Cali Coop

By danrhodes · Mar 26, 2013 · ·
  1. danrhodes
    I got so many great ideas here, I figured it made sense to give a little back and post my own coop. We were planning on getting 6 chicks in early March, so I sized the coop and run to the minimum recommended size of 4 s.f. of coop and 10 s.f. of run per chicken (the coop is about 4x6 and the entire run is about 6x10, plus they will also free range some days). Except for the overall dimensions, I pretty much freestyled the whole thing without any plans (hard for an engineer to do, but it's only a chicken coop after all). I also skipped pouring a foundation and just put the coop on pressure treated 2x4s right on the ground...because I'm lazy, cheap and it's technically illegally placed in the 6 foot side setback. Since halfway through construction, our back neighbors changed their mind on the idea I'm prepared for a visit from Code Enforcement asking me to move it (those of you not in California won't understand this sentence but, trust me, you're better off for it)

    Test run of the sizing for the neighbors. They said all was well...sigh.

    Thinking about the coop floor height. At this point, the coop is pretty wobbly.

    A door! (Also pretty wobbly)

    Cut some siding. Now we're fully committed...and now the neighbors started complaining. The leftover green paint is a concession to help it blend in with the hedge (I wanted barn red and white)

    Adios wobbly walls. Chickens will thank me when the big one hits.

    My Brother's dog testing out the door for size (no terriers were harmed in the making of this photo and the chickens like their door much more than Winnie)

    4 weekends later, pretty much done. The front door is hinged for cleaning. The rope (since moved to the side) is for opening the sliding chicken door where they are waiting every morning. The little solar light isn't much good, but the tool storage on the side is another great idea I got here.

    I thought I had 8 weeks, these messy guys wore out their welcome in 4, so we moved them and their heat lamp out for a couple weeks. It's only into the 40-50s at night here now, so the lamp keeps them above 70 all night. You can see a ventilation window in the upper right plus more eave ventilation on the front and back. There are two roost bars with a small ladder to the first one. The screen on the front was temporary (and too low, we found out) and the lower wood piece slides out when cleaning the litter.
    The girls are much happier outside now. They were getting cramped and crabby in their cardboard brooder. Now they can scratch to their heart's delight. You can see the probe thermometer hanging out of the door to make sure the night temperatures are warm enough (but not too warm...the alarm goes off at 100 in case of brooder light fire)

    To answer any final questions:

    1. Two 14x14 nest boxes will be attached to the side in a few weeks. Didn't want the girls to get the idea that they should be sleeping in them.
    2. The run is only chicken wire as we have few predators here, the yard is mostly fenced and the girls will be locked in the coop at night.
    3. We have 2 buff orpingtons, 2 australorps and 2 americunas.
    4. Changes I would make...perhaps try and find a bit more scavenged materials (hard in a yuppie coastal town) and use better quality siding (this particle board stuff is already showing water damage around the leaky edges, so some caulking and painting are in my future.)

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  1. N F C
    Good call on putting an alarm in the coop in case it gets too hot with the brooder light.
  2. paridisefarm2009
  3. RoaringBravado
    Yeah, where we are in western Canada, my municipality won't allow a coop to be within 3 metres of the property line. So I measured.
  4. danrhodes
    You must not be from around here. In my town, you can't even legally put a plastic tool shed in the setback. It shouldn't be a problem unless the neighbor gets nasty, but I just wanted to be safe for now...
  5. Trefoil
    Very nice. Because its not on a foundation, doesn't it qualify as portable, and thus exempt from the set back? Sounds good anyway.

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