Coop in the Great Northwet
We moved into our home on 1.45 acres in August 2011, and we immediately started doing our research on chicken-keeping. I spent all fall/winter researching everything I'd need to know about chickens, especially what to include in a coop. Our priorities were:
1. It had to be safe and cozy for the chickens.
2. It had to be moderately priced. (think here, "cheap.")
3. We had to be able to build it ourselves.
4. It had to look nice.
It became clear that in order to meet all 4 criteria, we'd be doing it ourselves from the ground up. I surfed every inch of BYC for design, salvage, and building ideas, and then I started sketching. We sort of started with the Cape Cod coop and some others, and then took liberties from there. The house part would be 4'x6', and raised up 2'. The run would be 10'x6', and would use the existing board fence (hardware cloth reinforced) for 2 of the sides.
Part of the build was scavenging. Yeah, we made WAY too many trips to Home Depot, but we also cleaned out a friend's shed for building supplies, and my son and I spent a couple productive and fun afternoons at the Habitat for Humanity store. (my new FAVORITE hang-out!) We got what we could free/cheap, and bit the bullet on the rest.
My husband took my final sketch, and sketched in the framing. Then he started building the frame in the garage. The kids and I painted as we went. We had to do it modular style, as the rain essentially never let up in March. Heres the garage stage of the build.
Helpful hint: warn your spouse about candid shots...
Here are the kids painting with our top-of-the line name brand exterior paint, purchased for next to nothing at the Habitat store!
Meanwhile, OF COURSE we didn't wait until it was done to buy the chicks!
Once the framing was done in the garage, we chose a day the weatherman said would be nice, and we moved it outside. So much for weathermen! We hammered furiously between rain, hail, and snow squalls! Over the next week we got the siding on.
At this point we got to move The Girls out of our bathroom and into the chicken house. Woo-Hoo! We were not nearly as done as we thought we were, though. We needed to trim out the house and build the run. Took about 3 more weeks.
So here's the finished product! The 2 windows with the x's on them are the egg hatches, the others are hardware-clothed windows. We opted for Master locks on the doors and egg hatches, as raccoons MIGHT be able to figure out a snap clip, but there's NO WAY they'd figure out a lock. We're very pleased with our project, considering we're teachers, not architects, contractors, or interior designers.