Welcome to the Clark's Cluck Club
This is our first time raising chickens so we are learning as we go along. We have converted a section of our shed to hold the chicken coop and added a chicken run to the south side to let them out in the fresh air. We are currently home to 4 Red Sex Links which just arrived (April 13, 2011). We have a 1 acre property and would like to eventually let the chickens free range during the day. We back onto a valley then farmers fields so they'll have way too much room to roam and get lost, so we have to figure out a way to keep them close to home before we let them run free.
We tried to use as much reclaimed/recycled lumber and materials to build the shed. The less we divert to the landfills the better. Probably only spent 50-60 dollars on materials (some 2x4s, chicken wire, and a window) to build both the coop and the run, everything else was either already on the property or scavenged. We added a window for more light and ventilation, and even that came from our local Habitat for Humanity store.
Here is a shot of the chicken run which is approx. 27 square feet. Covered to create some shade and I've buried 12" of chicken wire around the perimeter to keep out the predators. Put some decorative river stone around the perimeter just to make it look nice. Can't hurt to help keep the digging predators out as well.
A shot of the roosting area. One roost is a 1x4 layed flat and the other is a 1x2. Going to see which one they like best then create 2 the same. The wider flatter bar should help keep their feet warm during our cold Canadian winters.
Here are the nest boxes, 2 nests for our 4 hens. Those are golf balls in the boxes (read somewhere it helps them decide to lay their eggs in the boxes rather than on the ground). We'll see if it works.
Here's the door out to the chicken run. Fabricated a sliding guillotine door. Already thinking of improvements on the door to allow it to close without having the shavings on the floor get in the way.
This is my home made feeder. Attached a section of 4" ABS drain pipe (which I had lying around) to a plastic planter base with 4 deck screws. Cut 4 x 1.5 inch holes into the base of the ABS pipe and the feed comes out as needed. Cost a total of 1.49 to create this feeder.
Here's an outside shot of the chicken run. Made a nice little ramp for them to climb back into the coop at night.
And finally a shot of the ladies. Still a little camera shy but they've only been in the coop for 3 hours.