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GG706's Coop....For my "chickeys"

'GG706's Coop....For my "chickeys"'

 

Finished coop....well sort of finished!

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My coop started out as a simple chicken tractor. As I was building,  it changed into this two story, double decker chicken tractor.

 I made ALOT of mistakes along the way and it has taken WAY longer than I thought he.gif !!!   I don't have alot of measurements and such as this was dreamed up on the fly as I was building. The entire coop (not including the nest box) is roughly 7.5 foot by 3.5 wide / the middle floor 3 foot long 3.5 feet wide  and top roosting area  roughly 3 foot long and 6 foot wide. The nesting box is roughly 2 foot wide and 3 foot long seperated into 2 nests. I did ALOT of "mirror" construction as I call it. I would cut a board and if I liked how it looked.... I would cut another for the other side,  BEFORE attaching it so the sides would be equal without all the measuring. If there are any questions I will attempt to answer them as best I can.

I have alot more pics on my page you are welcome to check them out if you wish.

 

Hope you enjoy!

 

 

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This is the basic frame I started with.  I had to add another wheel later to help with the weight.

 

 

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I have added the nest box

 

 

 

 

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Started the second floor roosting area    I cut off the 2X4's sticking up as my idea evolved into something else.

 

 

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Cut off upper framing  boards to build the second story.

 

 

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Roosting Area Framing- not shown in the pic. I added 2x4 bracing on the middle roof in between each of the joists to provide support and to hang a ceiling inside to cover up the roofing nails.

 

 

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Side View Framing- again...not in the pic This is a better view to see the middle roof bend where I add 2x4's to support the roof and give support to the angles.

 

 

 

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Back View-  I had the idea to add space on each side to put two roosts running horizontal, one over each side. You can't see it but the "floor"  under the "roost overhang" on each end is hardware mesh....so the poop will go on the ground and not in the coop.

 

 

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Front Inside View...My kids built a camp underneath.....they will hate to give up the coop to the "chickeys"!  smile.png

 

 

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Inside Views of Lower Floor

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Lower Floor

 

 

Inside View Upper Roost Area

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Left side .....there will be a rail with carpet on it for the birds to roost over the hardware cloth floor area, so the poop goes on the ground, outside the coop.  

I have not gotten the roost bar done yet...th.gifGood thing my chicks are still too young!

 

 

 

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Middle

 

 

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Right Side  Again...there will be another roosting bar running across so the birds can roost.

 

 

 

 

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Getting the plywood hung.  I had the idea to change the run area shape to compliment the nest box and roof.

 

 

 

 

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Run Framing  I added later a 2X4 on the top between each roof joist on the run to add stability and make it easier to get the hardware cloth over the roof.

Sorry....I didn't get a picture of it....... hide.gif   If you look at the finished pic at the end you can see the added 2X4 there.

 

 

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Painted and ready for the hardware cloth..

(With the exception of the 2X4 that I added between the roof joists later )

Hardware cloth is VERY difficult to work with. WEAR LEATHER GLOVES AND EYE PROTECTION!   I used roofing nails because I had a bunch laying around they worked really well. This is how I did it, not sure if it is "the right way" but it worked for me. Cut your  piece to fit. Start at the top right and put in a nail straight. Work your way across the top to your left angleing the nail with the head toward the right and the point to the left and use the nail as you hammer it in to pull the cloth tight.   Then continue moving down hammering in a nail on the right pulling down and outward by angling the nail to pull the cloth tight. Then go to the left side and do the same..back and forth until you get to the bottom. Always using the nail to pull the cloth tight. It takes a bit to get the hang of it. I will warn you the nails are VERY difficult to get out once you pound them in all the way. So I would put several in most of the way in,  leaving the head sticking out enough so I could get it out if necessary until I was sure it was working, then I would hammer them in all the way. 

 

 

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Front screen door view

 

 

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Pretty much done....I need to do more trim work and put 1X4's on the outside to cover up my hardware cloth nails to make it look nice and finished...for right now I am all out of effort AND $$$$  so it will have to wait......

 

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BUT MY CHICKEY'S ARE HAPPY!  SO.....SO AM I    love.gif

 

The coop is working out really well! It is the perfect height to put a tub at the door and shuffle the dirty straw into it. Then I scrape any stuck on poo off the rubber floor with a plastic sheetrock mud.....?.... paddle (??? I don't know what this tool is called...tongue.png)  and into the tub, for a convienient cleanout.  As it is now, with 16   7-8 week old chicks, I am moving the coop every 2 days. The coop would be perfect for 3 or 4 hens.  I have fallen in love with WAY more of them then I planned on keeping. SO..... I am going to build a 10 X 8 run tractor. I am building the run tractor to serve in two ways I will be able to use it as a free standing run to graze the chickens anywhere in the yard. AND be able to connect it to my coop tractor to provide a large daytime run. 

Edited: I have whittled my flock down to 3 Araucana Hens, 2 BLR Wyandotte Hens, and 1 Araucana Rooster. So the size of the coop tractor is working fine.

I did build an 8X10  daytime grazing tractor. It is NOT finished yet.....th.gif It is usable, but not ready for pictures. I will post pictures of it as soon as it is complete.

 

 

Edited:  THINGS I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY.....

1. The chickens had a difficult time negotiating the inside ramp... So I put in a step for them to get halfway up and cut a huge hole in the floor of the upper deck. So now they hop up onto the step and then hop up into the top level. This is working well. I also don't use the outside ramp anymore...as they just hop from the floor to the ground anyway. I also probably would have done a pop door under the roosts to open and scrape the poo off onto the ground. The wire does work....I clean it out a couple times a week with the hose. Which I would need to do anyway. But I can't really just clean it off daily.The water sprays the poo right through the wire mesh.

 

The following pictures are of the changes.

 

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This is the step on the lower floor, to get to the upper floor.

 

 

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Big hole in the upper floor, bottom view.

 

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Roosts are complete

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GOOD NIGHT GIRLS! 

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED>>>>>>>>>>barnie.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (25)

I like it and I'm sure your hens do too! Looks kind of heavy to be moving around the yard though. I'd probably end up leaving it in just one spot after a while.
Thank You! It is heavy. I can push it myself if it is on a slight downhill, but I cannot move it alone at all if it needs to go uphill. I don't move it very much anyway as my chikens free range all day and are not in it except to sleep. I also built a ranging pen that detaches from the tractor and can be moved and used alone or hooked back up to the tractor. Had I known I could free range them so much I would have built differently. I thought my dogs were going to be a problem! I am planning on building a permenant pen and medium size run and use the tractor as a brooder.
Congratulations, we've chosen one of your pics for the CC-POW. Thanks for posting your coop design & pictures to our "Chicken Coops" pages! You can find more info about the CC-POW here: CC-POW Process
Very interesting design and nice looking coop! Thanks for showing it.
That is one awesome and beautiful coop.I love the style and engineering. Wonderful I was wondering about the tires.When it comes to moving it I was wondering if a wider tire would be easier.I think this is an excellent coop.It is built very strong.Thanks for showing it.
THANK YOU! I do think larger wheels would help. I was concerned about animals getting in, so I used a small wheel and did not raise it up much.
This was my first time building anything...so it was a learning experience! I got experience and have a better understanding of what works and what does not so I can use that to build the next...BIGGER and BETTER coop! Chicken math has gotten me too!
I love your new Coop/Brooder Great Idea!!!!
what kind of dog do you have? Is it a weim and if so how is it doing with the chickens??
Unique and functional both. Good work and craftmanship. Thanks for sharing gg706.
Yes I actually have 2 Weimaraners, one will be 2 in April and the other will be 1 in April. I free range my chickens and the dogs are outside all day. They coexist with no problems. I trained ALOT when the first Weim was a pup. An important fact is that my chickens do not run and have NEVER run from the dogs. As a puppy if she got too close and irritated the chickens in any way, my Wyandottes would flog her...so she learned to respect the chickens and does not know any better. I believe the pup has learned from our older dog, that the chickens are not toys and to leave them alone.
loved reading your story. Arent chickens funny! i am a newbie too, well was, i have now had my 3 girls almost 2 yrs. its a learning process but i have found them to be sooo easy to care for.
Thank You all for the kind words. mo puff, I am glad you enjoyed it! Yes, chickens are very funny! Crazy to see a hen send a full grown Weim running to the house to get away from her.
If you have a riding lawnmower you could attach a tongue on one end so that you could pull it will the lawn mower to move it around. Looks good though....and my chickens run off the stray cats around here....chickens are funny creatures
Love this so different but works!
My weim of 14 years died of old age 2 years ago, I had been debating not getting a new weim due to free ranging the chickens in the backyard and incidents like the great bunny massacre of 2008 and the feral cat feast of 2010. Granted both of the weims I have owned I have done extensive bird hunting with...hmmm I really love weims, and bird hunting, and chickens. But chickens still look and smell similar to pheasant and tasty quail. oh the dilemma!
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