'GG706's Coop....For my "chickeys"'
Finished coop....well sort of finished!
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 !!! 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!
This is the basic frame I started with. I had to add another wheel later to help with the weight.
I have added the nest box
Started the second floor roosting area I cut off the 2X4's sticking up as my idea evolved into something else.
Cut off upper framing boards to build the second story.
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.
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.
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.
Front Inside View...My kids built a camp underneath.....they will hate to give up the coop to the "chickeys"!
Inside Views of Lower Floor
Inside View Upper Roost Area
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...Good thing my chicks are still too young!
Right Side Again...there will be another roosting bar running across so the birds can roost.
Getting the plywood hung. I had the idea to change the run area shape to compliment the nest box and roof.
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....... If you look at the finished pic at the end you can see the added 2X4 there.
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.
Front screen door view
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......
BUT MY CHICKEY'S ARE HAPPY! SO.....SO AM I
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...) 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..... 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.
This is the step on the lower floor, to get to the upper floor.
Big hole in the upper floor, bottom view.
Roosts are complete
GOOD NIGHT GIRLS!
TO BE CONTINUED>>>>>>>>>>