My coop project started unexpectedly, with the arrival of some chickens my family rescued. I found myself commencing construction during the worse time of the year; the beginning of a Las Vegas summer. Nonetheless, I utilized my trailer parking to start framing the coop and then we trucked the unfinished product to my In-Laws' home where the construction was finalized.
I tailored the coop to fit our needs. I used many design ideas posted on BYC and a few of my own. One primary consideration was keeping the coop as cool as possible during the long hot summers in Las Vegas. Additionally, we wanted easy access to all areas for simplified cleaning.
Dimensions were based on the number of chickens we want to keep (4 to 5) and lots of head room to minimize stooping over. Most of my dimensions are modular, so wood waste was minimized.
I began the construction at my home to utilize my free time as best as I could. However, the coop's final resting place is at my In-Laws' home. So, I completed most of the framing but kept it light enough to lift and transport in the back of a pickup truck.
I painted parts separately when I could.
We had a day of rain after bone-dry weather for many months. It was just my luck that the door was outside and was soaked by it. Needless to say, the door warped when it dried. So, I had to soak it once more and dry it in the sun while weighed down on a flat surface.
It was time to prepare the foundation. We picked a highpoint on the property next to a tree that would shade the coop from the late afternoon sun; the hottest time of the day. I cleared the gravel and leveled the ground with fill that I stole from our horse arena - good stuff. I added thin layers then sprayed water so I could tamp it down.
I used brick pavers around the perimeter of the coop. The coop rests on the inside edge of the pavers, so approximately twelve inches of brick runs along the outside perimeter.
Once I finished laying the foundation, it was time to bring the frame from my house.
I was excited to see it in place. I could tell it would be a great centerpiece. Now I was under pressure to make it look as nice as I could.
There was a little more framing to complete to install the window and door to the hen house.
I made some of the parts removable to assist with cleaning - an idea from several other coops on BYC. Here is a view of the nest box from above. The divider and front panel are removable. The inside of the box is painted black to keep the area as dark as possible.
I installed three interior perches in triangular formation so the girls can't poop on each other.
I also installed a long perch outside along the length of the coop, between the hen house and the front (short) wall.
The cupola is designed to vent the hot air that will build-up along the ceiling. The top of the hen house vents into the run, then up into the cupola.
I installed a solar rechargeable light on top of the door so there's a nice glow most of the night. I have more pavers that I'll use to create a patio in front of the door. I just need to rest a bit first...
Thanks for taking a look!