Well, finally took the plunge into raising chickens. I have 28 birds, 9 Russian Orloffs, 10 Dark RIR, and 9 Welsumers. They are now out of the brooder and doing well. I hope to have the run finished and the birds getting their daily fresh air soon. I have converted an old shed to a coop and moved the shed to a new location on the farm. Here what I started with.
I haven't updated for a while because I have been working to get the shed rebuilt. I replaced some of the rotten siding on the bottom front rebuilt the windows, put a new window and a vent on the west wall (left in pic) and a vent and nesting boxes on the east. I left the soffet open on the north and covered with hardware cloth. I cut some vents (looks like big bullet holes across front) close to the roof in the front (facing south). I added a new door and outside service nesting boxes. Here are some pictures. I put a solar powered, motion activated, flood light to light the run. I had to go back and change the pop door because the siding door (sheet metal) quit sliding, so I put up ripped 2"x4"s with an extra wide groove. 75% of the coop exterior has been painted and will eventually be red and white. The 3rd board up from the bottom left on the front was a replacement after painting because my lab (better him than a wild critter) discovered a rotten board. I used a piece of the siding from the nesting box location. One of the challenges has been the fact the coop is not square.
Here is a picture of the nesting boxes on the east-side of the coop. On the left, you can see the door I built out of wood I had laying around in the hog shed.
Inside I put down vinyl flooring and insulated the walls and ceiling. I put OSB up on the walls and used sand bags to cover the ceiling. I wanted to paint the interior, but I had to move the chicks in on their 6th week birthday, because I needed the brooder for 50 meaties. Here is a shot of equality roosts I installed. They are four 8' long 2x4's hanging from the ceiling. The coop is 16'x10' so I built the interior for as many as 40 chickens even though I only have 28 in there now.
To keep chickens in and the dogs out while I'm in the coop, and for extra air during the Nebraska summer I installed a door made from a cattle panel and covered with chicken wire and hardwire cloth. On the left in the picture below you can see the nesting boxes. I have them temporarily covered with seed bags until the hens are ready to produce.
I have named the coop "the Kremlin" since I am raising and hopefully will in the future breed Russian Orloffs . Here are some bird pics. The Russians are spotted except for one mahogany that I thought for a long time was a RIR until I noticed he didn't have his comb racing stripe. I have both white legged (European version) and yellow legged (American version). Still can't tell the roosters from the hens. I also have some Welsummers and RIR. Here is an Orloff.
With two bird dogs raising chickens can be a challenge. The Black Lab is 4 and the German Shorthair is 11 months. The lab wants to retrieve (he is a hunter) and the puppy is mesmerized by them.
A pair of Orloffs. Do the tails, one up one down, show male and female?