My husband is a Marine, and everything is done to Marine standards - even building the flaming chicken coop! At the time he was driving me crazy, but, now that it's done, I'm the proudest mama of hens of all the land! Look at all this gorgeousness!
It has a window box, complete with flowers, a wreath with hens and eggs, and framed windows. Above this window and at the top back of the coop is wooden siding. This is the weather side, and we learned in the first downpour that the rain blew straight in! We boarded it up to prevent that, and now the coop stays dry.
A flag welcomes everyone to the entrance. The door is opened after lunch to let them all free range. As the girls have not yet started laying (not long now!) I keep them in the run in the morning in the hopes that they will start laying in the morning and will learn to use the nesting boxes and not drop them under bushes and other stranger places in their eight-acre roaming territory. The run was built using a 10ft square dog pen as a base, then we added the coop to one side. The entire structure has been covered in hardware cloth, from the roof all the way down to a buried skirt. A solar powered motion sensor lamp is set up to illuminate the back of the coop so that we can see whatever is bothering the flock. So far, no problems. The LGD's may be helping there more than the light, though. LOL.
There's a cute barn door entrance with a recycled ladder for them to get up into the coop...You can see that under the coop is open and it gives them a cool, shaded area with lots of sand. They enjoy being under it.
When the door is closed, the window allows the chickens to look out. Every morning, they're all peering through the glass, waiting for us to open up. We normally open up any time from 6:30AM, depending on what time we wake and they get a bowl of mash and fresh water every morning.
They have an indoor play area with roosts and stumps to play king-of-the-castle, and the hanging feeder has cracked corn. Over the run we alternated clear and tinted roof panels for light and shade.
They even have a swing! At the time these photos were taken, the nesting boxes were closed off to prevent them from roosting in there. We wanted them to learn to roost in the coop and it's pretty much a given now.
Back view has a window too, and the nesting boxes are below. At the back is the guttering and down pole. We will attach a water tank soon for rain catchment. The roof is about a foot higher in the front than in the back, so having guttering only at the back has worked out perfectly.
The coop itself is 55 sqft. You can fit a twin bed in there! Besides the window at each end (which are both functional!) the roof is open for fresh air. The entire coop is protected with hardware cloth. The roof is entirely covered in it and each window is framed on the inside with hardware cloth. We can open the windows to let air flow through, but the hardware cloth is secured on the inside beneath the framing with screws and washers. The flip up doors on the long side are each tightly shut with two bolts and latches, and carabiner clips secure those closed. The roost itself is on hinges so that it can be lifted for cleaning. The floor is covered with a single giant piece of vinyl that curves up a few inches against the sides. We layer DE under the bedding for additional bug protection. The bedding is scooped out and replaced entirely every couple weeks. I wanted to get Sweet PDZ for the floor, but our local TS seems to have a high staff turnover with newbies who have absolutely no idea what they stock, so we're using shavings until I can find a reliable supplier.
The RIRs are now developing full combs and wattles, so we have opened up the nesting boxes. They're ready with shavings and a ping pong ball "egg" but I still need to make the curtains. The wood panel on the side (furthest from the camera) was added because that is the weather side and the wind and rain just drives straight in there. It makes the area protected and "safe" - which I hope will convince the ladies that they can nest in confidence. When I add curtains, they'll have the necessary seclusion too.
Inside the run the coop is decorated too. The rooster used to love that mirror, but now all of them like to sit up on that perch and admire themselves. Apologies for the fuzzy photo, but it's dark outside now and I'm not going out there to take another one!
At the back we have a large trunk with the mash, conditioner, cracked corn and scratch. It's also secured with a carabiner clip and had, for a while, a bale of shavings on top. That has been moved indoors due to our extraordinary wet weather. The run total is 140sqft and the coop has 55sqft.
The only thing missing is the name, which I have to stencil above the door. We're calling it the Huku Haus, as a slight nod to my African heritage (huku = chicken) and the area we live in (a very strong German community was in the Hill Country at one time.) Or maybe we just figured Huku House was odd and Huku Haus was more fun! ;)
I'll be posting the picture heavy construction story on my blog and will return here to add a link when it's up.
Thanks for reading through my brag-fest!