This labor of love began on April 27th last year. Prior to that point, we had always kept the chickens at my grandfather's house. However, due to health issues, he had to move. And therefore, we had to do something. I had been planning on building a coop at my house for awhile and over last winter, I spent quite alot of time looking at various coop designs here on the BYC. After reading Prince T. Wood's book and reading through the thread on JackE's coop, I settled on the Woods Style open air coop.
I had a section of yard which is quite shady in the summer but is also convenient to the house and so I decided to build it there.
Once the material arrived, we could get started.
First, we roughly laid out where we wanted it to sit.
Then, using the decking blocks, we began to level the runners.
Once we had things level, we completed the frame.
And then we put down the flooring. Since we built this 8x16, we didn't need to make any cuts.
The next day, my brother, aunt and uncle joined my dad and I on our project. My brother has far more building experience than I, so I was glad to let him take charge.
First, he laid out the studs for the side.
Once we had the angle we wanted, we nailed together the first wall.
We then built the back wall, and the other side.
Then we began to build side walls for the front of the coop.
And finally, we built the front wall.
After that, we moved on to putting up the joists that would hold the rafters for both the front and back sections of the roof. (Not exactly an OSHA approved job site.)
Once we had the rafters up, it was on to the plywood for the roof. Again, OSHA guidelines were not followed and I'm sure my aunt really enjoyed grabbing her brother's butt to help him up to nail down the plywood.
At the end of the second day, we had made it this far. I was excited. I figured, 3 more weekends like this, and we'll have a chicken coop. Not even close.
The following day, my dad stopped by and we were able to get the rest of the plywood on the roof.
At this point, I noticed that there still was a bit of wobble in the building and so I added the cross braces which really helped firm things up.
Over the next several weeks, I started siding the coop.
As I went, I installed the windows. These were reclaimed from when my aunt had the windows in her trailer replaced. You can also see that initially, I completely enclosed the front with siding.
Once the siding was affixed to the front of the coop, I then used my jigsaw to cut out the Windows. I did this because I was worried that I would break off the pieces of siding that meet in the middle of the windows if I tried to make those cuts before hanging the siding. Pretty sure I made the right call.
Finally, I had all of the siding on.
And then it rained. A lot. For awhile. And I had to travel for work. And life happened. So, the coop sat like this for several weeks.
Finally things dried out so I could paint it.
I painted the trim, cut it, and hung it up. Then, it was on the roof. First, we put down the tar paper and flashing on the front roof.
Then, we closed up the upper front where the monitor windows will be. Then we roofed the back section.
I then enclosed the front windows with screen and cut the holes for the monitor windows.
I put in the screen as I put on the trim around the windows.
The doorway was cut to fit the door from the coop from my grandfather's house. So, I had to build a custom screen door.
The outside was looking good so it was on to the interior.
Looking out the front windows.
I built the roosts in the back.
Then, I cut out the pop door.
View of the pop door from the inside.
At this point, per JackE's suggestion, I put down the rubberized flooring.
And then cut and notched the board that will separate the shavings from the sand.
I found this set of steps at my grandfather's house. I cut off the fourth step and it was as if they were perfectly made for the coop.
Next, I installed the monitor windows. These are salvage windows as well that came out of my grandfather's pig pen. Unlike JackE's setup, mine swing inward. I have a pulley system setup and it works pretty good.
Started work on trimming out the pop door. Because I don't have a table saw and need to slim down the trim to fit under the window, this still isn't completed.
The door acts as a drawbridge of sorts over to a big rock. I was going to move the rock, but couldn't. Way too big. So, this was my solution.
Finally, we moved the door from my grandfather's coop. I'm a sentimental old fool, but I LOVE the thought of having a piece of my family history be a part of the coop.
There is a lot of stone in the area where I built the coop. So, building any kind of tradition fence for the run wasn't really an option. I decided to go the dog kennel route. And so, I started looking on Craigslist. I knew I wanted the fencing to be at least 6ft. tall. And I struggled to find it. I kept looking all summer long. And, any time it came up for sale, they either wanted way too much money for it or it was gone by the time I could get in touch with the sellers. I had finally given up hope and had made the decision that if I couldn't find any that week on Craigslist, I was going to just go buy new. And then I found this. It's actually construction fencing. Made with much heavier gauge fencing. And it's about 8 foot high. A bit higher than I wanted, but better that than too short. Getting it home was an adventure that my family will talk about for a LONG time.
So we started putting it up.
I didn't have quite enough, so I finished building the rest out of wood. The screendoor? Yep, something else found in my grandfather's garage.
Since I am going to use the deep litter method, I put in a few bags of shavings. I also put sand in the front of the coop.
We then brought up the nesting boxes and feeder from my grandfather's house.
And moved the chickens in.
My son LOVES them and is their principal caretaker.
These are the first eggs laid in their new home.
In October, the final touch was put on the coop with this sign that was made by my aunt from some scraps of lumber from my grandfather's house.
Here is my grandfather (Papa), my aunt, my son and I with the sign.
And the sign on the side of the coop.
Here is the view from my front porch.
So far, I've been VERY happy with the coop. We put it close enough to the house so it's convenient but far enough away so the smell/mess is contained. It took me way longer to build and cost me more $$ than I had planned. But, seeing my son enjoy the chickens makes it all worth it.