(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
- 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
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.
I'll post some of the more technical stuff next time, after I get the measurements from my dad.
Take a look at my blog, www.3lilhens.wordpress.com for some more details about my chickens and coop.