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So this is the coop I made for my three Dusty Divas in Cambridgeshire, England :love

I was looking for a easy maintenance coop that would lower the risk of mite infestations and be easy to clean regularly. I also wanted a coop big enough that I could step inside if needed without crouching around.

Looking at the options available online, I was shocked at the costs involved in the popular plastic coops you can buy and didn't have £600 to spend on just the coop!
So had another look around for alternatives and found this Keter double insulated plastic shed :) Perfect for the project at 4ft X 3ft X 6ft and a fraction of the price at £200.
That might seem like a lot of money, but it was much cheaper than buying the materials to build it from scratch.

First thing I did was add a perch for them which runs diagonally across the coop; I used a branch from the garden that was the perfect size for my hens. Then I gave them two chunky plastic storage boxes as nest boxes. Of course, they all prefer the smallest one and will pile in there together and scream at each other 🙄🤦‍♀️
(Birds eye view ;)):
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You can see the pop door in the bottom right corner of the picture. It leads out to the enclosed/secure run which is about 20 sqm (including the coop footprint) or 200 sqft. I have some large stepping stones at the door on both sides to help the girls get in and out easily.

Then I added a large ventilation window in the north east facing wall of the shed. It can be closed over if the weather turns a bit nasty.
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With the help of my partner, I made a extra wide door to access their run. I decided to make it extra wide so that I can comfortably get in there with a wheelbarrow to dig out some of the super rich soil to use in the garden as well as dropping off sections of straw bale/ grass clippings etc. for them to dig through.





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Inside the run, I have an old turned on its side water tank, which the hens use for shelter when it's windy/nasty weather and they want to stay outside. It also houses their auto feeder, which is a homemade PVC pipe construction.

My girls are pretty eager to stay outside as much of the day as possible, so it was important to cover the run with a clear roof:

I was able to get a clear tarp online for £20 and it works very well as a rain shelter, although I do need to build a better frame for the roof as heavy rain is starting to puddle in there in places and when it snowed, I had to physically punch it off the roof :(
It can get a little noisy in windy weather, but when I get around to changing the roof frame it should make a marked improvement. :fl




The Extension Run
So I wanted to put my lovely little dusty divas to work in the allotment section of our garden. They love digging and eating creepy crawlies and weeds and well... I don't :)
Hence the extension run. It is flexible and movable, which means that I can pull out the stakes and put them into the soil anywhere I want the hens to turn over. All in the safety of a chicken wire extension run with a bird net top/roof. I only use this extension run when I am in the garden with them, so it doesn't have to be completely predator proof, just keep them in a safe area and stop my dogs annoying them.


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