Coop built for ease of care...

  1. Chickendigger
    I started out with a kit that housed 4-6 chickens and learned quickly that if I was going to really get serious about chickens, that wouldn't do for long. I built a 10x10 pen from PVC and put the coop inside that for a while but knew the girls needed more room, plus I wanted to add to the flock as well as make daily maintainence as easy as possible. I already had a 10x14 shed so I began looking at that as an option for a permanent coop, but all the while I wanted to keep some of the shed for storage. I divided the shed in half and built a 2x4 wall on one side, while I left the side with the doors available for storage.

    Here are some pix of what I did:
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    2x4 roosts made with step stringers: put the 2x4 on the front of the stringer so when they roost, their back side hangs over the board and the poop board below collects the mess.
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    I actually shortened the roost boards but am going to return them to their original length, I shortened them because the girls would push the one closest to the wall, into the wall, I learned they'll work it out and with the roosts shorter, they've decided to roost in the poop board, so I'll put it back the way I originally built it, they seemed to stay on the 2x4s that way.
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    one of my girls that love the camera!
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    I suspended the water and food (using closet shelf brackets, the part of the bracket that holds the clothes bar is a perfect handle for the feeders). I make feeders out of cleaned bleach bottles; to the right is the 2x4 wall covered with chicken wire dividing the rest of the shed. I have a pull cord outside the enclosed area so I can close and open the chicken door to the outside pen without having to actually go inside the enclosed area. A cheap piece of linoleum on the floor makes cleaning real easy, I sweep it daily and mop it with bleach water once a week.
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    the outside pen is made from PVC with chicken wire secured with wire ties; I have bird netting on the top; they can go in and out of the coop whenever they want, I close them in each night for safety
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    The roost has plenty of room and the poop board beneath is filled with Sweet PDZ, a litter scoop makes cleaning each day a snap, maybe less than 10 minutes a day to clean up from the night before. The nesting boxes are located under the poop board which gives the girls easy access, gives us easy access to collect the eggs, and the nests are well protected and clean. Notice how the 2x4s are on the front of the stringer, most of the girls roost with their butts to the wall so the mess drops down where it should.They often squabble over who gets closest to the window, so most of the mess is within the first couple feet. The bottom of the poop board is lined with aluminum flashing material, it's easy to scoop out and doesn't allow moisture to penetrate the wood.

    I recently added 6 more to my flock, they're being held in the "kit" coop until they're big enough to join the older girls, this roost has plenty of room for them all, there are 3 nesting boxes, so we'll be in good shape when they all begin laying.
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    One last picture, bed time, there's always one who goes in first each night so she can get the best seat in the house.
    I'm in the process of running electricity so I'll put 2 light fixtures with heat bulbs above the roost for those cold winter nights, there'll also be a place to plug in the heated water bowl.

    I didn't want all the work of properly caring for the chickens to take away from the enjoyment of having them, so I put a lot of thought into ways I can do my chores when I get home from work each evening, including filling the feeders and water; the only morning chore I have to do is open the door to let them out into the outside pen. With several feeders and several places to drink, they don't fight to get fed and they don't go through all the food from one evening to the next, in fact the water and food inside only needs re-filled about twice a week; the one outside needs attention every other day or so. I only have to give them about 15 mins of work each day then about an hour on my day off to do a more thorough cleaning.

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  1. Mountain Peeps
    Cute! I like that curious looking chicken!!
  2. Brookliner
    Great coop. I like the step stringer idea.

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