So I have wanted chickens for a long time now, and when we finally purchased a home in Edmonds, WA, I was finally able to get chickens. We searched high and low for chicken coops that we likes, but in all honesty I couldn't see spending the money of ones from local stores when I saw how flimsy they were. So I decided to dig deep and pull out my carpentry skills, which haven't been used since I was in Junior High and High School!
So I looked for days at coops on the internet and decided to make one that suited our backyard. So I designed the coop.
I used these drawings as merely a guide or suggestion and made a lot of substitutions as I went through the building process.
I decided to build the coop in two separate parts, that way I could build it in the garage and move it out later. So I purchased all the lumber and set to work building the run.
The four corner posts were 4 x 4 treated cedar lumber. The cross beams/supports are all 2 x 4 treated cedar lumber. I used L brackets to attach all the main parts of the frame of the run, I wanted this buggar STURDY!
I added a plywood top and added the hardware cloth to the front and back. And then I added the main gate/door to the front of the run.
I applied the hardware cloth to the **outside** of the frame to allow more room inside the run. I didn't like the look of that, so I used 1" x 4" boards to frame out the front of the run to hide the edges of the hardware cloth as well as the staples. I feel this also added another layer of protection against another critter getting inside. At the end, when I moved the run outside I added the same hardware cloth to the bottom of the entire run, then filled it with dirt.
After installing the coop floor/run roof I cut the hole for the "trap door" where the chickens will be able to enter/exit the Coop.
Not going to lie, I was pretty impressed with myself. The dimensions of the run itself are 7' L x 3' D x 3' H.
I was so engrossed in my work that I didn't take pictures of the process while building the coop itself. But here it is. (I built this as a separate piece that way I could move it out of the garage. To the right of the coop, above the run, is the start of the garden bed. I didn't want to lose the flower bed space where I was going to put the Coop.
For the outside of the coop, I used the wooden siding sheets that they sell at Home Depot. I cut them to the sizes I needed and then painted them the color of the outside of my house. And for an extra touch, and to hide "seams" I used smaller cedar boards to frame out the door, roof, windows and sides of the Coop.
Inside I installed a nest box above the trap door. This idea was short lived. I changed that since.
I installed a few venting holes in the roof peak on each side. and did the first coat of paint (to match the outside of our house)
Here's the trapdoor installed. I used chains in a "pulley system" so I could open and close it from outside.
I installed the ramp after moving the coop/run outside. I also used left over shingles to line the ramp to give the girls some more traction.
Here is the "somewhat finished" product. I've made several changes since it's been moved outside. You always realize there are unforeseen problems and I love troubleshooting!
First change I made was adding a gutter system to the back of the Coop and Garden Bed. It collect run off from the roof and from the garden bed. This keeps the water from hitting the rock wall and flooding the run, so that now stays dry. I also use the collected runoff to water the garden bed.
I quickly realized that the nest box on the inside of the Coop was NOT going to work for me. So I decided to build a nest box that hangs off the outside wall.
This freed up most space inside the coop Job well done!
I also installed lighting inside the coop that is on a sensor so the girls will get the hours of light required to keep laying in the winter!
I also installed another window/vent in the back of the Coop to help with ventilation. (Also in this picture is the sensor that turns the lights on and off.)
And then I finally built my own hopper feeder. This holds a week and a half's worth of food, and it fits perfectly in the door.
I also used a plastic office chair mat cut to the floorplan of my coop, this was to aid in cleaning. That way the wood under the straw wouldn't rot or get caked with feces and other fun things.
I realize that there are a lot of sloppy cuts and corners throughout this project, but overall I'm quite satisfied with the end product. And I can't believe that I built this, every time I look at it I smile . I hope y'all like this, I know all of our neighbors have complimented me on how it looks "professional" even though I think they are just being polite!
Overall I think I spent about $1,000 dollars on everything, that is including the circular and jig saw that I purchased. I did cost a bit more than I expected it to, but the end product is a coop/run that fits our yard and home and is sturdy!