We just got our first chicks in April. We're up to six now who live comfortably in this coop. I borrowed ideas from other coops on this website and it has worked out beautifully so far.
The base of the coop is 4' by 4'. The walls are 33' high. There is an egg box off the side which is 1 foot deep and 2.5' wide. So the total square footage of the coop is 18.5 feet. We plan to have no more than 6 hens at one time.
I picked up some slate shingles at the Habitat for Humanity re-store. Definitely this was the hardest part of the whole project. Those things are finicky and have to be laid just right. I broke many pieces before I finally got the technique down and had to back to the store more than once to get more shingles. It was worth the extra work though, because they'll last forever and they look great.
I was only able to work on this project for 20-30 minutes at a time, so protection from the rain during construction was a must.
The finished product below. Its hard to see, but the run extends behind the coop about a foot. So the total area of the run, including underneath the coop is 60 sq ft. (12x5). Not shown here is that we use a hanging feeder and waterer that hangs from the bottom of the coop and is accessed through the door below the coop in the front. The front door to the coop has a little window which allows us and the kids to see whats is going on inside. The front of the coop has doors that swing up to allow human access to the run. There is a door to the coop at the top of the ladder that pretty much remains open, but can be closed for bad weather. There is 1/2inch hardware cloth around the run (the second hardest part of this job) which is buried 6 inches into the ground around the perimeter. The large front door to the coop has been nice and allows for easy cleaning of the coop.
The biggest regret I have is that the roof is flush with the front, back, and sides. Could I do it over again I would make the roof extend beyond to walls 3-4 inches in all directions. The first heavy rain had water pouring off the roof into the egg box where it meets the wall. To fix the problem, I installed gutters on both sides and it seems to have done the trick.
Three Australorps and a mixed breed at 3-4 weeks old.
The same ones at 4 months old. We had to get rid of the white one because he was a rooster. To bad, because he is a pretty chicken.
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