Our dogs refused to sleep in the incredibly expensive doghouses my husband bought me. He just asked me to get rid of them this past week and guess what? I found a use for them! I bought chickens.
First we built this 4'x4' frame, 2 sides have mesh for breezes, 2 have wood for shade. We have it situated so it blocks most of the western sun. There is an opening on the front side where I can slide the door up and they can go in and out.
We cut a hole in the top of the run which lines up with one cut into the base of the dog house. We put a ladder that raises and lowers to prevent other animals from getting into this. *Changes: Move the hinge further back, and alter spacing for "steps", secure coop to frame of run.
View from the top and yes I've got to make some changes.
I layered pieces of plywood to create a pocket for the "door" that will go into a separate run to allow me to clean this. You can see the ladder in it's elevated position to keep the girls safe at night.
On the sides of the door I drilled 3/4" holes and put in a dowel rod through the length of the nesting area. I screwed wood to them to create a floor, back, a divider, and a front lip so eggs don't fall down. Each area is 1'x1' Below the nest box you can see the opening. The dowel rods exit the back of the coop and are secured by a large washer and screw so they don't shift. There is 2' worth of roosting area on either side of the door, towards the back. Right now I have a temporary door because I cut the cord to my circular saw, again. :hangs head: The door will fit in securely to the inner part of the opening and be secured with screws. Within the "door", there will be an upper and lower door for egg retrieval. The dog house separates so I can wash and sanitize it regularly. I plan on using sand on the floor of the nesting area for easier clean up. I also drilled extra ventilation holes around the lower exterior of the house so any odors can be aired quickly and the temperature isn't too much. I may add more.
Added 4 pullets, one of which I suspect maybe laying, but not sure. I guess this will let me know soon enough. The area underneath is 4'x4'. I have an automatic waterer and feeder to install tomorrow. We're also going to put guttering and a small rain barrel on the sides. We're going to put on a roof that will feed the gutters and eliminate some of the water pooling on the plywood. Our plan is to move this every other day and allow them to free-range in the backyard while we're home. This will mainly be for overnight and so we can travel and minimize our friend's labor on a weekend.
Next up painting and roofing (after the official door of course!)
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