Downton Coop

By cmlew99 · Mar 28, 2015 · ·
  1. cmlew99
    (The coop (the red building on the left) in the process of being built)
    My chickens: Mary, Edith, Cora, Mabel… all characters from Downton Abbey, which explains my very weak attempt at a pun as the title of this page​

    When I finally convinced my reluctant parents to allow me to get chickens, I moved right into action as far a preparations. The priority was establishing a decent living space for them- but my biggest mistake was not judging the amount of time it would take.

    I knew I wanted the following things
    • A walk-in coop
    • An easy access cleaning door
    • A walk-in run with a roof
    • Storage space

    And the essentials, of course
    • A roost
    • Nest-boxes
    • The correct amount of space for my chickens

    It was my father, the builder of this coop, that was able to formulate all of these objectives into one design. His plans were sketched out on stray pieces of paper, and so I am not exactly sure of the measurements, and don't have a specific blue-print. We were thinking of purchasing a prebuilt one, but I just couldn't find one that met all of my characteristics. And so I turned to my father, who has had absolutely zero building experience.

    With his "Building Chicken Coops for Dummies" book, an entire summer of weekends, and a few tools, he was able to build this...
    • There is a walk-in door at the front (the far right of the picture), which leads into a storage space for pine shavings, feed, and other equipment.
    • A wall of chicken wire and another door separates this area from the chicken living space.
    • There is a platform a few feet above (I'll get into technicalities later) the bottom floor that covers half of its length, giving the chickens a spot to fly up on to.
      • Off of this platform are two nest boxes, which I can access through the storage space, and a roost.
      • A chicken door leads to a ramp from the bottom floor to the run. The run extends out a few feet, and also includes under the coop, and is covered completely by a roof.
      • There are two windows, seen in the picture, and two more windows facing out towards the run (they are small squares of glass that may be propped open).
      • Oh, and there is a cleaning access door visible to the left in the picture.
      • The walls are all insulated

    This is a view from the cleaning access door. The platform is visible in both of these pictures. The flaw my current set up is definitely the waterer. Since I live in New England, this winter my waterer was frozen 24/7, so I purchased this heating system. If I could, I'd relocate the waterer to the run, because it keeps leaking all over the shavings. I think its one of the reasons my rooster got bad frostbite- the humidity is causing some problems. Also, as you can see the roost is directly over the pine shavings. In the future I'd love to have a droppings board or something to stop the poop from getting the bedding so messy.

    This is the type of window I used for two of them. I need to install hardware cloth in case a predator rips open the weak window screen. I kept both windows open all winter

    The run, completely enclosed in hardware cloth, has a human access door. The two back windows are visible. I added in an upside-down planter/pot thing and a roost for their entertainment. I just use the sand that was already there as their bedding. I rake out the poop as necessary.

    In the winter, even when the dirt was frozen completely this sand didn't freeze because the heat from the coop and poop kept it warm. The chickens loved to dust bathe in it!

    The roof did a pretty good job keeping the snow out, though some drifted in. It also held up after about two/three feet of the stuff accumulated. This summer we will add in a run extension- my father had to wip this up last minute before the first snow fell.

    A view from the storage area into the chicken space

    The girls hanging out inside, away from the blizzard


    The storage space, not very tidy… Its very handy to have though!

    I'll post some of the more technical stuff next time, after I get the measurements from my dad.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. N F C
    "Downtown Coop"
    2/5, 2 out of 5, reviewed Mar 26, 2019
    For having no building experience, your father did a good job building a coop for you. It would have been nice to have some additional details such as dimensions, approximate cost, etc.
  2. Nardo
    "Good start"
    2/5, 2 out of 5, reviewed Jul 16, 2018
    Have you been able to get details from you Dad, yet?


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  1. alibabba
    Walk in, is really the greatest. You can get those great pictures, pet them when they are sleepy and store all of the 'chicken stuff" Good for you!
  2. crazyfeathers
    Your dad did an outstanding job! Just a thought, do you have to have pine shavings in the whole coop? Maybe you could divide the coop into two areas putting up a border so the shavings don't go into the area with the waterer? You will be continuously be tweaking the coop, believe me it's never ending. It looks great.

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