Because I work Mon through Friday, the time I was able to spend on this project was limited to weekends (weather permitting). Prior to starting, I spent a lot of time researching and talking to friends who have chickens to try and come up with a plan we would be happy with in the long run. This picture was taken after the first weekend. At this point, we had the framing complete. All of the materials used for the floor were pressure treated, as they will likely come in contact with moisture from rain as well as chickens. The walls were constructed with 2x4's and the roof was constructed with 2x6's. We framed in 4 windows as well to ensure there would be lots of ventilation. There will be a coop (8x5) and a stall (8x7) for storing supplies.
Another weekend to get the doors, windows and some of the trim complete. The windows are all hinged and are attached to rope that can be pulled from the inside and tied off to cleats to keep air circulating. The windows are also covered in hardware cloth to keep out visitors. The soffits are also covered in hardware cloth so no predators can climb in through the eaves.
Lots of doors to make access easy to either side and keep the air circulating. Because the coop has a dividing wall in the middle (with the top half covered in fencing, the doors on the right side can be left open while the chickens are still protected from any predators while in their side. Also put in the ramp to the stall.
This is the chickens side. Nesting boxes are in and are accessible from the stall side. Roosting poles are also in. We painted the floor with Dryloc. This is a waterproof basement paint. It keeps the moisture from the chickens from soaking into the floor boards and can easily be mopped/scrubbed during cleaning.
And here is the stall side. We can access the nesting boxes from the hinged door seen on the left. The shelf next to the door is for the watering system, which will be (2) 5 gallon buckets with PVC pipes going into the coop side with poultry nipples attached. You can see the half wall with the fencing for circulation. This also lets us check in on the chickens without getting in the coop.
Close up of the shelf for the watering system.
Close up of the nesting box door.
Built the stairs to the coop (and a baby gate to keep the chicks in for now).
Close up of roosting poles (screwed into the 2x4's).
Started the run (It is 12x7). We used 4x4's cemented into holes we dug with post hole diggers. The roof is built using 2x6's and plywood. We plan on using roofing shingles to create a dry area during rain storms. The chickens will also be able to roam the yard during the days (as long as we are home).
First chick to try out the roosting poles.
Another close up.
The roof and fence on the run are complete. We used 1/4 inch hardware cloth for the wals with an 18 inch apron on the ground. We then covered the apron with large stones to further predator proof the whole thing. We ended up screwing the window above the run shut permanently (didn't want to give predators the ability to sit on the roof of the run while they figure out a way to get through the window). We still have 3 window and the ventilated soffits to keep the air circulating.
Close up of the run. The door is 3 feet wide to make it easy to get a wheelbarrow in for cleanup. You can see the ramp and the pop door in this picture. We also added some stumps and a few log swings (I heard they like these) in the run for the chickens to use when the get bigger. It is tough to see but you can see one of the swings behind the ramp and all of the hens (12) enjoying the new run! I can add pictures of the watering system and feeders later. The idea behind both was to hold enogh water/feed to last a few weeks, making the whole process much easier.
Here is a shot from inside the run. The pop door can be opened from the front doorway without having to get into the coop.
Another view of the pop door from the inside.
This is the other side of the run. We added some stumps and swings to keep the chickens occupied. We still need to add a few poles and an outside watering system.
Not a clear shot, but this is the feeder. Its made of 4 inch PVC pipe and it stands about 5 feet tall (holds quite a bit of food). We also have another one that we can add in, if needed. Its hard to tell from this shot, but the feeder is angled so that the chickens won't be able to poop in it when they are on the ledge of the nesting boxes. As of now, the feeder will last a few weeks, but that will change as the chicks grow (hence the back up). Again, the feeder can be filled while standing on the front steps, making the whole process cleaner and easier.
The watering system... (2) 5 gallon buckets feed into the coop via a 2 inch pipe (visible under the buckets). The pipe runs under the nesting boxes and has 6 poultry nipples. The idea behind running it under the nesting boxes was to keep any poop from contaminating the water source. Not sure how long 10 gallons will last when the chicks are fully grown, but I imagine it will last a while.
Windows on all sides (2 in the back) and the doors that keep the front open allow for great circulation during these hot days we have been having!
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