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Two Dog Farm Chicken Coop

Quality Fresh Eggs from
"Two Dog Farm" 


We have no farm on our suburban acre in the Pacific Northwest, but we do have two dogs and several other pets which gets us teased by our friends, hence the "farm."  From scouting BYC pages a long time I determined a coop must be individualized for each person's needs.  Our coop needed to fit the following criteria:


1. Fit 3-6 hens.
2. Be safe from the many raccoons and coyotes in our area.
3. Be rain proof and have good drainage.
4. Fit within this area in our yard, as it meets property setback requirements (we have a driveway behind the coop,) is sheltered from weather and less visible to neighbors, and I can see it and easily access it from the house.
5. Be tall enough for us to walk into to save on back stress.
6. Be easy to clean.
7. Be attractive so as to prevent neighbor complaints (our acre is surrounded by housing developments).

 

brooder
The "brooder," a dog crate with cardboard around the edges in our laundry room!  Better start work on that coop....

 

chicks
Our babies!  Notice there are four...Lily the Rhode Island Red grew into a rooster, and now lives happily with about 15 hens in Issaquah, where his crowing will not disturb any neighbors.  We were sad to see him go, but he lives the good life at his new home.


Our total coop and run roofed area ("footprint") is 6x10 feet, with the actual coop being 3x6 feet.  The design is basic and modeled after many fine coops already featured on the site!

foundation

This shows the foundation for the coop.  Approximately 2" thick bricks were leveled with sand and placed around the perimeter.

initial framing

The inital framing. 

rough built

Outside mostly finished, no hardware cloth or plexiglass windows yet.

west side unfinished

West side, unfinished.  The window finished props open, with hardware cloth inside.  It is primarily for ventilation, and is about 12"x24".

east side, unfinished

Here is the east side, unfinished. 

front, unfinished

The front of the coop (north side) unfinished.  When you see the finished pictures, you can see how we blocked off the openings at the top of the run with siding.

 

 

Here is the east side of the coop, finished!  You can see the plexiglass "window" in the large door--the girls all roost here, in front of the window.  I do keep food and water outside at all times.  The screen is all hardware cloth, with a three-foot apron on the ground, many large rocks and stumps help keep the apron down.  The hardware cloth was attached with screws and washers.


 

This is the west side of the coop, just below the "window" which is just hardware cloth.  The entire bottom side opens up, but is kept locked with actual keyed padlocks when not open for cleaning.  The floor of the coop has a sheet of linoleum from our closest Re Store in Ballard, and the coop is very easy to clean. 

 

This is the south side of the coop.  To keep the coop dry, I put a little gutter at the base of the corrugated plastic roof (I chose green over clear to avoid a greenhouse effect).  I need to finish the gutter downspout, but you can see how it will go into the rain barrel.  The blue hose on the other side of the barrel is the overflow hose.
 

Here is the east side of the coop again.  You can see the ventilation hole with hardware cloth cut in the top, it is a bit wonky because of the framing inside, but with that opening and the large hardware cloth "window" on the west side, the coop stays well ventilated. 

 

Here is the same view with the door open.  I am one of those paranoid people who keeps some food and water in the coop too, just in case we don't let them out until late one morning, etc.  You never know.  The roost is a 2x4 turned on its side.  Daffodil is the Buff Orpington, and Rosemary is a Red Sex-Linked.
 
 

Here is the chicken door to the coop, as you can see it is much larger than normal, because of the framing and to facilitate egg collection by my young children.  Our original plans were to have an egg collection door on the outside of the coop, but we found we really liked going in with the birds daily and it was one less door to lock.  For winter we will put plexiglass over about one-half of the opening, so they have the light but not so much of a draft.  For the summer it has been nice extra ventilation.  Notice the cat litter scoop and spackle knife hanging, those make for quick and easy cleaning of the coop on a frequent basis.  Obviously, this wouldn't help with a large flock of hens but for three it is really easy to clean a little as you go along.

 

Our nest boxes.  These were "prefab" and so lack some quality details like a sloped roof.  However, it is easy enough to clean with only three hens.  The golf ball is there for inspiration.  Interestingly, our hens do use both boxes instead of just one.  We may have to add a larger box for our Buff Orpington Daffodil, she is looking a bit crammed in there to us.

 

Here is the roof, from the inside.  It has done a great job keeping the run dry, was inexpensive and easy to install for us beginners.

 

Daffodil demonstrating our sand run.  The sand has been so easy to clean with a rake and stays nice and dry.

 

This photo is showing the proximity of the coop to our house, the distance is about 30 feet.  The window is my kitchen window, so I can easily look outside to check on the girls, or the kids in the sand box.  The pen on the side of the house is for our cats and rabbits, they like to have some room to run around outside in a coyote-free environment. 

sadie 

One of the two dogs!  This is Sadie, she is a registered Delta Pet Partner dog and enjoys visiting schools.  Here she is hiking at Twin Falls, in the Cascade Mountains off I-90.

pixie

This is Pixie, the most tolerant little sweetie who ever lived.  Here you see her in her natural habitat, the back of a minivan at a burger joint.

eggs

Our first eggs!  They were from Rosemary, and we didn't expect them so soon so she had three in the back of the coop before we noticed them.

I hope you enjoyed seeing our coop here “on the farm” in the Seattle area's Eastside!  If we were doing it again, I would....

1. Insulate the coop, even though we rarely get below 28 degrees F even at night, we usually have a couple weeks of really cold weather which will require an external heat source.  Last year we had a week in the teens, and we had to bring our rabbits inside.

2. Place the framing closer together to make the hardware cloth installation easier!

3. Eventually we will build nicer nest boxes and mount them properly, but while my children are short they will remain as they are.

Comments (19)

We love your chicken coop!! Do you have plans for your coop design?
Thanks for any help.
Peggy and Jay Jacobs
This is so beautiful. I am inspired. Thanks for sharing the pictures.
This is a really beautiful coop. I love the slanted roof and how the coop disappears into your garden. Really good work.
Thank you all for your kind comments! We don't have any formal plans since we constructed it based on on available space and incorporating left over materials, so it would make a carpenter shudder. However, it's been a few years now and the coop is holding up well, even in our high winds and heavy, heavy rains. I can really recommend the roofing material, and the slant/gutter combo is slick. We did put in an expensive automatic door, I think there are more available now which are cheaper and I can highly recommend it. I'll have to update that portion of my page this spring when I'm a little less busy then at the present time. There are many other coops on the site which are this basic design and have nice instructions, I urge you to view them all for inspiration!
Your coop is just darling! Thanks for sharing all of your pics! Love the flower pots.....
Sharon
Love your coop! We don't plan on using formal plans either, but just wondered how you attached the wood posts to the bricks? Thanks!
pretty sweet set up...im gonna build one just like it from your photos...i like it....i am gonna purchase three egg laying hens soon and have my own produce market as well...it seems like the right thing to do...any suggestions on what type of hens i should get for new jersey?..we get cold winters here boy...weve been lucky this year...i was thinking of one of the hens being a leg horn type....but i read that i should get them befor ethey start laying so not to disrupt thir enviroment...and to answer the question about how to connect the frame to the bricks?...use a concrete nail gun...they take little bullet cartridges and sell different length nails...works great....
Cute, well thought out, good predator protection----good job:) Thanks for posting it.
Sadie's got a sweet face. I'm an inpatient hospice RN and adore every Delta dog that comes visits us. They're all so special.
This is a fantastic! I absolutely love your coop! I hope to build one like this for our future bantams/silkies!
I just wanted to let you know that we love your coop and we used your pics and made a coop that is almost identical to yours! I need to post a pic of it so you can see. Thanks for the inspiration!!
I'm so glad the design was useful to you! Let me know when you post it so I can see! My project this spring is to make a little chicken tractor so I can focus the chickens' scratching efforts on certain parts of the lawn during the day...I was looking over our scrap wood yesterday for this purpose. :)
I loved your design, and how you kept this coop beautiful and functional. Great reading and photos. Thanks
I just got my chicks a few days ago and we are using your coop as the basis for constructing ours. Also, the dog crate idea for a brooker is perfect and is what I am doing, as well.
neat setup like the flowers . Glad to see a local we are in Carnation Wa.
Your coop is beautiful! We're just finishing ours up, and I'm looking for a paint color. I love the green you used, any idea what the name/brand it is?
WOW! LOVE YOUR COOP!!! Exactly the design I was looking for on the outside.! And I like where you placed it.Its also my first year with chickens and Im planning on four so this size is just perfect !WHOOHOO!! finnaly found the one!! haha :D
Planning on four silkies!!! :D
Your coop is so lovely! It fits into your yard perfectly, great job on the design! I'm using your paint color as inspiration for our coop. Very pretty.
This coop is beautiful! I love the paint job and design of it. Your yard is gorgeous as well. I love all the plants.
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