Describe 'Coop De Gras' here
Coop de Gras is a two fold creation, half chicken coop, half green house. The green house is my penance for buying more chicks .
I have found a lot of ideas, some here on BYC, and like everything else here the ideas were amazing!
So, off I went a scavenging, I hit the cull piles at all of my local lumber yards and made some serious scores, a little extra work saved me a bunch of money. I also used recycled materials laying around the yard from previous projects. My lucky day! I get to build a coop for my chickies and clean the yard for my honey, I WIN!
The project came to mind and design much like a modular home. I needed a solid marriage wall between the two halves, that had purpose. I framed the wall out of 2X6's for more volume of air space (more on that later). I also wanted to collect as much sunlight as possible for as long as possible during the day in Maine. I decided on a gambrel style roof arrangement with clear corrugated roofing. As the first day unfolded, the project began to take shape. I planned on having company in the form of our dog Thor, but he "chickened" out and wanted to go inside, I guess it was too cold for him. He did support me from inside the sliding glass door where he could see me and watch over his chicks.
The pics from day one will show the framing and roofing, the siding will be done over the next few days as will the completion of the coop. The coop design calls for a 4'X8'X4' coop area with two nest boxes mounted on the sides, 6 total nests for 13 laying birds. I am going to install a few roost bars and a few resting decks inside, the primary cleanout door will be mounted on the North wall, opposite the South facing greenhouse.
Ventilation will consist of two vents connected between the coop and the greenhouse, and one fan. The fan will be a low speed high volume arrangement, pulling the warm air from the greenhouse, pushing it into the coop, the cold coop air will circulate back under positive pressure into the greenhouse, very much like a forced hot air system. It will also aid in moving CO2 and Oxygen around between the two places, good for plants and animals!
The coop floor will be two feet above ground level, providing shade on those sunny hot days, all three of them in Maine, and also to help with natural ventilation circulating air around the coop as well as through it.
This is a WIP, but stay tuned for more! The kids will be outside helping more in the next few weeks and we should have it wrapped up in time for the chicks to move in, hopefully mid April.
DAY TWO: St. Patrick's Day 2013
So today it was much colder than it was yesterday! My time was short as well my honey and I had a party to attend, after all, it is Saint Paddy's!
I managed to get the coop walls framed today, it was progress! I built the side walls to house a nest box on each end, should be 6 boxes in all for our 13 supposed layers, space O'plenty! There is a 2'X2' door opening in the front side for cleaning purposes.
Mistakes so far: The greenhouse was built where it sat, not level, but functional! I built the frame for the coop floor and leveled it...you can see the difference in some of the photos. I am not worried as it does not effect the operation. The other thing that I screwed up on was the floor itself...I kind of forgot to put it in there. No big deal, I have a plan for a clean-out floor system, and my honey had a great idea that I have to try as well, at least on paper. Can chickens eat rope??? So over the next few days I have to design a floor, measure and cut the rafters for the coop side, apply the roofing, and decorate!
All of the kids will be here this coming weekend and if the weather holds we should have a very productive weekend of building. Please add comments and ideas!!! I appreciate all the you BYC'rs have done for me already, and want to repay the favor!!! Feel free to borrow ideas!!!
A few picture updates since the snowfall...again...
So, I did forget to build the floor before the walls, big oops, so, I threw some cross members, leaving 1/2 inch of space to recess the floor, the other problem that I had was the support structures, the corners had a "leg" but I did not like that a bit. The ground was soft and I was worried that they would sink in the muck. So, I did a cantaleiver design back to the floor plate. I was able to stand inside no problem...I weigh just a bit more than a few chickens. The flooring will be added mass and structure. I am closing the walls in a bit at a time, have to finish up Julie's greenhouse, get some gravel for the floor inside, and get the roof up on the coop. Appreciate you looking!