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Cross Keys Coop

  1. hense83
    Hello all...I wanted to share my coop design with everyone on here. I used this website for designing my coop, so I figured the least I could do was document my setup and let someone steal ideas from me.

    Most of my design came from:

    Log Cabin Coop - Love the wood look.
    The Palace - Indeed, great coop.

    I ordered chicks on mypetchicken.com. 8 Red Stars and 8 Australorps. One Australorp came DOA, and another died the next day. They refunded me promptly. Good company, I highly recommend them. Down to 14 healthy chicks.

    The first 4-5 weeks they stayed in the brooder box.

    It was simply a 4'x3' box, I put some plastic at the bottom to make it easy to clean. I then put cabinet rubber and paper towels in there for the first two weeks, changed the paper towels daily. Next two weeks I used Pine Shavings. They outgrew this brooder by the 5th week.

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    Meanwhile...construction on the coop began. I had help from my father, my mother, my wife and two brother in-laws. Although, It was mainly my dad and I.

    The base:
    8'x8' base on 2x6s. Two 4x8 sheets of plywood fit...well perfectly.

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    To finish the base, I covered it in linoleum left over from a house project.

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    All framed out and ready for the roof. The 2x4s came from left over projects.

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    Framed the roof and installed metal roofing with an extra foot overhang to cover the nesting boxes.

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    Covered it in plastic, an extra wind barrier. Winters in central PA can get bitter.

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    I used stained pine boards for the sides. I sometimes work for a lumberjack on the weekends and this was my "pay"!

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    Next up, the nesting boxes. There's 6 nesting boxes here. 12"x12"x16". We constructed the box in our shed, all we had to do was attach it to the coop.

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    I put a space (and a board) between the 2x4s and the slats I used to divide the boxes that I can move up for easy cleaning. Also installed more linoleum.

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    Meanwhile, I constantly was introducing the lil peeps to our two dogs (both Cockapoo's), they got along great. No problems.

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    Installed the two windows in the front of the coop. Inside I used screen and covered that with chicken wire. Then, on the front, I made frames and had plexiglass windows made to fit the frame.

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    Side window above their roosts:

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    Next up was the man door. I decided I wanted to make it a double-door so I wouldn't have escapees and giving them feed and water easily. I also wanted a window so I could look in before opening. I later installed bolt locks for each section of the door. There's my dad showing how it works!

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    Moving back inside, we installed the chicken run door. I put it on a pulley system so i could open/close it from reaching inside the door to the left. Easy!

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    The outside steps for the chicks. Measured about 3 ft. long.

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    Meanwhile, my wife and the dogs enjoy the day outside in an old dog pen that I had from raising lab puppies. Chicks are getting bigger, pushing us to wrap up this project!

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    Next, I made roosting bars & painted them. Ripped a 2x4 in half and sanded the edges. I thought they would use all the rungs, but turns out they only like the top one.

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    While I was at it, I made a roost bar in front of the nesting boxes. Chains you see hanging there are for their food and water.

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    We added a roof over the chicken run steps. The chicken door faces the North West, this will help prevent the wind and rain from getting in.

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    Here's the finished coop, ready for "move in". I also gave them a 40'x15' run. I still have to cover it with some aviary netting, but so far haven't had any aerial attacks!

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    The chicks moved in around 5 weeks old. The nights were warm enough I wasn't too worried about them getting cold.

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    I left them "coop'd" up for about a week and a half to make them learn what home was. The one day after work I surprised them with life on the outside.

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    And sometimes, the best laid plans are the ones you never had! The girls like the 2x4s as roosts too I guess.

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    But, as they grew older, they no longer fit on the 2x4s. And about a half hour before dark all the girls are roosted for the night. They're like clock-work.

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    Start to Finish it took about 6 weeks, working on Saturdays and Sundays. Most of our cost was in screws and nails. Most wood was from leftover project. If you have any questions, drop me a note. I'll be more than happy to go into further detail. Hope you enjoyed my pictures and brief comments!

    -Dan

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Comments

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  1. pollitos2013
    I like your coop!
  2. bohemiachicks
  3. lawrencerooney
    That looks great!
  4. Stumpy
    You've made a wonderful coop!

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