I got my first-ever chickens in April, six Buff Brahmas, and wanted them to have a safe place to grow up. We have a lot of chicken-loving wildlife around here such as hawks, foxes, coyotes and raccoons so safety was a primary concern. I started out with a used Saloon coop from ChickenSaloon.com that I got from a friend but quickly realized that it wouldn't be large enough for six chickens. I went online and purchased an Aspen Pet Chicken Fort with a matching run to augment the Saloon. The first one arrived damaged but Amazon replaced it pretty quickly. It was easy to assemble and seemed sturdy enough when it was all done.
Then came the fun part, figuring out how to join the two coops and the run. In the end, I wound up making a table of sorts for the Fort to sit on; that brought it up to the same height as the Saloon and gave me the opportunity to add to the run space by putting hardware cloth around the bottom of the table. Now the chickens have protected space under both coops in case the weather is bad. I cut an entry in the side of the Saloon where the Fort door was to make access between the two coops. Then I attached the Fort run to the end of the Saloon run and now they have plenty of space to play.
Being a bit anal retentive, I didn't like how the coops had different roofs and had also heard that the roof on the Chicken Saloon leaks so I roofed the entire thing in matching asphalt roof shingles left over from when we had the house done. I buried hardware cloth 12" deep around the whole thing so that no critters can dig into it and spread some mulch around to beautify it as well as to keep the lawn guy from weed-whacking my coop! So now I'm the proud owner of the Taj MaHen and have some extra capacity so I'll probably get some more chickens next year but don't tell my wife about my nefarious plan!
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