Hopefully this will provide some inspiration for someone. We built this in our back yard in West Auckland. We have 6 chickens. Total cost of this coop was about $150 for the timber and screws. The corrugated iron was given to me from a friend replacing his roof. All other parts were collected for free also.
We get six eggs a day. We eat about half and give half away to our friends. Total upkeep time is:
- 1 minute a day to deliver kitchen scraps (worms in my worm farm are not happy to be missing out on the scraps!)
- 2 minutes a week to clean the poop tray.
- 3 minutes a week to hose down outside the coop and top up feeders.
- 5 minutes every 2-3 months to rake out wood chips and replace with fresh chips
-- So about 6 minutes a week of work for unlimited free, healthy eggs from very happy chickens!!
My quiet place (apart from all the clucking!)
Posts in. Base plates to rest the fence paling floor on. Pretty wobbly structure at this point. The posts are just dug in 500cm in the ground - no concrete. My little workers inspecting the levels.
That's a fence paling compost bin next to it - you'll see why later.
Floors in. Fence paling walls going on.
We screwed everything together. Easy for removing if we need to replace a panel or get easy access to a certain area at a later date.
This end bit is the nesting box. The fence palings are cut on the angle for the nesting box roof.
Coming together. It's well raised of the ground. Plenty of room underneath for the chooks to chill out on hot days.
The little workers doing some Quality checks.
More fence palings to complete the outer walls of the nesting area. Note the three side panels on the coop - by the compost bin - are cut to size the length of the compost bin and removed. They slide in and out. This is for easy cleaning. To clean, I just slide these panels out, rake the old wood shavings out of the coop into the compost bin, replace side panels and refill with fresh wood shavings.
Top frame attached for the roof to sit on. It is on a slope from front to back so the water will run off. By this stage the coop is pretty strong. Even big sis ventured out of the house to see the progress.
Stand back and admire my handy work.
Next I added corrugated iron sheets on the top of the walls and roof. I cut them to size and shape with a grinder. I also added a fold up lid (fence palings of course) with two hinges. It flips up and sits open. I also added corrugated iron around the bottom under the coop and as a fence to keep my dog out. There is chicken wire above the compost bin so we can watch the chickens enjoying life. We dump all our compost and food scraps in there. It's the chickens favourite spot.
When it rained the top of the nesting boxes was getting a bit wet so I added the "verandah" / roof along the front and this fixed the problem 100%. I found it ready made on the side of the road. It even has a gutter! I collect the rain water and give it to the chickens.
I've got a broody chicken at the moment. That's her at the back. The chicken in the front is Stevie. She's completely blind so has her own special food and water area right there. Initially I had three nesting boxes in there but all the chickens just use that one so I took the others out. When Stevie went blind I set her food and water up in there.
That round green thing is just a pot plant base to stop food from getting into the water. I just used weedmat to seperate the nesting area from the main coop area.
There's enough room on top of the nesting box to store egg cartons. I usually keep the eggs there until I have a full load to take up to the house. Fly spray is good to have around at this time of year!
Looking in the run.from my entry door. That's a Chooketeria. Brilliant investment.
Feed storage bins. On the left is a wall I made with corrugated iron at the bottom to keep the dog away and chikc==cken wire at the top so we can see in.
Part of the chicken run. I lent a few iron pieces up against the fence. The chickens enjoy hanging out under them dust bathing. That's the ramp to the coop on the left.
Easy way to hold up a chicken ramp. Normally to the left of the Chooketeria is not blocked and the chickens can walk in there under the coop. I blocked it off because the chickens were laying there eggs under there because of broody hen. I'll unblock it when broody goes back to normal.
Looking in from outside next to the compost bin. There's a dog crate I tried to get broody out of her mood. It didn't work. There's another iron lean too behind it. They like scratching under that one. It's next to a tree.
The back door / main chicken entrance. Note the hinges on the corrugated panel at the top. Also see how the roof sticks out 500cm. This keeps any weather away from the Chooketeria and coop door.
Chickens view of the outside. You can see where I slide out the three panels and scrape into the compost bin. The game's too easy!
Top hatch is open. Good for looking at chooks going to bed / extra airflow if needed on hot days / throwing wood shavings in / general check ups.
Human entrance/ext door made from corrugated iron and fence palings of course. I put a concrete block on the ground just inside the door. It's nice to step onto for me and I just rake or hose it off occasionally. I give water in buckets hanging from a rope. I put a white lid just above this one because sparrows were pooping in it. Problem solved.
Four of the girls getting ready for bed. They're roost platform runs straight from above where the coop door is to the other side. You'll see why.
Old saw horse I found under our house and ramp up to roost. They jump onto the saw horse then waddle up the ramp, then flap around on the roost trying to get into the right position. Some of them jump straight from the saw horse to the roost. One does this about three times until she is happy with her position in the line..
You can see the entry to the nesting box at the back there. The blue box/bin is there because I was trying to block broody from getting into the nest. She won and I haven't removed the box yet.
The most important part. The poop tray. It sits under the roost. I just pull the whole tray out, scrape it off with a broad paint scraper into a compost bin with a lid.
On the left you can just see a square piece of wood on the floor. That's where Stevie sleeps. Being blind she can't get up to the roost. I notice she uses things like that to find her way. Blind chickens are lovely. You just need to make life easy for them.
One of the best investments I've ever made.
Hopefully this will inspire you to make a chicken home that will make your chickens, like mine, some of the happiest chickens in the world. Good luck.
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