My coop started off as a 6x6 shed and we very very quickly outgrew it. Darn chicken math! I knew I needed something more than what I had. My flock consisted of meat birds, layer pullets and ducks, guineas, and we are adding in peafowl. I knew the coop needed to be in two seperate areas. One for ducks and one for chickens/guineas. The existing coop will be kept for the meat birds only and the nest boxes will be removed.
Our yard had a very nice 12x16 garden shed that we didn't use. It was cocked full of junk. I knew if we cleaned it up and moved it (literally drug it across the yard) it would work out just perfectly for what I was wanting to do for the new coop area. There were a few things on my list of MUST HAVES for my new coop.
- area for the ducks only (indoor and outdoor)
- chicken area (indoor and outdoor)
- storage area where the birds are not allowed
- nest boxes that I can gather from without going into the chicken area
- brooding/chicken rehab/integration/quarantine area
- SHELVES and STORAGE space
I drew up the plans and went over them with my hubby. He thought it would be a lot of work to get it done but we started off by leveling the ground where the shed was going to be moved to.
Here's the shed after it was moved to the new area (the clothesline to the right is going to be moved, as that is the direction that the runs will go because there is some shade trees further to the right that the run will go under. My flock does not free range because of the road being so close and the risk of predators (mostly barn cats and dogs) getting them during the day. So the runs need to be big enough for them to enjoy!
After the shed was moved and the lumber was bought we started with the duck area. It is a 4x6' indoor area with an access door for myself to get in and clean.
Then we started to frame out the remaining area for the chickens, including the area where the nest boxes would go and the area for storage for myself and the brooding area.
Here is the brooding/ chicken rehab/integration/quarantine area
Up close view
You can see here there is a hole in the top that the light will come through and I can raise and lower it to keep proper temps.
Here's a view of the nest box area. I wanted a nest box where I can collect eggs from the back without getting into the coop to do this. I had visions of going out to collect eggs and the chickens standing on top of the nest boxes greeting me in the morning with their freshly laid eggs in the boxes below them. I think it will do
The box doors pop down so I can easily collect.
And here is a view of the boxes from inside the coop area.
The coop is not completely finished, but I am already loving the layout and can't wait to get the birds moved in there. Here is a to-do list thus far of what all needs to be done before the birds can be put in the new coop.
- make pop doors
- add a second window to the run side of the shed
- add in three ventilation fans
- run electrical
- make enclosed run area
- add pool for the ducks
- add dust bath area for chicken run
- hang feeders
- add grit/oyster shell feeder (the rabbit hutch kind)
I am hoping to have the chickens into the new coop by Sept 1, 2011.