Originally Posted by Farmer Mike S
Thanks for the picture and advice, you did a nice job with your coop! I never did the plastic on the sides because I was afraid it would be a bit "ghetto" looking, but it doesn't look bad at all. That's probably what I will do soon because the chickens don't go out at all if it snows. I probably will add either a fiberglass or plastic roof like I already said, but I'm thinking of coming up with a concept of an easily removable semi-permanent roof. The nice thing about having a completely open run is that in the summer it gets full sunlight and air. But then again if I did that the cost would probably run up and it would be one more thing to store. I attached some images of my coop and run in case you are a bit curious about what I'm working with. Of course right after I built my run I wished I had had made it bigger, but I'm sure we all having those moments lol. I feel it's sufficient for five chickens that get some time to free range.
You might notice it's not level with the coop in this picture, but I fixed that
Very nice! And, yeah, that would be easy enough to put a roof on. If you built a little 2X4 frame and attached the corrugated fiberglass to that you'd be able to put it on and remove it when you want.
As far as the plastic, it being ghetto was a huge concern for us as well. I love my Aunt dearly but her multiple chicken "coops" and runs are enough to make me cry. Her layout reminds me of the Winchester Mansion. She's got little makeshift chicken coops and packing crates and plywood "things" thrown together in a hurry all over the place. With those metal electric fence stakes shoved into the ground here and there with chicken wire wrapped around them and draped over top and everyhing all zip tied together. Every time birds fight, she separates them and throws up another little makeshift run and box of some kind for a coop for the bullies or bullied. This spring we are going over there, ripping everything down and building her a proper coop. Big enough for everyone and a real run.
But, in the meantime, visions of her setup ran through our heads all the while we were planning and building our own coop. We wanted something neat and tastful and nice to look at but still big enough and practical. If you notice, the little elevated run area to the far left side in the picture I put up is a raised quail pen that we had to add on after we'd finished the coop. Literally the DAY we finished putting the fencing up on the coop and put our 2wk old chicks out in their new home for the first time, a friend of ours showed up with a dog kennel full of excess quail and chukkars he gotten somewhere. He put them in the coop and half of the immediately squeezed through the fencing and took off. We caught the remaining ones and as hasitly and tastefully as possible added that little "apartment" onto the main chicken coop.
Then a short few weeks later thanks to the wonderful magic of Chicken Math, our 3 to 5 pullets turned into 5 cockerels and 9 pullets. So we needed to expand the coop we'd been adamant on leaving exactly how we'd planned and built it. If you look on the ground just below the "Quail Apartment" on the left you'll notice a couple of post holes I'd dug before the ground froze with the intention of adding onto the run and extending it down to the chain link fence at the bottom of the yard. Then it got cold and enclosing the existing run became priority. So we took unfinished molding, stained it with the same water seal we'd used on the coop and carefully put the plastic up. We'll be able to remove it and re use the molding each year. Next year I plan on making some kind of brackets to slide the molding pieces into so we don't have to keep nailing or stapling them up each year and adding more and more holes to the 4X4 posts.