Here is How We Turned an American Girl Doll Playhouse
into a Des Res Chicken Coop!
First, start with one very spoiled, younger daughter who has grown out of, and is no longer completely obsessed with American Girl Dolls; add one indulgent, good-with-his-hands dad and one overly ambitious mother.
In as far as using plans, we just made it up as we went along. Adding the pieces from scrap we have laying around. The original dollhouse was constructed from plans we found on the internet and was large enough for a 12″ tall American Girl Doll.
We purchased our chickens at Tractor Supply and therefore ended up with 4 because that’s their minimum sale. My daughter uses the chickens as therapy pets so we are not too disgruntled about the number of hens we have. They are not much to alerting for danger or anxiety, but they do help her stay calm when she is holding them. The chickens seem more than okay with this loving too.
Now we were ready to move it into place. The addition of garden ties to the bottom to hold it off the ground and stop the rain building up made it a lot heavier than we envisioned, so it was a slow move across the yard and into the chicken pen.
We have since added onto the design, there is a section attached to the windows that allow the chickens to access their water and food even when locked away for the evening. Safe and secure. That means that if we don’t get out there right at daylight, they still have sufficient space to move around and drink/eat before we set them free into the larger pen. See the featured image. We have had issues with raccoons, so now not only are they locked in at night, but we also added a survival-shelter type roof and bird netting over the top of the pen. We had purchased a 10 x 10 dog yard at Lowes and expanded that to 10 x 15 using the shed as one side. Each chicken has far beyond the 8 square feet of space suggested. So far so good. I keep the floors inside clean simply by shoveling out and laying new chips down. The top is where they roost at night and they come down and nest/lay in the boxes on the second level. They really only go into and out of the bottom floor, they don’t hang out there at all. The stairs proved a flop 🙁 although they looked super cute. We ended up cutting a larger space and adding wood for them to climb. The top roosting section also got cut away to allow room for their roosting. Chickens like to hang out and sleep on a perch 😀
We love our chickens. If you follow a Keto Diet, you know that fresh organic eggs are a staple, and let’s face it, as all backyard chicken owners know – life is just better with chickens.