It's been quite an adventure getting a coop ... originally I ordered a custom coop from a local builder who specializes in them. It was supposed to be delivered the last week of October. A couple months and waaaaay too much drama later, he totally flaked and left me in the lurch with a brooder full of 10-12 week old chicks! It was Christmas week and I was in a panic. After making more than a few calls (to a lot of businesses that were closed for the holidays), I ended up on the phone with the guys from THE CHICKEN GARDENER and they were horrified at my situation and gave me the last slot in their upcoming delivery to the Bay Area. They came through like CHAMPS!
I have rather strange yard. At some point in the 1930s, the owner added a swimming pool. A homemade swimming pool. It's a small yard, and when I bought the house, there was a rickety deck built over the pool (that we dubbed Mansquito's Lair). There was almost no dirt in the whole yard. Just brick, cement, an that deathtrap of a deck, with a small maybe 3'x5' raised planter attached. I had the deck removed and the pool filled in and was left with a 10' x 25' bare patch of (very expensive) dirt:
The original idea was for the custom coop to slot into the brick surround so it would only be vulnerable to raccoons on one side.
Obviously that didn't work out ... the actual coop sits atop the brick on two sides and rests on redwood 4x4s (so, still only vulnerable on the front edge, and that one has 12" of hardware cloth under pavers).
Before I realized I should turn the board over:
Correctly positioned (yes, that is a wall of evil morning glory):
The coop going up:
Inside with bottom tray in place and bedding:
Chooks in the run for the first time:
Clancy checking out the peeps:
Update 8 Jan 2015
Next project is adding a gutter to divert rain into a rain barrel.
After that, I'll be adding external nesting boxes to the backside of the hen house and reconfiguring the roosts. This will maximize space, give me better access to them when they're roosting, and hopefully minimize the amount of poo on the eggs. I'll probably try and build the nesting boxes next time I visit my parents, as Dad has a full woodshop in the basement.
Update 23 Jan 2015
Got my Chicken Fountain installed. Love this thing!
Also put up a small Omlet fence so they can free range a bit without getting loose in the "dog" part of the yard. Clancy did really well with the netting. He stuck his nose in once to sniff one of the girls and she whirled about, clearly offended, and pecked him. He leapt back and went and laid down several feet away, LOL!
Now I just have to get busy on the garden part of the yard ...
I started a diary thread so I could more easily keep track of the project as it grows: