The "Concord Cluckers" Coop
We officially started building this coop over my husband's spring break (he's a teacher) in April 2013. Eight chicks were coming May 6th, so it was crunch time! It's an 8 x 8 raised coop and 12 x 12 run. My husband designed it all on his own and built it with a little help from my dad (mainly the rafters, roof and siding). I will mostly let the pictures explain the work because I don't know all the technical details, but feel free to post any design or construction questions and he can answer those more specifically.
We looked at countless pictures of coops on this website so this is a conglomerate of those ideas. We really needed a functional coop that utilized a small amount of space and was pleasing to the eyes and nose (we live on a cul-de-sac with neighbors close by). And predators were a concern because we have many on the ground and in the sky.
We've had the chickens in the coop and run for about a month now and haven't come across any design issues. My only concern is trying to clean under the coop because I don't want crawl under there. I'm hoping hosing it out periodically will do the trick.
Exterior Pictures of Coop Being Built...
The coop was built about 18" off the ground at the highest point (8 x 8 ft) so that the chickens could get out of the elements when necessary. We live in northeast Ohio and have every weather condition but hurricanes!
(Ventilation was a big focus, so we put a ridge vent and several large soffit vents on each side. We also have 4 2x2 windows)
Here's some pictures of the interior...
This has since been covered with chicken wire to protect the birds from nails on the roof if they fly up and predators who make it past vent holes.
The kids helped paint the interior (you'll see some of their artwork in the following pics).
Pop door on a pulley system we can open and close from the outside. It leads to a small enclosed porch and the run.
The windows are covered with hardware cloth and the wood pieces are to create an opening to open and close/lock the windows. The windows only slide one way, so nothing can get in the space on the left. A vertical 2x4 blocks the potential passage so we can leave the windows open at night.
Pine shavings are on the floor of the coop. We haven't made nesting boxes yet, but they will go under the poop board. The roosting bar and poop board run the whole width of the coop. They use the ramp to get up there. They ignore the perching area at the top of the ramp and balance on the skinny board on the front of the poop board. That front is actually on a hinge and has eye hooks and latches holding it in place on the inside corners. This way, when we want to completely change the Sweet PDZ, we can drop down the front and sweep it into a trash can.
I don't know how this idea originated, but I guess you spend this much time and money on a coop, you want to see what your chickens are doing and if they are safe. My husband installed a FoscamPro camera that he bought off Amazon.com. I believe it was $60. You can view video anytime over the internet and even download an App on your Smartphone or Ipad. It has come in handy when we are out of town or wondering if they all made it in at night. The right picture is taken off my Ipad (before they got their fancy roosting pole).
Pictures of the Enclosed Run...
We live on the side of a ravine, so my husband had to deal with building this run on a steep hill. He also had to completely enclose it in hardware cloth...top, floor and walls. (Actually the floor has chicken wire inside the 12x12 because the cloth is so costly). The cloth extends a couple feet out from the walls. Hawks and racoons are the main predators, but we can also get coyotes.
After much research, we decided to do about 2" of pea gravel in the run and under the coop and about 3-4" of construction sand over the gravel in the run. This is supposed to be much cleaner than dirt and/or straw. So far that has proved to be true, but I haven't been able to sift it like I'm supposed to because it came wet and has rained almost every day since! But I can still scoop poop out with kitty litter scoop and turn sand over once in awhile. If it ever dries out, I'm hoping to sift poop with a pitchfork covered in hardware cloth. Chickens don't mind walking on gravel under the coop at all.
Latched door to the chicken area just for added protection...chickens can't escape as easily and kids can't get in as easily. You can also see the pulley system on the side of the coop to open and close the chicken pop door.
They can get to the area under the coop down below the porch. The entire area under the coop is wrapped in hardware cloth also. Lots of staples and masonary screws.
The door leading to the coop (swings out) with latch and clip for smart racoons.
Happy Chickens (almost 9 weeks old)!
Thanks for viewing!
Feel free to ask any questions...we are more than happy to help others with this endeavor!