’t meet the needs of our variety of poultry. We wanted to build a custom coop, but we simply didn’t have the time. We decided instead to order a playhouse kit and convert it to a custom chicken coop/duck house – and the results were better than we could have imagined!
After putting together the basic structure, we installed a floor made from used composite wood decking pieces that were left over from a family member’s decking project. This made the coop super easy to spray out and clean on a regular basis without the fear of mold or mildew growing like it would with a wood floor … which is great since ducks can be so messy!
Inside, we added a lofted storage shelf which spans half the coop and could hold up to two bales of straw along with additional supplies. Under the shelf, we build a custom brooder that could be removed when it wasn’t in use. Raising the chicks and ducklings in the coop along with the adults makes for a very easy transition once it’s time for them to join the flock!
We also built nesting boxes in the coop using reclaimed pallet wood. Our sweet Bantam Cochin hens enjoyed the boxes so much that they immediately went broody on us! Silly girls!
One of my favorite features of this coop are the dutch style doors! There is a large “people-sized” door on the side of the coop and a small “chicken-sized” door on the front. In the winter, we open just the bottom half of the doors to allow the chickens and ducks to enter and leave without letting in as much snow, rain and cold air. In the summer, we open both the top and bottom halves to allow for extra ventilation.
If you are considering buying a kit-style chicken coop, I would highly recommend exploring options outside of traditional coops! This playhouse made a wonderful and spacious coop that accommodated the needs of both our chickens and our ducks.