I retired March 1, 2015, and my wife and I decided to live off the land in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. We started building our chicken paradise and raised a garden. I looked at several pictures people posted on Backyard Chickens to give me ideas and it escalated from there. Starting out we bought nine chickens. One Rooster and eight Hens. It turned out that two were Roosters. One Rooster and two of the Hens were brutally murdered while free ranging so we wanted to ensure they had a safe place to live. Our journey started with building a brooder. It is 4' x 4' and hinged in front to give easy access to the chickens. Our poodle Stormie is wondering if everything tastes like chicken :)
Laying out the coop and the storage shed
This is monsoon season so we had to cover everything while working. We had to compensate for the uneven ground by building up the foundation of the coop, which worked out good because it gave the chickens a resting place out of the sun. Also during this season, we starting working on the inside of the coop, which involved painting and insulating everything.
My Grandaughter's favorite chicken is 'Loner'. She is a Barred Rock
This is a picture of the coop through our screened in porch. In the evenings it was nice to sit and look at our progress.
This is a picture of the personnel door, vents, and clean-outs. All are insulated.
On the inside of the coop, the walls are painted white. My wife, Becky, added some decor by painting chickens, adding curtains, and linoleum floors bought at Lowe's. It was on sale as remnants, so we got it for a very good price. Under the roost, the floors slide out for easy cleaning. The windows and clean-outs are on a pulley system. All openings except for the clean-outs are covered with half inch hardware cloth.
Building 12' x 24' run. Bottom section covered with half inch hardware cloth. The rest is covered with 2'' x 4'' fencing.
We built 4 different sections of roost in the run, covered with a 4' x 8' aluminum sheet. The aluminum provides shade for the chickens during the hot part of the day.
The water can is on the left, the oyster shells are in the center, and the feed is on the right. My wife thought some more decor was necessary and of course an 'ENTER' sign was made for navigation.
This is the insulated outside access to the eggs. We painted the nest area dark. There are six nests total in an eight foot span.
The first picture is the pulley system to the pop door, which can be operated on the side of the coop or from the outside of the screened in porch.
Finished except for the paving stones and stairs to the personnel door.
We keep all feed and supplies in the shed, which makes it very handy. Paving stones were added in the front and on the sides to make it very hard for predators to dig under the entire complex. Electric fence was erected in the rear of the complex.
Coop is 8' x 7' with 1' extended nest area. Run is 12' x 24'. Storage shed is 8' x 8'. All of the rafters and floor joists came from old deck 2" x 6", which helped with the cost of the coop. Roof was constructed to overhang by 2' in order to stay dry while getting eggs. It has continuous guttering from front to rear. We plan to put a stone path leading to the pool deck.
My wife and I have enjoyed this journey. People stop by our home all the time to take pictures. It has become a great conversation piece for our family, neighbors, people passing by, and friends. 'My Girls' (which is the name on the top of the door) enjoy their home.
Edited by BUTTERDUCK - 10/27/15 at 11:55am