My husband and I constructed an elevated 8' x 8' walk-in chicken coop, with access below the coop including roosting perches.
The coop is constructed of 2x4 framing, truss roof system to handle a northeast snow load, metal roofing, and Smart Siding. The inside is finished with OSB Board and solid foam insulation in the walls, with 3/4" extra plywood for flooring. There is a full walk-in door from the outside for easy access. The coop chicken door is on a pulley system. The windows are constructed with double pane plexi-glass. The windows were first finished with hardware cloth to prevent an intruder from gaining access. The first plexi-glass window is removable from the inside to allow ventilation and a second pane of plexi-glass is secured on the outside for the winter months. There is ventilation at the soffits during the winter months which his also finished off with screening. The coop also includes electric for an overhead light and to allow a heated water dispenser.
For more details on coop construction, please see below.
Since the original construction, we have added a penthouse for our rooster "Ben" who is attached to the girls coop and whose run is adjacent to the girls.
We have mobile fencing to allow the girls secured access to other foraging areas.
In the morning the girls enjoy the rising sun.
The coop is set atop of nine 30" 4"x4" ties set on concrete dock blocks. Please note the girls like to excavate and I would recommend some additional patio blocks or pavers around the dock blocks so that they do not undermine the coop foundation.
Danika taking a dirt bath under the coop. Note the dock blocks and roost perches beneath. Please also note this picture was taking before chicken excavation lol!
Framing floor plan is an 8' x 8' using 2" x 6" x 8' treated lumber.
Joists are 16" on center.
2 3/4" 4' x 8' CDX exterior plywood for floor decking.
All four walls are 2" x 4" x 8" douglas fir 16" on center.
The front wall was framed for a 30" x 80" metal entry door pre-hung - framed in for a 2" high x 12" wide window by the front door. Picked up a bargain deal on the door from Home Depot in their clearance department due to a small dent. The door also includes a dead bolt which is keyed the same as the door knob. Access to the full walk-in door is via four steps.
On the opposite wall, the rear wall is a 4' long x 18" high window. This window also includes two panes of plexi-glass, one removable from the inside and the second utilized during the winter months secured from the outside. If looking at the front of the coop, the right wall also includes a window 2' long x 18" high window which also includes the plexi-glass. We added a bump out to the existing girls coop. Big Bertha turned out to be Benjamin. Benjamin as a 4' wide by 8' long by 4' high penthouse. His coop also includes double pane removable plexi-glass windows, which also includes metal fabric cloth. A pulley system chicken coop door and a back door wide enough for me to squeeze in for total coop cleanouts and cleanings.
Both the girls and Benjamin's chicken coop door entrance walls have 20" x 20" sliding door on a pulley system with a ramp. A rope is placed through eyelets to allow smoother opening and closing of the door and tied off with a cleat on the side of the building. The larger door opening enables multiple chickens to access or enter the building at the same time since the building is elevated 30" above grade.
The roof trusses are 12' which gave us a 2 foot overhang. We extended the top plates 12" on the front and back wall to add extra trusses for added overhangs for extra protection from the snow and rain. The girls are not yet use to the snow and do not like to come out. The extra overhang allows additional protection from driving wind and snow.
The outdoor ramp is constructed of 5 1/4x6 decking with 1" x 1/2" cleats for gripping.
The outdoor run is 8' wide by 10' long and constructed of 2x4 treated lumber and framed 16" on center. The roof rafters are 3" x 5" x 8' long landscape ties. We used landscape ties on top of the pen to prevent an animal, or even a bear from falling through into the pen below. The run is enclosed with metal 1/2" x 1/2" square metal hardware cloth which is attached from the outside and at the bottom flared out 16" to prevent an intruder from burrowing under. The 1/2" hardware cloth was worth the extra money since it has the strength we need to prevent a predator access and we do not have to worry about mice or other small animals squeezing in between the openings. Another reason for enclosing the top of the run with metal fabric cloth was to prevent hawks, owls and eagles from getting in from above.
Both exterior pen doors include the metal hardware cloth and including self closing hinges. Both doors include two sets of hinges. There is a sliding both on the both of both doors at the bottom and a regular latch at waist level to allow a pad lock for security. We understand that raccoons can be quite clever.
We then weighted down the flared out metal fabric cloth with large stones. Last year we had a mother bear and her two cubs come through who tried to get in and they were unsuccessful (see picture above).
However, with the rough winters we added metal roofing to help protect the run from inclement weather (the girls do not like the snow). With the extremely hot Summers we decided to leave it on to provide shade since they have access to the yard behind the enclosed run. Last year we constructed planters out of cement blocks but found that the plants did not fair as well as being in the ground. This year I constructed two small raised planters out of rock and planted herbs that help repel insects and that are also deer resistant. We have planted peppermint, oregano, lavender, dill, sage and basil.
On the interior, we constructed nesting boxes with OSB board. Access to the nesting boxes is via a ramp or an approximate 18" to 20" jump up from the floor. There is a platform on the outside of the nesting boxes for easy access to each of the nest boxes which also allows access to the second tier of nesting boxes.
Connie and Xena sitting and looking pretty.