This page is going to be the on going saga of my coop build. I will take pictures as I remember and update this first post and will do my best to give the dimensions and pluses and minuses of the coop as they happen. Keep checking back for updates.
1/24 - Day 1 of Build - Plans have been drawn, the spot has been picked and preparations are starting. After reading both books that others have linked to I made some very basic drawings to get started.
This is the current setup after I moved the water/food in prep.
The fenced in area is about 13' x 25'. The little red coop, that was purchased at my local feed store, is just not cutting it (surprise) and it's time to upgrade.
The plan is to have an 8' x 12' woods style coop. It will sit in the area pictured above and will have 2' between the house and the coop and the back wall and the coop. It will be about 8' tall in the center and 4' on both ends (in an effort to not waste material). My oldest son loves red, so the main color of the coop will be red and I'll probably do a nice white for trim.
While construction is going on I'll most likely let the birds roam the back yard. It is completely fenced in and I'm sure they will enjoy foraging. Although, knowing my girls they will be all up underfoot and curious to see what's going on in their space. They will be a little up rooted as I have to move the red coop to make room for the new one, but I think they will adapt just fine.
Here is the lumber pile for the coop!!
As you can see, my foreman is already on the job. And so ends the first day.
1/25 - Day 2 of Build -- Good progress was made today. The floor was built and leveled. I decided to use decking blocks since the top 4 inches of the dirt is easy to dig. Anything below that, well.... jackhammers need to be involved.
I got some help with the framing because I'm not a carpenter. But here is the floor and my foreman keeping everyone safe from random lizards.
So, floor done and enter the inspection team. So far everyone is happy with it.
The back half frame is almost completed too. The right side of the picture / outer side of the coop still needs the door frame and door, but other than that it's coming along nicely.
The inspection team is doing a good job checking out the new structure. Super cold temps (for New Mexico) halted production for the rest of the day and the snow flakes that started didn't motivate me or my help to keep going. So ends day 2.
1/26 - Day 3 -- First change happened today. The floor as we did it was really weak. We used 3/8 plywood. So when I walked on it the floor would give way. Thinking ahead and that I didn't really want to redo anything in 3 months after busting a hole through the floor I decided to beef up the floor and added OSD to it. Made a much better floor and now I don't need to worry about breaking it.
Anyways, the frame is almost completely up. There is a Door frame now, and sections for the windows and the chicken escape hatch.
Also, the upper front windows have been framed. The front part of the coop has the roof frame done and the back part will get the frame tomorrow. It's coming along nicely and I can't wait for the girls to move into their new home.
And so ends the third day.
1/27 -- Day 4 -- Today was chicken wire for the windows and getting the outside skinned. We also started on putting shingles on the roof.
Once we broke for lunch we had the following done, but needed to fix the top overhang as it wasn't even on both sides....yay for measuring mistakes. So I decided to just make it flush and move on from there.
A few more hours of work and the outside has been completely covered.
Still left to do:
Figure out the human door situation, and the chicken door situation for that matter. Build the nesting boxes, the poop board and roost bar. Get temporary covers for the upper windows and the one side window so they can be closed if necessary. Paint inside while, floor with the roofing tar stuff, outside a color yet to be determined. I've got some PDZ equivalent/horse stall stuff for the poop board and need to get some sand for the front area. Let the kids name the massive project.
It's funny how I thought I was close to being done until I just wrote that list.
So ends day 4.
1/28 -- Day 5 -- Inside build is almost complete and the shingles on the back roof are done. The new nesting boxes look great and the poop board and roost are cool too.
We found a door that will work for the human door. It needs to be trimmed a little but it will look great when attached.
I also noticed I have not posted a new picture of the font with the plywood up. So here it is from the front.
Tomorrow my mini helpers and I will head to the store to look for paint and start painting before the girls move in permanently. And so ends day 5.
1/29 -- Day 6 -- Paint. Well, at least the inside anyways. My little minions and I went to the store to get some white paint for the inside. We contemplated outside colors but didn't come to any agreement so I picked up a few color patches and will decide later.
Anyways, trying to paint with both a 3 year old and a 7 year old presented a few challenges. Mainly, the amount of paint I bought. I thought a gallon would work, but then I forgot about the 3 year old's ability to paint himself....
However, while I didn't get many pictures of the little's helping I did get some pics of the inside as it is after paint. The good news is that for the rest of the week they are in school and so I can paint in peace for a few days.
Here's the half day / break for lunch status:
And the end of the day:
Note to self, in order to keep the chickens from being artificially painted white I closed them out of their area. This was a great idea until chicken little decided she didn't want to be left out of the fun. She was trying everything she could to get back into 'her' spot. Finally I decided that it was safer for her to be in the pen than trying to find all the holes I have in the fence. So she made herself quite at home in the new nesting boxes. I'm sure she will love them even better when everything is finished and she can really move in.
This ends day 6. Tomorrow will be finishing off the "build" and then final paint (inside) over the next few days. Finally, adding the PDZ/floor stuff/sand and a ladder for the girls to climb up to their roost and then I can let them move in. I'll work on the outside color later. Better to get the inside fixed up and ready to go first I think.
1/27 -- Day 7. Last "Build" Day. Finishing up the last bits of the main build plans. The door is hung, the upper and side windows can be closed off and the separator for the floor material is in place. Oh, and the front roof has shingles too. A good days work.
Enough work for day 7.
1/30 -- Rest. Or rather I didn't work on the coop today. I took a play day and went flying. It will be back to work finishing up the paint tomorrow. The inside will stay white with red accents on the nesting boxes and the poop board and roost. The outside will be fire engine red! I need a little pop of color out here in the desert. Everything looks to be the same color...a sickly green/brown. I need color!!!!
2/1 -- Day 8 -- Finishing the paint on the inside. Today was all about finishing up the painting inside the coop. I knew I wanted a few days for everything to dry properly so the girls could move in over the weekend. So I started back with the roller and paint brush and worked away. Once I was mostly done with the white on the walls the handymen doing work around the house asked why I wasn't using an electric sprayer? This was a new concept for me so I went to the store and bought a new toy. Holy moly! What a toy it was. This made short work of the rest of the paint job that I needed to do inside. So, white walls, white ceiling done. Next was the red accents for inside done with a brush and finally the roofing cement for the floor. It was a good day. Now to let it dry and air out for the next few days.
Another good day. Almost ready for the girls to move in.
2/5 -- Day 9 -- Move in day. Today the little minions and I filled out the stall fresh in the front "sand" area and on the poop board as well as the nest boxes and the main area of the floor. A quick trip to the store for some more pine chips and the inside is done. The girls are already working on making it their own. About mid day I moved the food and one of the water containers inside to help them know that this was their new home. I've also closed off the old coop to keep them out of it.
They are very curious and anxiously waiting for us to get out so they can inspect the new digs.
Success! More pine shavings will go on the floor but I have to wait for the local supply store to open.
One trip to the store later and the girls have been officially moved in.
Now to watch them closely tonight and make sure they find the roost and all will be well. Lastly, I need to paint the outside, but that can wait for a day this week that's not super cold.