I can't believe this is actually happening! After I became a member back in May 2011, all I did was drool over all the fabulous coop designs on here just wishing I could start building and own chickens for the first time! It wasn't planned AT ALL, but we decided on a whim to finally get our first chicks because our daughter was ALWAYS asking to get some, it didn't take much convincing on my end! Here they are...
Black Australorps - Johnny, Cooper, Buttercup
Ameracauna - Sunshine
Silver Laced Wyandotte - Honey
Since this was a quick decision (thanks to a dear friend of mine that got the ball rolling! haha!), we aren't getting to build the coop I really wanted (that will come someday though). However, we are building a tractor coop and I'm totally loving this process! For a first coop that needs to happen quickly and for not having much time to "make it pretty" like I wanted, I still love that way it is turning out I roped my Dad into helping us since he has more experience with building stuff like this than I do, but I'm learning so much and having a blast!
I had a few coop sketches done of stationary buildings, so I whipped one up so we had something to go by but we just started the construction process this weekend (March 23rd, 2014) going off of the measurements I knew I wanted in my head. My original plan was to only get THREE chickens, but chicken math bit me in the backside already The tractor coop I first designed had internal nesting boxes and the run was two feet shorter, but since we now have FIVE chickens, I changed it up to have external nesting boxes to have more coop space and then extended the run by two feet. It put the run space at about 8 sq ft per chicken, I HOPE I can get away with that, but I may change my mind when we start to build the run and extend it again. I feel like it will be okay since it's a tractor coop and we will always make sure they have new ground to forage through when needed. I think I'm safe with having the size coop that I do. Dimesions to come later in this post.
Here's our journey to our finished coop!
Here we have the coop floor and starting to frame the walls:
Put up the 2x4s for the over hang for the roof:
Trusses are up! (My three year old supervising ):
On the left is the wall that will have the external nesting boxes:
This is just one of the regular sides where there will be just a wall and on the opposite side is where we are putting double doors that will swing open for coop access for easy cleaning:
This is the side where the run door for the ladies will be going:
Inside view of the nesting boxes - still need to divide it into two separate ones.
It's been pretty entertaining to see the stuff we've had to improvise on - our nesting box access opens up the "wrong" way because we didn't have a way to seal the seam where the hinges would attach to the coop itself and we are putting roof shingles on it so that presented another problem. I actualy like this more...is that odd? lol
Top view of the inside of the nesting boxes.
Roof going on
All the walls and trim finally on.
We hung the doors with the hinges on the outside to open like french doors but realized when we were putting trim on, that it wasn't working, so we improvised and now the doors are going to open up towards the sky! I LOVE it way more!!
The chicken access to the run will eventually have a rope attached so we can open and close from the outside of it.
Putting the bottom frame boards for the run.
Coop doors finally on.
I'm pretty dang proud of my paint find! Went to our local hardware store and they had this beautiful blue color in the miss mixed bin and I got the whole gallon for only $10! I put two coats on and still have half the can left over! WOO!
We FINALLY finished our coop on April 13th, 2014 and I'm still beaming with pride and excitement! Here it is!
This was another awesome find....recycled soccer goal wheels!
What's left to do before it's COMPLETELY done: put latches on the coop doors, roof the nesting boxes and add little personal touches to make it mine
We only have about just under $250 into it. My Dad had A LOT of the wood and hardward for it already - perks of having a Dad that has the philosophy "someday I'll need that" and never gets rid of anything! It was more than I thought I'd spend, but I'll take not having to purchase everything all spankin' new to save wherever I can!
The dimensions of the Blakley Bird Bungalow are:
Coop - 4ft wide by 4 ft deep by 3 feet high - coop will be 1-1.5 feet off the ground (haven't decided for sure how high yet).
Run - 4 ft wide by 10 ft long by 4 ft high (or 4.5 ft high - depends on how high off the ground the coop will be).
Thank you so much for checking out my chicken coop!