Apologies for the blurry photo...it will be replaced when I find my camera downloading thingie!
This coop design started with the idea that we needed rain shelter for our goats, and if we were building a roof anyway, we might as well raise it by a couple of feet and make it a combination goat shelter/chicken coop.
- 42” underside height for goats
- Maximize roost length and therefore # of chickens
- Employ the Sweet PDZ poop trays that I loved about our first coop
- Protect the PDZ from rain
- Have to be able to easily reach all PDZ trays to scoop
- Maximum ventilation for summer with the ability to easily winterize
We decided on a central entry on the underside for cleaning out the PDZ. As the coop was going to be on a seriously sloped ground, a single point at which I could stand and scoop out all of the PDZ was preferable, as well as allowing for maximum protection against rain (no exterior doors to leak) The hatch raises straight up using a rope, pulleys, and a counterweight to make it easy to open for a weakling like me…and is pointed on the top to discourage chickens squatting on it. Central access allowed easy reach to the entire coop and the 2’-0 deep PDZ trays.
All the windows are backed with ½” hardware cloth and have sliding doors to seal them up in bad weather that ride in tracks (top and bottom.) The 5” vent that runs all the way around the coop is directly under the eaves for maximum rain protection and a board can be easily placed over top for winterizing. It also allows the chickens to see out if they are sitting on the upper roost. The copula has windows to allow in light and two are hinged at the top and can tilt in for extra ventilation as well. (They are operated by ropes from below.)
This shows the pristine PDZ in the poop trays (not so pristine any longer)
the rope hanging down is the counterweight for the hatch door the 2x4's above and below the windows have the channels in them for the window doors to slide on. you can also see the roosts. the vertical in the foreground is the guide for the hatch door so that it aligns properly when you lower it.
One showing the pulleys and ropes to raise the hatch door
One Showing the nesting box open