Thanks goes out to the builders of the original Wichita Cabin Coop for the basic design. Also to the reverse WCC, and countless coops on this sight. Now we have finished our coop in the Great White North, Yey! The build went well, my husband did most of the work, I tried my best to get in the way . It took a couple of months first part and I haven’t added up the cost, I'm guessing alot? , I quit counting (yikes) didn't even keep track for part 2 of the run add on. The girls seem to like it. The hen house is insulated, needed or not, it is done. We placed the coop by a row of pine trees on the west side of the coop hopefully for a wind break in the winter. The coop is approx 125 feet from the house, just far enough to get plenty of Fitbit steps in going back and forth several times a day, cause I love those girls!
The base footprint is approx. 10’ 4” by 6’ 6”.
The original roof was 12’ x 8’
The coop is 8’ tall at the front and 7’ tall at the back
The outside of the hen house is approx. 4’5”x 6’5”
Nesting boxes are 18” tall at the front and 16” at the back
I can stand up in the hen house front and back, I’m 5’3” tall (well, almost)
The roosts and trays are removable.
The total footprint of the completed coop/run is approx. 21' x 10' 6"
Here we go with the photos!
Finished... Sort of, lol
Now finished... Maybe? lol
Cinder block foundation – Buried cinder blocks 7 across the front inside of 5 across the sides.
Pavers 8x16x4 inch on top of the cinder blocks, 8 across the front, 4 inset on the sides so that they overlap the cinder blocks.
I did not bury hardware cloth, we are on clay that is like cement 11 months out of the year, plus we have a fenced in yard that should keep many critters out. If I see any indication of predators trying to get in, i'll re-think that.
2x6's for the base.
Ground Anchor augers in all 4 corners (windy here).
Roof – 3 sheets of plywood, and then a steel roof.
½ inch hardware cloth sandwiched between 2x4’s and the 2x6's at the bottom
Nesting boxes. Screws and pocket screws in use. Very sturdy, good thing as it is pretty heavy, I had to hold it up while DH screwed it on
Floor of the hen house.
Inner walls of the hen house, OSB. It is starting to come together!
Window openings above the nest boxes.
I placed the pop door towards the center of the coop to try and keep rain and snow from blowing in there, it faces south, works great! Pop door is not crooked, just the angle of the photo.
Siding, south side.
Nesting boxes, I had DH put in removable dividers.
Nesting box removable fronts to keep bedding in.
Roost with poop tray underneath for sweet PDZ.
Hen house with windows and door. No roof on the roosting boxes yet, that is just a sheet of plywood.
Inside (roof insulation not yet installed)
Inside, first day of chicks in hen house and run, they loved it! I want the window seat.. no, I do!
Ramp to pop door. the ramp rungs were farther apart, so the chickens would slip and slide when they stepped, I had my husband place an extra rung between the pre-existing rungs, no slipping. I think they are about an inch and a half apart now.
In the winter, to this nipple waterer I cut a hole in the side near the top, places a bird bath deicer, and a circulating pond pump (need electricity). This is the only waterer that has not frozen, even in -24 degrees F.
Relaxing on our branch in run.
Set up the nesting boxes so that the right hand pair can be used for storage if needed, can put 2, 5 gallon pails in there. Right now I have 3 nesting boxes open, the two on the left and the far right one. Also, they are now insulated as well.
Latch on nest boxes to lock it down.
A frame with hardware cloth can be added under the low roost tray to make a "jail" or "hospital" if need be. the far right nesting box can be used by the chicken in the hospital. The tray is 22 inches deep I believe. (that is Cluck-Cluck in their modeling for the photo) lol (she didn't care for it!)
Got our first tiny little egg, in the nest box, yey Cluck-Cluck! Look at that face! Wait...What just happened?
Green house panels put on the coop on the west, north, and east sides. The south side is open, except when it is snowing. The panels are inset and the blocks screwed in place so the panels do not move. Electric added on a pole outside of the coop for heated waterers in the winter. As the coop is not permanent, the electric was placed on the 4x4. If you look close you can see the string added to the hen house door latch that goes up and into the coop. That was added after I locked myself in, on a very hot August night... for 1 hour and 20 minutes ...... with mosquitoes.
South side open with no panels. (when it got really cold, or was snowing, I did add panels on the south side as well.)
Put a roost (2x4) under the hen house so they can roost on that as well as the branch up front. In the winter I've added pine shavings into the run to help keep it dry. We've had alot of rain and moistness, terrible.
I've taken the top roost out so that they are not in the line of fire of the cross ventilation (east and west sides). Also because they are big girls and I worried about their legs. Thankfully they all fit on the lower roost. Can see the roof is insulated in this photo. Plywood covering. I placed grit and oyster shell and sometimes food/treats in the gray cups screwed to the wall, especially useful for a room saver when a chicken is in isolation in the "hospital/jail" that way I don't need all the bowls for them to spill.
Additions and updates:
1/4th inch plywood added to the top of the nesting boxes so that when I open it up to deal with the food and stuff in storage the winter wind doesn't go whipping through the henhouse when the girls are in there, or into the nesting boxes if someone is in there.
1/4th inch piece of plywood to keep the wind out of the hen house when I'm messing in the nesting boxes.
Took out the upper roost for winter (don't mind the clutter, doing some experiments)
I've decided to leave the upper roost off, they seem to like the lower roost and I have less worry of one of them hurting their legs/feet while jumping down, also easier for my BO.
Well, I didn't have any south facing window openings, so I talked my husband into making a pop door made out of hardware cloth (rather than cut a hole in the coop for a window). I lock it down from the inside so that nothing can lift it up from the outside. Now the ladies get to enjoy a breeze from the south at night during the summer if there is one, Yey! I put the regular door back in for fall/winter and spring.
Here we go (again) So I made the run bigger I was going to use the welded fence, but went with adding onto the run, with hardware cloth.
Sooooo, I started by laying the blocks. Because the land is on a decline, I had to bury two blocks half way around to make sure at least one block was buried. so on the left there, there is a 4x8x16 then 2 cinder blocks under that.
I made the mistake of telling my husband I'd do all the block work (to get him onboard with the project) I regretted that almost immediately! lol
After that, we got the framing up.
Hardware cloth and roof added
Door added to new section
Secured hardware cloth between the upper and lower roofs with screws washers and staples. Ventilation for the winter when the greenhouse panels are up.
Girls enjoying the bigger run. Sand brought in for the floor. I have clay and it turned into a wet muddy mess, icky.
I left the hardware cloth around the first run, with just a doorway, then if I need separate the two areas to house new chickens for the integration, it is easy. I can use the hospital partition in the doorway as we made the opening slightly bigger than the partition.
All done except for the stain (have to wait for the treated wood to dry). The girls and I are very excited about their new bigger run. Now they have more room to roam during the day while i'm at work, and during the winter when they are unable to free range here in Minnesota. We love it!
Oyster shell and grit holders for the run.
I added a Flat panel ceramic wall mounted heater to the wall for below zero days. I mounted a large seedling mat behind them on the wall for some extra heat before I got the ceramic heater, probably don't need that this year, we shall see. The wall mounted heater heated the henhouse from -24 to 7 degrees above one night, so I think it worked well. I plug it into a thermo cube that shuts on at 0 and off at 10 degrees. The thermo cube is behind them, near the roost. Don't worry, my girls won't die if the power goes out, just heating it to 0, not 50 degrees, lol
Summer time: 2 fans added at the back facing in, one at the front facing out to help cool the henhouse down when it is hot.
New system for putting up the greenhouse panels in winter, (Thanks DH!). This way I can take down and put up the panels when needed without bringing the drill out to the coop. Now that I think of it, maybe it was to keep me from bringing his tools out to the coop? hmmm Anyways, the bolt goes through a hole in the block, then screwed into this brass insert about 1/4 of an inch or more, then the brass fitting is finger tightened down tight onto the block. It works great! None of the panels have flew away yet, so that is a good sign!
Storage shelving unit added in the back, don't forget dusting areas for the girls, black rubber container and a rubber maid tote filled with organic peat moss, they get used every day!
Green house panels up, ready for winter, it was raining/snowing here already (11/2015). Oh yeah, I also put drain tile around the coop as it is on a slope, so that the water runs around the coop, rather than through it. Works great! nice and dry!
Side of coop with greenhouse panels up.
Snow outside, dry as a bone inside!
Wanna come out babies? I think we'll stay inside today Mom...
I bagged up leaves in the fall to add to the run throughout the long winter for the girls to dig through for scratch.
Thanks for the treats in the bowls too mom!
Master locks added to all 4 openings to keep humans out (except me of course).
Hanging out in the new run, love it! (photo courtesy of my new hencam)
Cluckies Coop is the home of Cluck-Cluck (BO), Fi (Golden Comet), Morticia (SLW), Mother (SLW), Silly Goose (EE), and Baby (EE) ... RIP Baby(1.5yrs) and Cluck-Cluck(3.5yrs)...
Hope you enjoyed my Coop page, Thanks for looking!