At the beginning of this year I started kicking around the idea of having chickens. I had some experience when I was a kid with chickens, (mostly bad because of a mean rooster) but other than gathering eggs I really had no experience. I found BYC and was hooked. As I searched the site for coops, I realized I wanted a larger coop (based on chicken math and sound advice about the addictive quality of this new endeavor). My design centered mostly on Saf101's and CoopDelisle's designs. Without step by step instructions I was a bit intimidated to begin such a robust project, then the local farm supply place chicks arrived. I knew we were sunk as soon as the kids and I discovered the little peepers. Sure enough, a couple days later we were proud owners of 5 Buff Orpingtons.... and no coop. I watched a lot of YouTube construction videos and enlisted (with a new tool bribe) my DH as foreman. We purchased a framing nail gun and construction began.
Some of my favorite essential design features are the large windows on each side for great cross ventilation, nesting box accessibility from the outside, the sliding barn door and the poop deck for ease of cleaning.
Completed Coop- 8'x12', enclosed run 8'x14'
"The start" we added more cross bracing, but I didn't get a pic before we put the floor on.
Made two of these for side walls.
All the walls up
Roof rafters on! I have a newfound deep respect for construction workers and roofers!
Siding/roof osb/ posts for chicken run in. You can see the chicken door to run and small ventilation window here.
Painting, painting and more painting and trim install, and MORE painting. Painted inside and out.
Installed linoleum and plastic shoe for ease of cleaning (this works great by the way) and the poop deck with linoleum in the bottom of it as well. Makes it easy to scoop out the free fertilizer. The roost was mounted above the poop deck (see pics below)
Windows built from scratch, which I'm obviously very proud of I never used a router before...
Installing the nesting boxes
Barn door done! The xpen is because at this point we've added more chicks! 5 Ameracauna's and 5 Australorps the Orpingtons are about 1 month older than these babies so we kept them separate until they all were about the same size.
At this point most of the construction was complete. Just a bit of finish work, more painting, a cover for the run etc. The chicks were so happy to settle into the big house.
Next steps are: (not in any particular order)
Convert to sand for litter
Finish the run top with a more permanent cover for winter so they can be outside when it rains.
Add gutters and rain catch barrels
Curtains for windows to block sun
Plant some flowers around the coop
Total headcount- 9 hens, one laying daily and 2 more coming along, we get 3 eggs daily pretty regularly and in another couple of weeks, I think the rest of them will catch up.
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