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Midwest Cottage Living - Chicken Coop
My First Coop
vMidwest Cottage Livingv
Since our chick couldn't live in a laundry basket forever, it was time to think about some more permanent housing. Of course BYC was the inspiration fueling my new chick obsession. I poured over the adorable coops and knew I wanted a cottage style home. I pretty much copied the Hawaiian Cottage coop and drew pictures for my husband.
Now, this is the unfair part, I know. I show my amazing art to my husband and he just builds it! I'm very blessed to have such a handyman for my husband. Now, of course, I liked the idea of searching out recycled materials for the coop, but time wasn't on our side. The chicks (now 2 of them) needed a home! So it was off to Lowes for
- 4 sheets of plywood (The coop is 4x4 for maximum usage of 4x8 sheets)
- 4 treated 4x4 posts
- hardware cloth
- 1 bundle of shingles
- some 2x4s
- some 1x4s
We of course had some disagreements on the location of the coop. I wanted it up close to the house for more privacy (yes, we are illegal), but my husband, Tyler, who raised homing pigeons as a teenager, said no way. So, we decided on the corner of our yard, which required tearing out some ugly bushes. I don't miss the ugly bushes.
By noon the first Saturday, this is what he built:
I'm serious. He dug up the plants, dug post holes, built the bottom, sides and roof. Not only is he handy, but he's speedy too. His speed won't help me win this contest though, becuase I didn't get pictures soon enough! By quittin' time it was finished enough with one window and front door for the chickies to move in that night.
And then, I bought more chicks.
Next weekend--the run was added using treated 2x2s and hardware cloth, more windows put in, some trim and a camo paint job.
A few more finishing touches--real door on the run, window boxes, some landscaping (definitely needs more) and here's our coop!
And happy chickens!
OK, Things I like:
- Style--most neighbors think it's a playhouse (this is good), it's cute to see out in the yard
- the huge front door--makes getting inside the coop for cleaning, petting etc nice
- it's got great ventilation--windows on three sides, these vents under the eaves, and 2 vents front to back
- safety--I feel like the coop is pretty secure. We don't have a big predator problem here, except for neighborhood children... But I like our enclosed run, it can divide into 2 parts and there's a trap door into the coop
- it went together fast (haha. Fast for me)
- the peel&stick tile floor
Things still to add:
- poop plank under roost
- nesting box (maybe exterior, maybe not, can't decide)
- bigger door into run
- plexiglass panels to fit over screens for winter
- more landscaping--especially a tall evergreen for more disguise
Things I would (make my husband) do differently:
- I wish I had better access into the run. For the first few nights, the little chicks didn't know how to get up the ramp and it was pretty tricky wedging myself in there to fetch them out. For now, their food and water is right inside the door, and I'd like to get bigger, hanging feeders/waterers someday. Of course the plan is to make a big screen door under the main coop, but I'm giving Tyler a little break...
- I'm having a hard time keeping the bedding inside the coop. I don't think I really like the trap door in the floor opening, but I don't know how I could do it any other way. For now I built (yes, I actually did it) these little walls to hold in bedding around the trap door and the front door. I haven't started the DLM, but plan to.
- more seating around the coop--we love to watch them!
Overall, I love my coop, and I have to thank my dearest husband for putting up with me and humoring my crazy antics. He really is the best guy. And thanks to BYC for all the help and designs too!
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