Here's our Hawaii coop, it is made out of 90% reclaimed lumber and recycled hardware I had laying around (we did buy the owl, but he isn't fooling any birds or cats...)
I built a small coop/run for our 4 Rhode Island Reds. They were a gift for my wife, well the eggs are my gift to her, the chickens are my project.
Here's a pic of the first time they went outside to "see the world".
I am really glad I decided to try raising chickens, the kids really love them. Here's Ethan with one of the chicks (he was taking them around the house on walking tours until he found out they wouldn't be living inside with us!)
I tried to make it with as much recycled materials as I could, so I went over to my buddy John's newly built home and scavenged as much wood and roofing as I could carry. Here is one of the 3 piles we rummaged through to find usable lumber.
John was even nice enough to cut 3 sections of industrial steel roofing (heavy and sharp!) for me.
I took all my freebie supplies home and started drawing a detailed plan for the coop. Of course the design went totally out of the window the first day of construction.
My first step was to build a 2x4 frame to bolt the roofing to. I ended up with a 3' x 8' footprint (or roofprint, if you like). I used 4x6 timbers for the main vertical elements and cut the rear ones 2" shorter to give the roof a pitch to the rear. We get a lot of rain, so a flat roof profile was out. I didn't take a picture of how I framed the beams to put the roof on top, but I wish I had cause I still cant remember how the hell I got that roof up there by myself (the roof alone weighed approx. 90 pounds!)
Here's the rough framing with the coop walled in (I used some old bamboo flooring I scavenged at John's house, plus some new from Costco).
It looks like it's on blocks because I decided it needed to be a foot shorter (didn't want to get into trouble with shed zoning and structure laws) So I took a foot off with a circular saw, but spent half a day trying to figure out how to get it off the blocks without collapsing the whole structure! It was heavier than it was sturdy at that point. To prevent a trip to the hospital, I asked John to come over and lower it together ( got some good construction advice for finishing the coop too!)
I used plastic sprinkler hose cut open to fit over the edges of the roof (super sharp and at eye level, bad combo..) I also had an old mailbox key assembly in my toolbox, so I used that for the lock to the coop, worked well...
Once I got the coop on the ground, I was having trouble with stability (racking) so I pulled the back off the coop box and added a sheet of plywood, problem solved! I left the bottom open under the coop and on the back side so I could power wash the poop off the slab when needed. Should help the bamboo tree in the corner grow bigger!
At this point I added a door (scavenged hinges) and a chicken door for the girls.We named them omlette, huevo, and quiche to remind them why they are a part of our family, we had a 4th chicken (fritatta) but we learned the hard way that you cut the primary flight feathers as soon as the chicks are fully feathered pullets. We still hold out hope that fritatta comes home some day...
Here's the final product..Added ropes for the pop door and the outer door, 2 coats of Killz paint (not sure what to do for the final color).
Here's the girls checking out the new digs, the kids cant stay out of there either (I think they want it as a clubhouse!)
Thought I should show the rest of the coop and some of the other recycled items I used. Here is some more detailed pics of the mailbox lock I used to lock the coop box.
Some amateur routing work with my multi-tool, it does work great!
Painted a background so the kids could paint a mural for the coop and added some traction tape for the chicken ramp.
I had to add a shed roof to keep the sprinklers from flooding the chicken feed, something else I overlooked in the initial design.
We ended up restricting the hens to the back of the yard, got tired of power washing the patio and our flip flops! We also set them up with a 5 gallon nipple watering system and a step feeder. Here is the final setup...
Made a little brick wall in the back from leftover bricks I had laying around...
And here's Huevo, the girl we suspect laid our first egg which arrived today!!!!!
This is our kids (Ethan and Malia) and our first egg!
Things I would have done differently.....
1. Get a frickin' NAIL GUN. Hand hammering made the coop box take twice as long.
2 Use only 2 x 4's or smaller, my coop weighs around 200lbs.
3. Stick to the plan and frame out my walls better.
4. Use plywood, it keeps your framing square. You can attach you siding material to the plywood.
5. Use hardware cloth, it costs more, but is easier to work with and looks better. Chicken wire is a drag to work with!
6. Integrate my nesting boxes with my original design.I figured I had a few months to decide where to put them after the coop was built. Bad idea!!
7. I switched the 1/2" irrigation tubing to 2" irrigation , it covered the edge of the steel roofing without having to bend it to the contour of the roofing, now that it is straight, it acts as a gutter system and drains into the bamboo plant in the in the corner of the yard.
Hope this helps somebody have an easier time! It was worth the work!
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