Friday, August 31, 2012

20,000+ & The arrival of Aunt Heather

This blog has reached 20,000+ hits & 33 countries!
I feel so damn special.

But you are special were crowned.

Thanks for reading guys. It's nice to know that there are bored people out there; people who have nothing to do but sit back, suck a coffee back their throats and soak in the crazy that spews out of my mouth, I mean from my fingers.

Ok, let's discuss this morning's events shall we?

I wake. My eyes lock with the G-man's. A light bulb goes off.

I will give Brad a break and take Griffin out first thing in the morning!

Have you ever seen a comatose snail driving a broken locomotive? Please, don't sit there are shake your head. Everybody's seen that happen.

That was me.

It was a great idea to jump out of bed, yank out the feeding tube, skip the aerosols (who needs lung meds), grab the furry boy and go out in the Sahara Desert.
No, that is not Griffin

The humidity smacked me in the face and nearly knocked me on the ground (it did others, there were bodies lying everywhere, but what with me being a superhero and all, I didn't fall). It was so gross out, I thought I'd have to share my O2 cannula with the G-man.

We made it to the green space and out of the corner of my eye I spotted Craig. Craig! I wasn't alone!! It was like spotting water. After we were finished talking about how amazing my hair was, we saw another park friend, Anne, coming up the path.

Anne was so great; despite being sick herself (cold), she stayed outside with me and walked the 700 miles to Griffin's dumping spot, allowing me to stand in one spot and just breathe. Such a huge help. I probably would've ended up lying in the grass somewhere squeaking out Brad's name if it wasn't for her.

So, lesson learned (see squat buddy...I learned a lesson, so learn from my mistakes), I will never again attempt to take my boy out before drenching my lungs in inhaled goodness - pulmozyme (mucas thinner), tobramycin (antibiotic) and salbutamol (opens the airways).

Later in the day we made our way to Billy Bishop Airport. Traffic was grotesque...I likely could have walked there faster - carrying Brad & Squeaker on my back.

However, once word got out that it was Squeegee that had to get through, the road opened up and we blew by.

And while waiting in line to board the ferry to get to the airport we noticed this guy only steps in front of us:

For you L-dawg
Some of you will recognize him. For those of you who don't, he is Justin Trudeau, the oldest son of the late Pierre Trudeau - Prime Minister of Canada from 1968-1984. He is also one of my friend Lindsay's crushes. I swear guys, if she had of been with us, her heart would have launched out of her chest and straight into his face, and she then would have been thrown in the slammer for assault when she threw her body on top of his.

We were hoping to catch up to him (it was really hard to get through the crowd) and talk to him about organ donation, as he's also a Canadian politician, but his freaking legs just moved so fast.

We finally made it through the heat and into the air conditioned airport. I was worried that Heather's flight might have come in early (even though the board said it was "en retardé") so my head was spinning around and around and around and around and eventually just flew right off my shoulders.

Finally we arrived at arrivals (like that?) and Brad spotted her through the glass doors. I was so happy that she made it alive and was her very first flight. 

Heather came armed with only 1 freaking bag????? How does a woman do that????

She also came with cards and goodies from my other aunts. WOW! Thanks guys!!! You are all so sweet!

We've introduced Heather to the park people and this weekend she will get to meet the Hamiltons. I've told her to prepare herself for the crazy month ahead.

It will be wild and wonderful and watch out Wayne...she will come home a new woman. I will do my best to keep her away from the men of the park (the overnight variety).

I will add, to be nice, that Heather won the card game tonight. I know you are all shocked that I wasn't declared the winner once again...but the reason for this is due to me simply being nice and welcoming. 

I wouldn't want to scare her off already would I?

Chicken Anatomy: The Eyes Have It (nictitating membrane)

As if it weren’t hard enough to snap a good picture of a chicken, the task is made more difficult by bonus body parts. Many an otherwise fabulous chicken photo has been foiled by the appearance of a hazy-looking eye. The hazy-looking eye this photo is caused by a chicken’s nictitating membrane, which is its third eyelid.
This is (St)Eve. He is the King of photo out-takes due to blinking.
The nictitating membrane is located next to the eyeball, underneath its other two eyelids and it operates independently from them.  When we think of eyelids, we typically think of two independent halves, closing to meet in the middle of they eye. However, the nictitating membrane has no counterpart, it operates by sliding from the front to the back of the eye, much like a car door’s window.

all eyelids open

Both exterior eyelids closed (hmm, may not have needed a caption for this one)

Nictitating membrane, partially closed

Nictitating membrane completely closed and Halloween spooky.
The nictitating membrane serves several purposes: to moisten, clean and protect the eye. Dust bathing is prime-time for nictitating membrane viewing if you are so inclined, but pay very close attention, because if you blink, you'll miss it. ;)

 In addition to its horizontal operation, and the fact that it has its own lubricating duct, the another unique aspect of the nictitating membrane is that it is transparent, allowing the chicken to see through it when it is closed. If you watch a chicken closely as it scratches and pecks around on the ground, you will notice that its nictitating membane is often closed, which keeps the eyeball protected from injuries and foreign bodies. I could have used a third eyelid in this picture!
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Chickens Decorating the Farm Landscape

by Jennifer Burcke

Chickens have been decorating the landscape at 1840 Farm since our first chicks arrived in 2010.  I always believed that chickens were beautiful.  Becoming a chicken keeper has only served to deepen that feeling.  

I now find myself surrounded by chickens.  My friends and family all know how proud I am to be a chicken keeper, so gifts tend to be of the chicken themed variety.  Suddenly, there are literal chickens in the barnyard and backyard along with decorative chickens in the gardens and farmhouse.  

I hadn't realized just how many chickens we have both real and decorative in and around 1840 Farm until I began photographing them to share in this post.  Suddenly, there seemed to be chickens everywhere I looked.

First, there are the actual chicken coops.  It was only two short years ago that we were finishing the main coop.  Before then, the space had been the garden bed for our heirloom black beauty eggplants.  

Now the main coop proudly greets visitors to 1840 Farm and is one of our most easily distinguishable features.  This year, we added a garden coop to the backyard.  The garden coop houses the five bantam hens that arrived this spring.

Both coops have a painted rooster standing guard outside their doors.  We don't keep roosters in our coop, but we've made sure to have a few on display outside the two coops.

We also have quite a collection of chickens hiding nestled in our perennial gardens.  There's a stone chick resting near the front porch, a rusty tin rooster playing the saxophone in the hosta garden, and a rooster weathervane perched in front of the farmhouse.

Our beloved Australorp Hedwig even helps to greet visitors to 1840 Farm.  She does share billing with our Nigerian Dwarf Goat Violet and French Angora Rabbit Herbert, but I don't think she would mind.  If she decides to keep score in the farmyard, she'll notice that the number of chicken related pieces far exceeds those that display goats or rabbits.  

It's easy to see that I am proud to be a chicken keeper.  Not only do our heritage breed chickens play a part in our everyday lives, they bring color and beauty to our farm.  I hadn't realized that they also provide so much decoration for our farm's landscape.  It looks like I need to incorporate a few goat and rabbit items into the gardens before Violet and Herbert notice that they're so far behind the chickens!

Have you added chicken decor to your farm or yard since becoming a chicken keeper?  In an upcoming post, I'll be sharing the collection of chicken related items that decorate the inside of the farmhouse at 1840 Farm. 

You're always welcome at 1840 Farm.  To make sure that you don't miss any of the excitement, giveaways or unending supply of cute photos during the A Year in the Life at 1840 Farm Series, follow us on Facebook to read the daily news from the coop at 1840 Farm.

EPL Transfer Deadline Day LIVE:

Hello and welcome to my EPL Transfer Deadline Day LIVE Coverage, with more features to come as the day continues.

WARNING: This will be a LONG blog post, so you can refresh every few minute and come back for more for more because it is LIVE.

13:02: With less than 10 hours to go now....

Let me begin, with Manchester City and AC Milan both confirming that defensive midfielder Nigel De Jong has signed for AC Milan for around £9million pounds.


Tottenham full-back Danny Rose has signed for Sunderland on a season-long loan.

First-team experience: Young full-back Danny Rose has joined Sunderland on a season-long loan deal.

Chris David has joined Fulham from FC Twente for an undisclosed fee.

Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam has joined Stoke for £4million pounds.

Still a Red: Stoke have confirmed the £4million signing of Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam.

Manchester City have signed Swansea winger Scott Sinclair for around £6.5million pounds.

Welcome to City: Scott Sinclair has been unveiled at Manchester City, and becomes their 2nd signing of the window.

Tottenham Hotspur winger Rafael Van Der Vaaart has flown into Hamburg to resume personal talks with the club over a possible move back to Germany.

Fulham have confirmed the signing of Sunderland winger Kieran Richardson on a three-year contract deal. 

Gone to London: Fulham have snapped up Sunderland winger Kieran Richardson for an undisclosed fee.

Arsenal have been linked with a loan move for Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien to replace Alex Song in the role of defensive midfield.

Shock laon move on the cards: Arsenal are ready to sign Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien.

Tottenham are desperate to sign Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho, now that Luka Modric has left the club and are just waiting to make a £25million bid for him.

Aston Villa have had a £7million offer for Fulham forward Clint Dempsey accepted, however Dempsey has said that he does NOTwant to go to Aston Villa, and wants to move to Liverpool instead.

Aston Villa have stopped their interest now.

Chelsea have been havily linke with Bayer Leverkusen winger Andre Schurrle and he is reportedly expected to join The Blues for around £20million.

Liverpool want to sign Daniel Sturridge and are keeping an eye on Fulham forward Clint Dempsey, who has just said that he wants to join them.

Marseille defender Stephane Mbia is expected at QPR in the next few hours, and midfielder Joey Barton has reportedly agreed personal terms with Marseille over a possible season-long loan move. 

UEFA Europa League Group Stage Draw:
(EPL Teams in LARGEST)

Group A:
Young Boys

Group B:
Atletico Madrid
Hapoel Tel Aviv

Group C:
Borrusia Monchengladbach
AEL Limassol

Group D:
Club Brugge

Group E:
FC Copenhagen
Steuau Bucuresti

Group F:
PSV Eindhoven
Dnipro AIK

Group G:
Sporting FC

Group H:
Inter Milan
Rubin Kazan
FK Partizan

Group I:
Athletic Club
Sparta Prague
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona

Group J:
Tottenham Hotspur

Group K:
Bayer Leverkusen
FC Metalist Kharkiv
Rapid Vienna

Group L:
FC Twente

Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle should both get out of their respective groups without much trouble, but Liverpool may struggle, as they have Udinese and Russian side Anzhi in their group.

Liverpool will hope that they can dominate, and manager Brendan Rodgers needs to get the balance right between fielding younger, more inexperienced players and experienced players throughout the 6 group games.


Sunderland have reportedly failed to sign Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas.

Tottenham have agreed a £22million fee for Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho.

Meanwhile, Italian side Inter Milan have confirmed that defender Maicon has travelled to meet the EPL champions Manchester City to discuss personal terms.

Italian champions Juventus are closing in on a transfer for Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner. 
He has been seen in Italy, going to have personal talks over terms.

Seen in Italy: Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has been seen in Italy, after a move to Juventus has been reported.

Everton have agreed a fee with FC Copenhagen for Costa Rican player Bryan Oviedo.

Tottenham midfielder Giovani Dos Santos has completed a move to Spainish club Real Mallorca on a four-year contract deal.

Spainish club Celta Vigo have signed Arsenal striker Park Chu Young on a seaon long loan contract deal.

Aston Villa have signed sstriker Jordan Bowery from Chesterfield on an undisclosed fee.



Tottenham midfielder Rafael Van Der has agreed personal terms with German club Hamburg and is currently undergoing a medical at the club..

Chelsea youngster Thorgan Hazard who joined the club in July has joined Belgian club SV Zulte Wargem on a season-long loan deal to gain first-team experience.

QPR midfielder Joey Barton has agreed personal terms with French club Marseille and he has passed a medical.
He should be confirmed to have signed in the next few hours, while Marseille midfielder Stephane M'Bia is currently travelling to QPR to start personal terms.

Manchester City are set to confirm the news that Inter Milan defender Miacon has joined them for around £4million pounds later, meanwhile striker Roque Santa Cruz is in Spain having a medical with Malaga.

Swansea have confirmed that Valencia winger Pablo Hernandez is undergoing a medical at the club.

Fulham have agreed a fee with Lyon for midfielder Michel Bastos.

Stoke have confirmed the signing of Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu.


A helicopter has just arrived at Fulham's football stadium, Craven Cottage.
I do not know who is in the helicopter, but it could be Dimitar Berbatov...

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart has completed his £10million move to German side Hamburg.

Welcome back: Tottenham midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart has joined Hamburg for around £10million.

That is some sad transfer news, because VDV is a great player and Tottenham could live to regret letting him leave unless they replace him well in the next few hours.


Manchester City and Benfica have come to an agreement for midfielder Javi Garcia for around £24million.

Fulham have confrimed the £5million signing of Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.

Done: Fulham have confirmed the £5million signing of Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov on a two-year deal.
Goalkeeper Richard Wright has officially signed for Manchester City, and will become their 3rd choice goalkeeper.

Marseille midfielder Stephane M'Bia has arrived in London and is now travelling to a secret location in Surrey to complete his medical.

Marseille sporting dierector Jose Anigo has confirmed that midfielder Joey Barton will not join Marseille unles Stephhane M'Bia joins QPR.

Barton has passed a medical and took part in a light training session early this morning.

Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is at Spurs lodge.....

Stoke have made a formal enquiry to Liverpool about the services of Liverpool's young midfielder Jordan Henderson.

Liverpool are interested in selling him, for around £8million, but do NOT want to loan him out and will only talk about a permament move.

Interesting news there, as Henderson has goo potential but is not being played so may want to leave.




Manchester City have confirmed the news that Inter Milan defender Maicon has joined the club for around £4million on a two-year contract deal.

BEAST: Inter Milan defender Maicon has been unveiled by Manchester City after signing on a two-year deal.

Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz has completed his medical at Malaga, and will be unveiled later.

Liverpool reportedly are interested in signing Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun on a season-long loan dael.

QPR manager Mark Hughes has confirmed that Esteban Granero has received international clearance in time to be available for tomorrow's match against Manchester City.


Swansea have confirmed the signing of Valencia winger Pablo Hernandez for around £6million pounds.

Attacking intent: Valencia winger Pablo Hernandez has signed for Swansea for £6million to replace Scott Sinclair.

Tottenham's move for Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho is reportedly 

Juventus have confirmed the signing of Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner on a season-long loan deal after he completed a medical in Italy.
More to follow on this story as the day continues...

Former Manchester United and Liverpool striker Michael Owen is reportedly close to signing for Stoke on a free transfer.

More on this story as I get it...

Marseille midfielder Stephane M'Bia is undergoing a medical with QPR in a secret location in Surrey, while the news has been confirmed that Joey Barton and M'Bia are NOT linked and they do not rely on each other's transfers to move.

Joey Barton is set to join Marseille, even if the deal does not go through tonight, becuase the French market closes next Tuesday.

Genk striker Christian Benteke is on a plane to Birmingham to try and complete a transfer to Aston Villa.


Liverpool and Tottenham have both reportedly made bids for Fulham forward Clint Dempsey.

Let the bidding way begin!

Michael Essien - Arsenal story seems like speculation now, with less than 6 hours to go now and no news confirmed...

Tottenham goalkeeping coach Tony Parks has said that a deal for Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris remains 'far from done', despite him arriving at Spurs Lodge to talk personal terms. 

Everton have confirmed the signing of FC Copenhagen defender Bryan Oviedo.
The Costa Rican player becomes Everton's fourth signing of the transfer window, with less than 6 hours to go.

Southampton are still awaiting confirmation of the shock signing of Bologna winger Gaston Ramirez. 



Chelsea youngster Gael Kakuta has signed for Vitesse Arnhem on a season-long loan deal.

Midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart has spoken of his delight at coming back home after rejoining Hamburg, four years after he left the club for Spainish giants Real Madrid.

He said: 'It feels a bit like I am coming back home. Everybody knows that I still have a strong bond with Hamburg and it is a compliment when a club wants you every year. This season was the right time to come back'.

Well... you have to be happy for him and I wish him good luck at Hamburg.
Great player, and it is a shame that Tottenham sold him.
Reminds me of Cesc Fabregas to Barca in 2011....
Liverpool's pursuit of Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge is surely over now, because Sturridge has been named on the bench in Monaco for the UEFA Super Cup.

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has been left out of Chelsea's squad to face Atletico Madrid tonight, so a loan move to Arsenal or another team is still on the table.

Bologna have announced on their website that midfielder Gaston Ramirez has moved to Southampton for a club record fee of around £12million pounds.

This will be HUGE publicity for Southampton, as Liverpool and dTottenham were both heavily linked with a move for the player. They should secure their place next season in the EPL now...



Here is what Southampton manager Nigel Adkins has had to say on the official website about th signing of Ramirez.

'A lot of hard work has gone in from the football club with a lot of negotiations behind the scenes to get this deal done.
Great credit to everyone because we have a young, exciting talent joining us who is one of the best around. 
We have got is one of the most exciting prospects in world football coming to St Mary's.
There is a lot of ambition at the football club and we are all delighted that Gaston is going to come and join us'.

Fulham have rejected a £5.5million bid from Liverpool for their forward Clint Dempsey.

Stoke are ready to sign Blackburn midfielder Steven N'Zonzi after reportes that he will try and force a move out of the club before the deadline tonight.


UEFA Super Cup: Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid - LIVE from Monaco

UEFA Super Cup - LIVE Commentary
Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid from Monaco

Team Line-ups:

Atletico Madrid: Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe, Suarez, Gabi, Adrian, Koke, Turan, Falcao.
Subs: Rodriguez, Silvio, Diego Costa, Emre, Cata Diaz, Garcia, Asenjo.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Hazard, Mata, Tores. 
Subs: Turnbull, Meireles, Sturridge, Moses, Bertrand, Oscar, Romeu. 

The formations for the match tonight between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid: 4-2-3-1 for both teams.


Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz has completed a move to Spainish side Malaga on a season-long loan deal.

Defender Dedryck Boyata has joined Dutch side FC Twente on a six-month loan deal. 

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has said that Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien will NOT join Arsenal on loan.

France international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has completed his medical at Tottenham. More to follow as I get it. 

Lyon have confirmed that midfielder Michel Bastos will NOT be joining Fulham despite reports earlier saying that Fulham and Lyon had agreed a fee.

St Louis II, Monaco 
UEFA Super Cup - LIVE
Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea:
Striker Falcao has broken the deadlock against Chelsea in the 6th minute after a chip over Petr Cech's head hit the back of the net. 

1-0 to Atletico Madrid and Chelsea are trailing already in Monaco!


Stade Louis II, Monaco
Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea:
Chelsea are now 2-0 down... after striker Falcao scored his second goal of the match for Madrid.
19 minutes gone and Chelsea are going down.

Not stopping that: Falcao's curled effort beats Petr Cech to make it 2-0 against Chelsea after 18 minutes.

The Sturridge to Liverpool move is DEAD.
According to reports, Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge rejected Liverpool's offer, because he wanted a permanent transfer deal but Liverpool wanted a season long loan deal. 


Genk striker Christian Benteke is currently having a medical at Aston Villa.

St Louis II, Monaco
UEFA Super Cup - LIVE
Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea

Just before half-time, Atletico go on the counter attack before a through ball finds Radamel Falcao on the flank who shoots past goalkeeper Petr Cech to make it 3-0 to Atletico.

Hat-trick: Falcao finishes off a dangerous counter attack for Atletico Madrid just before half-time to make it 3-0.
Three for me: Falcao celebrates his 3rd goal against Chelsea, who were interested in signing him when he was at Porto.
Game over, surely? Falcao jumps for joy with team-mate Gabi after scoring his 3rd before half-time.

Liverpool will stop their interest in Fulham forward Clint Dempsey after a £5.5million bid for his services was rejected by Fulham earlier. 

Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea has started the second half at Monaco.

Benfica midfielder Javi Garcia has offically arrived at Manchester City for his medical with the club.
City agreed a £16million pound deal plus add-ons (up to £24million) with Benfica for the Spanish midfielder earlier on today.


Atletico Madrid are now leading by 4 goals to nil thanks to Adrian chipping Cech before the ball took a deflection past defender Gary Cahill into the net.

Reports suggest that Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien may be on his way to Spainish side Real Madrid on a season-long loan deal.

This transfer deal would make sense, since Essien has worked with Jose Mourinho before. 

Chelsea have scored a consolation goal, with defender Gary Cahill hitting the ball low, powerfully out of future team-mate and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois' reach into the net.


French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has signed for Tottenham for £9million pounds, with add-ons (up to £13million).

Now, all attention has moved to Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho who could complete a club record fee or stay at Porto.
50/50 so far. 

Marseille midfielder Stephane M'Bia is 10 minutes away from arriving at Loftus Road to sign the contract with QPR - Sky Sources 

Sources from Spain are suggesting that Michael Essien and Real Madrid are in an advanced talks. 

Fulham forward Clint Dempsey has been seen arriving at Spurs Lodge JUST NOW....

St Louis II, Monaco

Atletico Madrid 4 Chelsea 1 FT


Radamel Falcao scored a hat-trick as Atletico Madrid thrashed Chelsea 4-1 in the UEFA Super Cup match.

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill scored a consolation in the 75th minute, but it was too litle too late for The Blues to get back into the match.

Chelsea were poor in the first half, got dominated and Atletico punished them for it.

Chelsea are the worst Champions League winners... surely.
Got lucky when they won anyway..
Got dominated, look lazy in defence and £100million spent in the transfer down the drain.. Going to be an interesting season to say the least.

Manchester City have confirmed the £10million signing of Fiorentina defender Matija Nastastic.

'The next Vidic': Manchester City have confirmed the £10million signing of defender Matija Nastastic.
Manchester City's young defender Stefan Savic will go to Fiorentina as a trade deal.

West Brom and Aston Villa will reportedly announce signings in the next few minutes.

West Brom have confirmed the signing of Goran Popov on a season-long loan deal from Dyanmo Kiev.

West Ham are ready to sign Chelsea defensive midfielder Yossi Beanyoun on a season-long loan deal.



Fulham forward Clint Dempsey has completed a move to Tottenham for around £6million on a three-year contract deal.

Joey Barton (season long loan deal) to Marseille is COMPLETE.



Genk striker Christian Benteke's £7million deal to Aston Villa has been confirmed.


DONE DEAL: Yossi Benayoun has rejoined West Ham on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea.

I will be back tomorrow for an EPL Super Saturday LIVE Coverage, with a summary of all of the big deals, and transfers that just went through possibly including Essien to Real Madrid and Javi Garcia to Manchester City....

5 Easy Steps to Convert a Shed or Lean-to into a Chicken Coop

by Lisa Steele at Fresh Eggs Daily  We needed a larger coop.  Our current coop no longer allowed the requisite 10 square feet per hen that is the rule of thumb. Over the winter it wasn't much of a problem because all that body heat kept the coop nice and toasty and the chickens roamed in their large run all day, but come the heat of the summer, I was afraid the coop would be too warm without enough ventilation for them all.  So a new coop was in order.

~the coop I originally built for our first 8 hens~

Our flock had grown from 8 hens to 33 in a few short years and buying a pre-built coop, while appealing, didn't seem practical when we had this abandoned lean-to that just happened to butt up to the back of our chicken run.  As uninspiring as it was, I was sure I could convert it into a safe, attractive coop for our flock.

So over the course of a few weeks, I turned the lean-to into an adorable, safe new home for our flock.

Here's how to turn a lean-to, shed or even a kids' playhouse into a secure and functional coop for your chickens in Five Easy Steps:

Step 1: Construct an unbreachable floor
We went with free wooden pallets set on bricks with plywood sheets screwed on top for a floor that won't rot, will allow air flow and prevents predators from digging from underneath.

Step 2: Install predator proof locks on the door(s)

After putting up a front made of sheets of T1-11 plywood and cutting a door and window, I installed a deadbolt at the top of the door jamb... 

and a latch and carabiner at the bottom. It will take a very talented team of raccoons to breach this door security! 

The pop door was installed with predator-proof eye hooks on either side and a NiteGuard solar predator light just to add another layer of security.

Step 3: Create ventilation
Cut vents and windows in the walls, and then cut some more. Good ventilation is very important in coops.

Cover all the vents with 1/2" hardware mesh to prevent even rats and snakes from accessing the coop.

Step 4: Build a roost
A slanted 'ladder-style' rooster provides plenty of room and allows the heavier breeds to choose lower roosts.

Step 5: Build nesting boxes
Nesting boxes can be as plain or fancy as you want, just be sure they are lower then the roosts and allow one box for each 4-5 hens.

Anything else is just fun decorating, but if you follow the previous five steps, you can rest assured that your flock will be safe at night and have what they need to be comfortable and productive.

For a more detailed description of how I built our new coop read here >>

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