Coop De Ville In Austin Tx

By mjames, Nov 25, 2012 | Updated: Nov 25, 2012 | | |
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  1. mjames
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    I had chickens growing up. When my husband declared he was going to build an enclosed garden so that he could conquer the deer problem and grow his own vegetables I decided what better time to include a space for chickens. Chickens and fresh eggs go well with fresh veggies. At first he was not OK with the idea, however, now it is difficult to go to our local breeder for feed without having him come home with a couple of chicks.

    My husband and I do not have any basic building skills, however, my brother in law, Owen, who is quite gifted in this area was keen to help. He is of course the master mind behind the design. The first challenge was to create a structure that will be predator proof. We have possums, raccoons, hawks, owls, coyotes...that is probably enough for now. You get the picture. My initial requirements were predator proof, walk in size, ease in cleaning and maintenance, rustic look, and South Austin whimsy. We decided to build a 10 x 10 house with a porch completely enclosed in an aviary.

    First step was creating the perimeter. We rented a trencher and dug an 18" trench for a perimeter. We built the base of the aviary out of galvanized pipe and filled the trench with cement. This would prohibit any diggers that thought they would enter the aviary from underneath.

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    After day 1 the perimeter was complete. we laid some stone at the entry way and left the cement to set.

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    Next step was to build the frame for the aviary. We continued using galvanized pipe for this.

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    On day 2 the guys completed the frame.

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    Once the frame was complete. We wrapped the bottom of the frame in 1/4" hardware cloth up to 3 feet. We wired the hardware cloth onto the bottom pipe using galvanized wire. the second row of hardware cloth was 1" which continued up the remaining side up onto the roof. We used hardware cloth connectors to tie the two pieces of hardware cloth together. Before enclosing the roof we began construction on the hen house. This allowed us to use tin on the roof and incorporate it into the hardware cloth on the aviary roof.

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    Since we had already enclosed the aviary, the back wall of the hen house was framed and raised as one piece. A window and a barn fan were integrated into the wall. We experience 100+ temperatures in Austin in the summer so keeping the ladies cool is important. The back wall exterior was covered in tin siding.

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    Next step was to complete the framing. the structure included a front porch. this will provide a step up area to the chicken entrance for the pier and beam structure. It also provides just one of my many whimsical touches.

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    Once we completed the frame of the house we added the siding and finished the roof of the aviary. We completed the top with 1" hardware cloth attaching them to the galvanized pipe with wire as we did the sides. We stapled the ends to the roof of the house and topped the house roof with tin.

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    The next focus was interior. We added insulation, sheeting, and framed for additional windows. We also framed for a lower swing door that would allow me to prop it open and sweep out the floor covering for easy cleaning.
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    At this point the girls are getting pretty big and still living in a box. We completed the minimum for the house that would allow us to move them in. this included finishing the sheeting, window installation, painting and a temporary roost. I chose a tan color for the walls to blend in with the chicken poop so it would at least look clean even if it was not. For the floor I used truck bed liner paint in black called Herculiner. I filled the room with rice hulls and moved the girls in. We ran a temporary extension cord through the window so that we could operate the fan and wait on completion of the wiring. (Owen is an electrician - lucky me :) )

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    The completion of the interior included roosts and nesting boxes. Owen customized the nesting boxes to include a drop bottom. The bottom is one piece and with the release of the latches it drops and I can sweep the remains out with the floor material out the side swing door. Of course they needed to be princess pink.

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    It gets very hot hear in the summer. so rather than creating baking boxes with access from the outside we installed the boxes inside since the house has easy access with walk in anyway.,

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    I added finishing touches to keep to my whimsical theme. These included a small chandelier, cedar panels on the ceiling and some tin signs on the wall.

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    Finally, the finishing exterior touches. Cedar plank siding and cedar posts for the porch. (cedar is cheap and easy to come by in Austin, TX). We tiled the porch with slate for easy clean up, framed the chicken door and the final stained glass window on the front. the chicken door includes an auto open and close for the cold winter months. the front porch light includes a motion detector.

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    The girls have just started laying. My egg production doubled the day after the chandelier installation. The ambiance was the perfect touch for happy ladies.

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    Girls approve
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    sorry Mr. Possum. There is no way you are getting in this place!
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Comments

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  1. chicknfun
    GREAT JOB!!!!!
  2. wvWyandotte
    super awesome coop!! great job!
  3. Ruth A Allison
    Great job. When can my girls and I come over for a sleep over...LOL..LOL..
  4. Ruth A Allison
    Thats a great guess house, Can me and my girls come for a sleep over? LOL..LOL..
  5. sillily
    They are ssssssssssssssssssooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo LUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  6. sillily
    Wow! How many chickens live in there?![​IMG][​IMG]
  7. antrimfarm
    Oh my gosh what a great coop!!!! I love it!!
  8. jimmywalt
    That coop is just outrageous! How long did it take to build from start to finish? How many chickens are going to live in there? WOW!
  9. chickendude9
    That is my dream coop. wow...just..wow
  10. lavender pekins
    I love the interior especially the cedar planks on the roof i will be building this but Ill change the colour of the door and nest boxes!!!
  11. Betsy57
    wow! Looks great! Kudos to your men! Love the cedar! I'm ready to move in with your gals!
  12. mjames
    CuteChick369, to keep it cool we insulated with 2 layers of foam insulation board. We installed a barn fan and on the opposite side we used hardware cloth for ventilation so that the fan would suck in the outside air. We have two windows and it is built in the shade. The fan seems to make all of the difference. It stays very comfortable inside. There is also a gap between the roof and the ceiling that I believe makes a bit of a difference at least according to the guys who made it happen. We insulated that as well. :)
    Pent, we incorporated the roof into the aviary top for less use of hardware cloth on top. We enclosed it completely for maximum security which enabled us to put 100% inside the concrete perimeter. I did not have need for more space. With all of our predators it gives me complete peace of mind. there is no way anything is breaking in.
  13. Pent
    very nice! But I'm curious; why put the coop inside the aviary? You'd have more space if it was outside and attached, and more effective use of materials...
  14. Dawnschix
    WESOME COOP!!!
  15. mjames
    thanks. I did not polyurethane. I find Tung Oil to be better looking, more natural, and less maintenance.
  16. CuteChick369
    I love this! What kinds of things do you do to keep it cool inside? We live in NC and did not insulate our coop for fear it would hold the heat. I have been having a hard time keeping our coop cool, and it hasn't even hit 90 yet. Curious how you manage to keep it cool.
  17. nono
    Love it!! :)
  18. chicklover3990
    that was great did u polyurethen the cedar excuse my spelling great job
  19. BYC Project Manager
    Congratulations, we've chosen one of your pics for the Chicken Coop - Picture of the Week. Thanks for posting your coop design & pictures to our "Chicken Coops" pages! You can find more info about the CC-POW here: CC-POW Process
  20. mjames
    Thanks everyone for your kind words. So far there is nothing I would change in the construction. It is proving to be well thought out. I am happy to report that I have not had any issues with roosting on the chandelier either. In response to an earlier question on the stained glass. Yes, I have 3 family members who make stained glass. Owen also worked with his dad on their ranch where they ran a lumber business so he has a few years experience running a saw mill and working with wood. That is where the attention to detail on the cedar design comes from. I was certainly blessed with family talent on this project. Needless to say there are several who now have a lifetime supply of eggs whenever they want. :)
  21. judyki2004
  22. PrecioustoHim
    How wonderful! This one gets top honors in my book. I love the enclosed pipe fencing. Would love to have you visit and build my lovely flock one. ;)
  23. knjinnm
    Galvanized pipe frame, great idea.
    Very nice job.
  24. AdirondackChick
    I LOVE THIS! When are you traveling north to build mine? This is so nice, great attention to detail! Spoiled Chicks!
  25. lklik
    Chandelier? Stained Glass Windows?! LOVE this coop. You're too much and your girls are spoiled!
  26. Chickenfan4life
    I just loved this coop, and it is definitely receiving a positive rating from me in the coop contest! And well done with keeping the predators-particularly that possum-out!
  27. MarcoPollo
    Chandelier? Stained glass window? Looks like pictures of a house! :) Nice.
    And LOL at the pesky marsupial.
  28. Roxannemc
    Do you make stained glass? Pretty.... for some extra colorfull light
    .I was thinking of the same as i have tons of the glass havent done any in a long while.Sitting there.
    The chandelier..Funny and very pretty but i almost think too pretty for a chicken coop unless you sit out there with them or the girls can peck at the crystals. MUST give some really sparkly light
    Still why not? I bet your friends are shocked.
  29. JohnPeel
    When can we move in? Nice work.
  30. Green Lantern
    Love it! Very feminine!
  31. chickenkeeper12
    wow!!! this is unbelievable. great job
  32. BinaryChicken
  33. mjames
    Thanks for the roosting heads up. I was originally concerned about the window ledges so we have a backup plan to cover the windows with hardware wire in the event we have an issue. So far they have not attempted any unwanted roosting.I will be quite disappointed if we find we have to enclose the chandalier. so far so good!
  34. ChemicalchiCkns
    Fanciful cycens... Be aware of cycens a-roosting on the Light. Mine do attempt it, even on window Ledges.
  35. Gargoyle
  36. Bulldogma
    Very pretty!! Love the ambient lighting - LOL!
  37. StarLover21
    Amazing coop =)

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