Too Many Chickens! When I went from 2 to 22 hens, I needed a bigger coop.
This is Jess, who built my coop over Christmas break. He is a wonderful 6th grade English teacher but he has other hidden talents!
We bought the "Shiloh" coup design from My Pet Chicken. It is 6 x 10, adequate for about 22 chickens, and it has exterior access nesting boxes (on the back side). We have brutally hot summers here in Boerne and tin roofing is a typical Hill Country style to keep homes, sheds cooler. So, instead of shingles, we used tin roofing, which is what is on my 1886 stone German farm house and barn. I picked colors to match the decorative Victorian trim on my house: maroon, light turquoise, and white. We put 1/2" hardware cloth on the people door and windows to keep critters out and a removable glass panel on the people door. You can't see it very well in the above picture, but there is a motion detector lamp by the people door.
Here is an interior shot of the nesting boxes. The building plan had the nesting boxes flush on the floor. Jess added a drop-down ledge to keep eggs and nesting material from spilling out.
No, the blue and lavender eggs aren't real but the others are! I put the fake ones in the nesting boxes to give my hens a hint. Here is the ledge in the drop-down position.
We added FRP (glasbord) on the interior for easy clean-up and insulated to keep the coop cooler. I had a Pullet Shut automatic chicken door in my old coop that we reinstalled in the new coop.
We put in an interior light is on a timer to adjust "daylight" hours in the winter.
I don't know why this picture rotated. I'm trying to figure out how to change it back. Just tilt your head to the left.
This is the exterior access to the nesting boxes.
We stuffed some rubber foam padding between the coop wall and the nesting box lid to keep water from trickling into the nesting boxes.
One of my favorite additions to the plan is the clean out slot. I can just hose out all the debris onto compost.
Here is Chloe, my little poodley mix dog. Hello, who is in here???
Nothing is too good for my hens! I thought about adding a ceiling fan but then visualized them flying up and getting their heads chopped off or maybe roosting on the blades and getting an unintentional Merry-Go-Round ride!
Here are two of my beautiful girls. Penny Penedesenca and Miracle the Exchequer Leghorn.
These 2 jump up on my shoulders and into my lap. They just started laying. Miracle has a little white egg and Penny lays a very dark brown one. Each of my hens is a different breed. No roosters since I'm in the middle of Boerne on a 1/2 acer double lot. I keep my neighbors happy with free eggs. I've been on the Boerne Historical Home Tour and the Native Plant Society of Texas, Boerne Tour of Yards. My biggest challenge has been how to keep a chicken-free zone for landscaping. I tell people that chickens are members of the Flat Earth Society. If they see a mound of mulch, they want to level it! It is such a joy to show people how easy and rewarding it is to keep backyard chickens. My new coop is a delightful addition to my property.
My thanks to all the great information and inspiration I got from others who posted their coops and advice on BYC.