Girdie's Place

By Coop53, Sep 7, 2015 | Updated: Oct 3, 2015 | | |
  1. Coop53
    So it all began with the idea to harvest our own eggs. When, or just what started it I can't remember. Something caught my eye somewhere along and I stumbled upon this site. So, I started reading. Well, here I am, like the rest of you...Hooked!
    My wife, who refers to me as the "one flew over the cuckoo's nest ", was not happy about the whole idea, and there was some arguing. Mainly, cause she pictured our house as being an old run down farm or something like that.
    The plan was my daughter was to purchase the chicks when my wife and I went on a business trip. Well, she got em, and when we came home there was no turning back. We got 2 Brahma's, 2 NJ Blacks, 2 Cream Legbars, and 1 Wyandotte. Set them up in a 150 gallon Rubbermaid troth I had and so our story begins...
    My daughter and I were to build the coop. I purchased 25 46' x 44" sheets of plywood from a common website for 1.00 ea. Score!
    I bought some 2 x 3's, 2 x 4's, screws, etc. to get going. Here is our coop...


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    The base is 2 x 6's and 4 x 4's I had lying around. We made it 6' x 4'. We used corrugated roofing material. A sliding window with 1 x 1 hardware cloth behind it.

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    Above, is the Nursery. It is boarded off from the inside for now. Has 2 x 3"s around the inside top cover so pests cannot pry open at the ends. A locking safety latch and snap ring to keep closed tight...

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    Above, is the clean up side of the coop. It is also where the girls roost. It is plywood, with 3/4' hard insulating foam sandwiched inside another piece of plywood inside. Above, there is a closing vent for air circulation. There will be one at the other side also. Hinged at top and locking at the bottom. It's a little heavy, but it is ok overall. I thought if it was drizzling or something, I would be covered while cleaning...

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    So here it is opened up. It has a slip in piece of plywood to stop the wood chips from falling on the ground till I'm ready to clean. Two removable roosting bars, 2 x 3"s. You can see the one closest has upper mounts also. I have it low cause chicks are still about 5 weeks old. There is a vent with 1 x 1' hardware cloth to the right. I am adding a sliding piece of plexi next week.

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    Roosting bars with view of watering shed area...

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    Here is my "Tractor Supply" feeder with a piece of pond liner tacked to wall so girls don't roost and poop in food tray. More on the feeder later...

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    So the watering shed was an idea I came up with. After the chicks being in the tub, the watering bucket would drip onto shavings and although the smell wasn't terrible, the food getting wet was. So, I hung the watering bucket, drilled with "Tractor Supply" poultry nipples in this area. The floor is tilted downwards away from the coop and is about 1/8" away from the slide in drop from the top door...

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    So here is the door removed. Top hinges open, door slides out and water can be filled. There is a flat piece of plywood that holds it in place. There is a large circle cut in the top so I can drop the bucket in and the bucket lip stops it. For now, there is a 2 x 4' slip into the handle to keep it lower till the girls grow up. There is a piece of plywood to stop shavings. The nipples really do not leak at all. A little moisture I figure will be ok, but at least if their is significant spillage it will run out onto the ground. The door slide back in and locks at the top on both sides - -see next picture...

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    The food I fill into the 3" PVC pipe above. It goes thru the wall, which is silicone and painted into my "Tractor Supply" feed bucket...see below...

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    There is a lip along the top of the feeder. After cutting the circle, I pushed it up from underneath and secured it with 2 1" screws where the holes were for the handle. The 3" hole for the pipe is pretty tight, and the PVC actually holds the feeder very tightly in place. I fill it with a funnel from the outside to the top. Working well so far!

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    Here is the door we made. It has a 4 x 4" sunk into the ground, a 2 x 3" frame, a lock inside so I can get out, and an outside lock.

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    We used chicken wire, 4' high around the bottom. (after we painted, sorry) then 14mm PVC coated black mesh 2 x 3 wire on the top of that and over the top. The chicken wire bent outwards about 1 foot and we covered with wall stone that I had to deter predators. We sank 2' rebar pieces a few feet apart at the base, weaved thru the black wire and chicken wire and drove in 1'. It is very tight and very secure, we think. You could climb on it! We also took 6' high steel stakes, like used for farming, dove them into the ground 2', the drilled holes in them to screw the 2 x 4''s to them. They were rock solid and when the top and center sections went up, it just firmed it all up. I think the wire was the most costly...

    In closing, the girl's are below. They are about 5 weeks and are outside now. We trained them to walk up into the house to sleep and to eat. "Girdie" is the larger Brahma and seems to lead the pack. I have a second water pail outside, but chose to leave the feed inside for lack of rodents, birds, etc. We taught them so quickly with freeze dried mealworms. We love them all, and my wife actually said we should build a bench near the coop. Who would of thought my Brooklyn girl now loves the girls as much as my daughter and I. All in all, I'm about 550.00 in, not including the chicks.
    I open the coop door and close every day. I have timers on order and am building a very simple opener using a 12 volt electric window motor from an old Caddy. I will post pictures and update issues soon. Thanks to all on this very informative site. I generally don't post. I search and read, but I thought I would share our first build...Bok Bok!
    Phil...


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    UPDATE BELOW...10/3/15

    I have added a LED nightlight with the bulb sprayed with white paint lightly as it does not get hot. It stays on 24hrs. At dusk, it actually seems to aid in them getting back into the coop.
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    The larger bulb is a 40watt LED. It is on a timer and goes on when the auto door opens and goes out at dusk. The other two timers are for the up / down activation of the auto door I made.

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    It a 12v auto power window motor with a spool screwed to it, wrapped with wire to lift and close door. Up timer goes on in am for only 2 minutes. then cuts the timer off. Window motor is strong enough to hold open door. I used a couple of old 12v power adapters I had lying around. The second one lowers the door. When it gets to bottom it cuts off. I then have a 1watt LED light outside the coop that turns on. It tells me the door is down. Its the only way it can light. That timer stays on 3hrs. It is working fantastic. total cost, about 20.00. Below is the spdt switch closeup...

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    The girls are getting bigger!!!

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Comments

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  1. CharMac76
    Great job. I especially love the feeder modification and watering hole.
  2. Coop53
    Thank you both for the kind words. I will post more as time goes on, and also the automatic door I am going to build soon! Phil...
  3. Purpletie3
    This is great! i am bookmarking this coop. I need to build one for my new isbar babies...
  4. chickbird
    What a terrific job you have done. Enjoyed reading your post.

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