My wife absolutely had to have baby chicks for Easter. Living in an area that has many backyard coops, I didn't see the need to have our own. However, with the neighbors out of town for the next six months and a coop doing nothing but sitting there...I thought we might could use theirs while we built our own. After looking at all of the coops on BYC and looking at what the amount of time it took to build many of these, I started to panic. We are in an area that typically sees an average of 46 inches of snow. Four years back we got 84 in. I was not going to walk through the snow every evening to the coop 100 yds away to make sure the chicks were all snug in their beds. Add to that the Bobcats, Coyote, Raccoon, and Bear that we also share our space with and building a coop close to the house was going to be a necessity.
So here is the first day. I had no plan except for the one I had in my head. I wanted it elevated with a space below for shade. I wanted the coop run to be covered. We have Eagles and hawks also.
I only had a few hours at most a day to work on it, but being in construction my whole life those few hours usually saw progress. I continued reading and looking at coop designs and soon was committed to a design I thought would work for the cold winters and the predators.
If you notice what looks to be a pile of used decking you would be right. I was on a budget. Actually I wanted this venture to make economical sense. Lets see...we might eat 6 eggs a week. Back Yard eggs are $3 a dozen. That's a $1.50 a week or $80 a year for eggs. I have about $600 in the coop using up scraps here and there. So I will break even in 7 1/2 years just on the coop. See why I really didn't want the chicks ?
You can see what will become the run are the stringers from an old set of deck stairs. I did buy some 2x4's and the enclosure under the coop is 4x8 Hardi board turned inside out. You'll under stand why later and at Lowes I was able to get it for half off as some of the edges were broken. I put those in the dirt. We also decided to put the coop where the firewood storage was, so we incorporated the firewood into the design.
Continuing onward. I might be a month into the build. I have way to much going on to make a lot of progress. I am starting to "mock up" for the church aspect of the design. Cardboard came in handy at first to get the proportions.
There is no changing anything now. I am pretty happy with the proportions. I felt I had to raise the coop off the ground this much for a couple reasons. First we live on a River that does flood. I wanted to be able stand up in the run area for ease of access to clean, feed, and all else associated with tending to the chicks.
A couple days earlier, using the neighbors coop. We had a visit from the neighboring Raccoons. I knew the next morning when the chickens were outside that something wasn't right. Out of the three birds we lost one. We saw his access point and put up the trap. We knew they would be back the next night to the all you can eat buffet. Score next morning...Coons 1 Me 1. The next morning, Coons 1 Me 2. This put me in high gear. As I am self employed and for the most part retired. I could scale back the home "flip" in order to finish the coop.
While not finished, the birds are in their new home. As you can see the foundation complete now I will let you know how cheap this was. I used surface bonding cement. Available everywhere. Longevity is incredible. I have used it for years and the total for the foundation which is 4 foot by 8 foot by four foot high was less than fifty dollars for all materials !
Not finished totally but as you can see the chicks are secure.
You can't have a church without stained glass. Close up of stucco. $50. That's a no brainer. The Vestibule of the church is a bird feeder.
Slightly different angle.
You can see the nesting boxes and under is storage about 40"w x 50"h x20" deep.
Firewood secure and dry and acts as a shield for the coop run.
This is the second line of defense for predators. Pyrenees. So another good tip. Habitat for Humanity. Exterior full view door purchased for $32. Coop fencing goes down 6" and out 16" under ground.
Chicken Chapel in the woods
Medium size coop built for about $600 using used and salvaged materials. Chapel themed.