We decided in December we would give a couple of chickens and a few bees a try. I must confess this has been a lot more work than we initally thought it might be....but fun. There was always just one more thing to do. We live in the country but in a large subdivision so I still had to be careful of "not bothering anyone". We bought some plans on ebay (before I found this site) and started construction figuring it would be done in a couple of weeks.....well about that.....it rained for 5 weekends in a row and when it didn't it was too muddy to work outside. Oh well the price of some eggs and chicken companionship. It is now complete and our 6 girls are spending their day hours in the run before going back into the brooder until it is a tad warmer at night.
One thing to remember...YOU WILL NEED A LARGER COOP THAN YOU THOUGHT!! When we purchased the plans for this coop it said it would easily house 6-9 chickens....NOT SO!! It is only 20 sq. ft and that included the nest box area. I ordered 8 chicks to arrive May 1st. I did this because everyone says you will loose a few. I did not thank goodness (they are still only 5 weeks at this time). I had to re-home 2 of the Easter Eggers but still have 6 chicks left. We are hoping they will not mind the cramped area inside so much if I let them free range when they get older and have a large run. WE WILL SEE! This site has been so helpful and I really wish I had found it when we first starting this project. Oh well i am here now and enjoy it so much.
The nest boxes have been sealed up until they are ready to lay as several members suggested on this site. The coop is tall enough for me to easily stand up in if needed, but if you are standing outside the door-way floor is the perfect height to clean out the flooring without having to bend over or even go inside. Poop door was automated by my hubby to open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. each day. Electricity provides 2 lights and an alarm for predators. The run is completely surrounded with 1/2 hardware cloth and wooded boards holding it in place verses using only staples. The coop windows have hardware cloth covering them on the outside as well. I realize when we decided to do a little landscaping that our chickens would most likely dig up most of it...oh well.....I like to play in the dirt too!
Hope you enjoy our little coop...the girls seem to be.