The story of the URBAN CHICKENS!
Ok so here is my coop design construction page.. first I would like to explain what my goals were ... I live in a subdivision but it is one of the first parts built so it is about 20 years old, and it starts on my side of the street. Across the street is lots of land with trees (they even had goats for a while). My chicken addiction all began with a childrens vacation bible school last summer.. We were doing a ranch theme VBS and I try to involve myself with the creation/transformation of the church as much as possible. We built a huge barn facade out of styrofoam board against the main baptistry wall and had a cut out hole going back into the baptisimal. One of the pastors thought it would be a great idea to have a rooster up there in a cage where the hole was. So I stepped up and started calling around looking for an adult crowing rooster that no one wanted. This was harder than it should have been. I didnt have BYC to help. This started my desire for chickens. I did find one on a horse ranch they didn't want chickens at all but they had about 50 they would just free range and eat bugs and reproduce. So essentially "Lenard" was wild. He is very pretty though I will see if I can get a picture of him on here too. I ended up letting him go in our neighborhood and now he is a neighborhood rooster. Im sure he will find the girls when they mature a bit.
We live on a 1/4 acre lot and so I wanted urban chickens. I wanted a design that was very economical and it worked well with the yard. I needed it to fit in, not an eye sore. I made a goal that I would reuse as much wood as possible so that it would cut down on costs. I have spent about 50$ on the coop and run, (not counting the lanscaping). I decided to use the shed as part of the design. You will see improvements on that as well as the pictures progress.
Now mind you I had to do all the work because my husband was in a car accident on April 1 2008, he can hardly stand all day let alone lift a hammer.
Here is the begining.. I found landscaping timbers on around the yard and used them as posts. To save on concrete I used a post hole digger and put them 3 feet into the ground. I did have to buy two bags of concrete for the pole structure in the front. (a prop from the VBS, FREE!) I couldnt put it as far into the ground. So this is where we had to purchase two bags. I started with chicken wire around the outside. (given to me). Then we used welded field fencing over the top of the chicken wire. (we had it on hand)
my coop is going to slide behind the shed. Here is the framing of the coop. To make it more economical I designed it to use only 3 sheets of plywood. (I ended up using scrap wood.) But it is 48 inches from outside to outside of framing. You can see where I framed in the door. It is all made with recycled wood or scrap wood from other projects. It is 4 feet by 7 feet and is 4 feet tall.
I left the back side square framing because I was not sure how I was going to plan the nesting boxes at this point.
by this time the we had aready had our babies. I am the kind of person that needs pressure to get things done. Like a deadline of the babes jumping out of the baby pool brooder.
sleeping babes.... shhhh!
After reading more on the backyardchicken web site I read to bury wire down into the ground so I did. All the way around.. whew that was tough!
When we finished putting field fence over the top of the chicken wire we began letting the little guys out in the run part of the chicken pen. We closed off where the coop was going to sit. With all the hard work we were doing MOM came to visit from seattle and we went to a movie. While we were in the movie we had one of the Pensacola Florida rain poors. The sky opened up and it started raining buckets. My poor babies didn't have a coop to run into they were so cold and wet when we got back. Needless to say we gave them all TLC and they got to sleep in the house that night.
Needless to say we got moving faster on the coop. It came together really quick. I used pieces of plywood at an angle to keep from roosting above the nest boxes. For the roof I had some old 2x6's that I cut down to 48 inches and then ripped them diagonally. I used them as the supports for the white wavy PVC roofing that I bought. (the most expensive part of the chicken coop) came to $22.
I put in 2x4's where ever I needed them to attach the hinges and clasps to make getting the eggs easier, I then put the t-11 pieces on to cover up the 2x4's and close up the back. Scraps all the way! We used hinged closures one on each side and used one middle piece that both slide onto. Locking with a clip.
My husband and I run the soccer program at the church and every year we have to change out the soccer goals because the get raggy. So I fixed up a couple and tied them over the coop. We then did a bit of landscaping. We planted Gardenia bushes so that the sweet smell would combat the chicken smell.
One of my chickie babys running to me.
We put a spring on the door to keep it closed. The string hanging to the right because I kept hitting my head on the hardware cloth.
we finished a good part of the sitting area on the egg gathering side. The coop sits behind the shed hiding it a bit. We have stepping stones going to it they can be seen when you walk up to the sitting area. I still have some plants to put into the ground on the far side.
My MOM got us this really cool metal rooster that is kind of a guard!
So that is a good start of the run/coop. I still have some finishing touches to do. Meaning it will never be done! I will always find somewhere to make improvemnt. But the babies are in it and they love it. I still have roosts to build. Their will be two of them in stair fashion on the right side of the coop. Right now the babies are still small and they sleep in a ball of feathers. Just like in the pic above. I love going in there and seeing that at night. I will keep everyone posted with more pics as it goes further.
side note: We did spend money on the pergula and the shed we counted it as a seperate project from the coop. I will draw out the plans, scan them and get them on here too.
Thanks for looking