Reduce. Reuse. Re’coop’

by andrewodom on January 26, 2011 · 11 comments


Back in early May 2009 Crystal and my daddy and I wrapped up work on our first chicken coop. I had been wanting to raise chickens for some time and it seemed like the time was right.

Now folks with a minimalist mindset are familiar enough with reduction. We reduce. We recycle. We repurpose. We refine. And so when it came time to build that first coop I knew I wanted to spend less time at the box store hardware and more time finding materials with as much character as the chickens they would soon house. So I put an ad in the local newspaper asking for reclaimed  wood and other building materials. Within a day or two I was contacted by a gentleman who had recently taken down an old hog house. It had been standing for nearly 102 years as best he knew. Coupled with some 2″x6″ lumber picked up at a local jobsite (the woods first life was as batter board for a concrete project), some corrugated metal from a chicken coop buried on the back of the farm, some hardware from a gate that had long since fallen, and some fencing that has been laying around as long as I can remember, we built the “Coop de Ville” – a subtle play on words indicative of a chicken coop located in BarneVILLE, Georgia.

In the course of two years we watched our flock grow to 9 with a production on average of 6 brown eggs a day. I kept it clean oftentimes scraping and spraying it out once a week. We kept them warm in the winter and the shade of the metal, cool in the summer. I couldn’t help but to look at that coop and be proud of it. And so now that we are moving to North Carolina it seemed only right to take the coop (and a later built brooding box) with us.

As Saturday morning came we had strategized how we were going to lower the coop four feet onto a NASCAR style trailer, secure it, and get it to North Carolina. Our same team of Crystal, Daddy, and me gathered – this time with my Uncle along with us – to recycle this house yet again. With the use of a hydraulic jack, some 2″x4″ poles and a lot of gumption we finished the job in about an hour. Looking at the day now I may be more proud of the fact that we are now using 104 year old wood than I am of anything else. It is what sustainability is about. It is what homesteading is about. It is what stewardship is about. We are taking what we have, doing the best we can with it, and never leaving behind what still has a life ahead!

What about you? Do you have anything on your homestead or farm that it reclaimed or recycled wood that you are proud of? Have you ever moved something a good distance just because you couldn’t imagine leaving it behind? Tell me a bit about it. And if you like this post be sure to share it on Facebook or Tweet the link out to your followers!

  • Nebraska Dave

    @Drew, I wondered what happened to the coop. I’m glad you figured out a way to take it with you. Acutally I’ve never thought of trying to find used wood for my projects but I will now. I think there is a place in my town where old house fixtures go to be recycled into new projects. I may have to visit this place and see just what they have. You have inspired me in so many ways since I started reading your blogs. Keep up with sharing your journey into minimal living. I like the concept. More living and less stuff.

    Have a great recycle day.

    • http://www.anotherkindofdrew.com anotherkindofdrew

      Wow. Thanks Dave. You inspire me too. You are a true (if only virtual…for now) friend. You keep me posted too!

  • http://desertverde.com nan

    I love how resourceful you are! I worked on a farm a zillion years ago, and one of the lessons was to get creative and make use of everything around.

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Thank you Nan. We don’t have a lot of money but seem to never run out of resources. So, we make due with what we can. What is that song, “A country boy will survive…….”

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  • http://www.awalktosimplicity.com Jody

    Just talking to a guy the other day about re-purposing wood pallets. Turns out there’s a factory that builds some kind of engines around here and their pallets are like 6′ X 12′. The guy I was talking to gets every single on of them. The smaller ones he’s using for firewood and the really nice ones he’s sitting back to build an outbuilding of. I now know where I’ll be getting some “used wood”. Feels awesome using reclaimed materials. Great post!

    • anotherkindofdrew

      My brother-in-law uses shipping crates at his job (full sheets of plywood almost) for a ton of projects. It is 3/4″ thick too. Good stuff Jody!

  • Jog75wgc

    As a fellow B’ville native, I moved a house from town to the country in 1978. We moved into one room with the roof still on. Later, as time progressed, we re-did the remainder of the house using materials salvaged from my grandmother’s home place, here in B’ville, which burned in 1976, rafters from the auditorium in Lambdin Hall @ Gordon College, and heart pine boards from my wife’s grandmother’s homeplace in the Antioch area of Upson county. As time has progressed, we have enjoyed living in the country and raising a garden most years and using our cabinet style wood heater. Ain’t God good!! jimbalamo

    • anotherkindofdrew

      That is so cool. I would love to see the wood and rafters. I am a huge proponent of reclaimed wood and aged hard wood. Next time I am in town (which will be sooner than later) we’d love to have you over to see Tiny House.

  • kleo-1

    great-look,i need to have one or two………………..!………..!.

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