When we bought our house, we inheritted a goat shack that was in shambles. We looked into continuing the previous owner's hobby of raising goats, but with all of the fruit trees we are growing, I figure we would have had a constant battle on our hands. Then, I found myself out of work and needed something to do... So, I decided to build a chicken coop. Not having any experience in construction (background in sales), I decided to purchase the "Playhouse Coop" plans based on the functional and aesthetic design.
The Goat Shack. Part of the "Goat Ghost Town" attraction we purchased along with our property.
Clearing the dirt for the uphill retaining wall.
Building the retaining wall. The hardest part was setting the first course, making it level horizontally from brick to brick with a slight lean into the hillside...
Thanks to craigslist I was able to find a couple yards of free dirt with free delivery. That was cool. Carrying it down the hill in 5 gallon buckets wasn't.
I built the uphill retaining wall and a level dirt foundation for the coop because the uphill wall of the goat shack was caving in from dirt that had built up against it over time. This was my first attempt at a retaining wall and it took me 2 days to build this.
Framed the coop with 2x3 studs and some slight modifications from the "Playhouse Coop" design. Primarily, added the door to the end for access (instead of the side), which allowed for even spacing along length of coop in three sections.
Should have followed plans better here and added welded wire mesh to sides prior to joining walls together. Trying to get the wire mesh on after the fact was more difficult than I anticipated.
Added the walls and floor for roosting box.
Covered in weather protecting deck paint using spray gun - setup took about an hour, painting took about 10 minutes. This photo also shows how the coop is set into the trees in the back yard.
Added a lower retaining wall because the dirt downhill of the coop was starting to collapse -- it also makes cleanout easier.
Three happy hens - in the coop by night and free range by day as weather permits.
The Finished Product.