Sara and Andi's Chicken CoopLast year (2010) I started playing with an idea of getting some chickens as pets for my kids, as well as to be able to collect some eggs. We decided to go with 3 RIR's with possibility for expansion. I looked on the web to find some good plan that would fit our space requirements and enable us to integrate run as well. As it gets really hot here (California), I wanted to have a coop that also has fully covered run. I run into a design that I liked, and we started building. The costs for material were $320.19. My kids had a lot of fun building this with me.
Here are some pics of the construction phase:
Here are the nesting boxes painted in darker color as the chicks like "privacy" while laying the eggs:
The coop long design fits perfectly in our thigh space.
Here is the outside access to the nesting boxes for collecting the eggs:
Front door with chicks:
And the chicks playing in their new house!
That new dirt is to cover hardware cloth that runs under the coop all around to protect chicks from the predators. It goes down for about 6 inches, and straight for about a foot.
UPDATE:Since we built this chicken coop we decided also to keep some meat chickens as well. However, we needed to separate those as the feed and housing requirements are different for our old RIR's and Cornish Cross. Not to mention how aggressive our RIR's are toward new comers.
However, we did not want to go with "batches" of meat chickens because we only have suburban backyard available and no space to house or care for 25 meat chicks! Instead we wanted to have every month 2-3 available for butchering. We probably will eat 2/month and one can be frozen and used in winter season when meat chicks are not available for purchase.
The only place where we could do accomplish this was in our current chicken coop. To accommodate extra space for 2-3 meat chicks, we decided to board up the area under the coop house, and put hardware cloth on the side facing run. This gave us additional 9+ square feet of space that's isolated from the RIR's. Our RIR's can look at the new chicks, but cannot touch them. Here are some of the modification pics: