We Dedicate this Chicken Coop in Loving Memory of
Carleton H. Treat (August 22, 1919 - July 29, 2011)
After several weeks of waiting for signatures, and $400 later, we finally got the building permit to start our chicken coop. As always, even with the best of intentions, the baby chicks arrived before the coop was finished. As a matter of fact, all 16 chicks arrived before the coop was even started. Thankfully, the brooder was completed just in time to move the 5 chicks that had hatched while we were farm-sitting just five weeks earlier. Because I designed the brooder with a divider in the center, the 16 day-olds were placed on one side, while the 5 older chicks had been enjoying their own side. We were allowed to keep 2 of the 5 older chicks, aptly named Gazpacho and Amelia Egghart. The others went back home to be distributed by our farm friends. The brooder is located in our basement, and looks like this (with white paint):
Estimated cost for brooder: $25 for hardware (all wood for both projects - free!)
Being the OCD person that I am, I looked at pages and pages of chicken coops, and took all the features I admired to design my own. Being the stubborn hubby that he is, my dear hubby and his carpenter friend decided to build the coop the way THEY wanted to build it. I can't really complain, because I have been out-of-commission after having major surgery, and they are doing most of the work. I just keep telling myself "it is, what it is." The chickens won't know the difference, as long as it is roomy, dry, draft-free, and predator proof.
Before I get to the pictures of the coop, I should mention that our backyard is fenced-in and sloped toward the house. You'll understand better once you see the pictures. Coop size is approximately 12' x 18'. The coop will be raised with a run on either side. The section under the coop will eventually be converted into a coop for my future Sebastopol geese.
We were "ordered" by the building inspector, to dig 42" holes for sonatubes. These were filled in with concrete and used as anchors for the posts of the coop. You can get an idea of the slope in the second to last picture.
Estimated cost for cement and sonatubes: $102
Once the posts were set, the floor joists went in and the flooring was put up. This coop should survive a tornado.
As you can see, the front end of the coop has some height to it, and would be too steep to put an entrance on. Therefore, the "people door" has to be moved to the back side. Disappointing, to say the least.
The next group of pictures show the framing for three of the four walls of the coop. Although all of our wood was provided for us free of charge by our beloved Carelton, we ran out of 2 x 4's for the Southern wall.
Estimated cost for additional 2 x 4's: $78
Last wall is framed, used windows are measured, and headers are installed.
Not much going on today.. weather is not very cooperative:
Finally got power back on after being out 8 days and the guys are determined to work on the coop ALL DAY!!!! It's going to be very rustic barn-board looking, with smaller 3" strips of wood between the larger siding planks. Spent another $317 on roofing materials.
Thanks to sunny skies, we've got all four sides of the coop sided and the tar paper is on the roof! Hubby is closing up the soffits and putting the smaller trim boards on, trimming out the windows, door, adding pop doors and ventilation. Things are rolling along now! The chickens are very anxious to check out their new home.
All Windows are in and are in the process of being trimmed out. Cleaned up the floor a little while the guys worked on the coop. You can actually see the floor in one of the pictures! We picked up some friction lid supports to try out on the windows (to hold them open like casement window stays.)
The exterior trim work is all done. We've framed out the entryway and the guys are starting to put up the interior walls.
The plan is to have a run on each side of the coop (13' x 15' on the left, and 20' x 15' on the right.) Not sure if I still want to extend the run under the coop... Might be difficult to access. The interior will be divided into 3 areas: a 10' x 4' entryway/storage, a 10' x 7' area for Silkies, and a 7' x 11' area for large fowl. (Measurements are approximate.)
Interior walls are paneled with barn board. Window stops are in. Pop door to main run is framed out. Friction stays are on windows.
Interior of coop is now sectioned into three areas: 10' x 4' entryway, 8' x 12' area for chickens, and 10' x 8' area for Silkies. New locking door knob, screen doors between sections and openings between entryway and Silkie area are finished. We have decided to go with a rubber roof to save money, since the price of shingles has gone up. Leftover roofing will be used to cover floor in chicken areas, and then covered with pine shavings. I've ordered 5 more iron window stays so we can push and pull windows open and closed, and "lock" them into position. Need to finish adding hardware cloth and screen over windows, build roosts and nest boxes, and finish pop doors and ramps. Will put up chain link runs in the spring. Girls who hatched August 1st are laying 1-3 eggs a day in the brooder. My D'Anver, who is 5 weeks older, still hasn't got a clue.
To be continued (as building progresses!)....