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Coop & Run Designed to Maximize Light, Warmth, and Protection

  1. ChickensInHugo
    We live in Hugo, Minnesota and we face challenges from both weather extremes and predators. Summer temperatures can sometimes make it above 100 degrees (F), and winter temperatures occasionally dip to below -20 degrees. We also have coyotes, fox, possums, raccoons, mink, field rats, hawks and bald eagles. Here's a pic of our finished coop and run:

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    1. Frame and Foundation

    We planned on ordering 15 chickens from Murray McMurray Hatchery (all different breeds), so we decided on a 6x9 coop. The frame is simple and made of 2x4s. For the foundation, we decided to have a raised floor. It is about a foot off of the ground to ensure that the floor doesn't get wet from heavy rains or snow melt. The foundation is treated 4x4s using 4x4 metal stakes that are about a foot deep. By not burying the actual 4x4s we ensured that we can easily move the coop in the future if we need to:

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    2. Roof

    For the roof, we wanted it to look nice and also be functional. We had an old glass table that we decided to turn into a skylight. The roof is angled to point towards the sun during the winter when days are short. Hopefully the extra light will help produce more eggs. The roof is made of 2x3s in an attempt to make sure it isn't too heavy. Also, it is built so that it can be insulated to keep in heat during the winter:

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    3. Sides, Flooring and Insulation

    With cold winters, an insulated coop seemed like a good idea. For the inner and outer walls we used 1/4 inch sheets of chip board and standard insulation. There is a ventilation opening by the door to keep the air fresh. My friend works in roofing, and he supplied some scrap Single-Ply flat roofing material for the floors. It is waterproof, it doesn't get slick, and it is tough as nails:

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    4. Skylight

    As mentioned above, we decided to turn an old glass tabletop into a skylight. We made a frame of 2x4s for the skylight and secured it with 100% silicone caulk:

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    5. Nesting Boxes and Roosts

    The nesting boxes were then framed up. We built 4 normal sized nesting boxes and one that is a double-wide in case one of our Jersey Giants actually became giant. We originally used 2x2s for our roosts, but have since switched to 4x4s for more stability and to keep the feet warm in winter. One thing I would definitely do differently is that we put one of the roosting bars near the nesting boxes, and I'd put them far away from the nesting boxes if you can make it happen. It hasn't been a problem, but I don't like the idea of them leaving droppings all night near the nesting boxes:

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    6. Doors and Window

    We built a custom door (with insulation) for ourselves and a 14 inch square door for the chickens. The nesting box doors were also insluated and attached with hinges so that they swing down. We also got a window, and put chicken wire on a hinged frame behind it. The chicken wire should protect the glass from being pecked at, and the hinged frame helps for cleaning:

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    8. The Run

    The run was built using treated 2x3s and 4x4s. I designed a roof that was stable without a center post, but we decided it would be more stable and easy to work on with a center post, which was added later. We used garden fence for the roof (to keep out climbing predators, hawks and eagles). Hardware cloth was used for the sides, and we also buried hardware cloth 1.5-2 feet all the way around to deter digging predators. We also added a roosting bar and a panel for Summer shade:

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    9. The Front Porch and the Hugo Skyway

    We needed a way for the chickens to safely get from the coop to the run. Minneapolis is famous for having a network of skyways between buildings for winter walking. Up here in Hugo we're a little bit more rural, so we decided to build a front porch to the coop that attaches to the Hugo Skyway. They are completely protected all the way from the hentryway to the eggxit:

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    10. Siding and Roof

    My wife picked out the siding and shingles. We figured it would give the coop protection form the elements and a fun look:

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    11. Power

    We built the coop so that an extension cord can be run to it after the snow falls. This will be used for heating the water, lighting the coop at night, and if we need to add heat for sub-zero nights:

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    14. The Plaque

    Just for fun, I modified an image of a Cadillac Coop deVille logo in Photoshop and had a 3D print shop send it to me. With shipping it was $18.00:

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    13. The Tenants

    We have 15 different breeds of chickens from Murray McMurray and they are all healthy. They get along fine. We have one of each:

    1. Rhode Island Red
    2. New Hampshire Red
    3. White Rock
    4. Buff Rock
    5. Light Brahma
    6. Black Australorp
    7. Black Cochin
    8. Black Jersey Giant
    9. White Jersey Giant
    10. Silver Laced Polish
    11. Red Cap
    12. Phoenix
    13. Red Star
    14. White Wyandotte
    15. Golden Laced Wyandotte (our only rooster, he is very eggotistical)

    Here's a few pics of the finished coop and run with our chickens enjoying their Habitat for Avianity:

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Comments

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  1. DDNONIN2016
  2. ChocoClover
    The tunnel between the coop and the run is so cute. I also love the little front porch.
  3. joan1708
    Excellent coop! Love the sky light!
  4. OkieRunner
    come build me one!!!! love it, love the little safety tunnel that leads into the run.

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