I built this coop for my girlfriend Kathy in June 2011. Its been a year now and the coop is a big success. After researching ready built coops for sale and many of the custom coops on this site I decided I would like to design one to fit our location and incorporate some features I had seen in various other designs. I drew it out on some scratch paper and sort of modified it as construction progressed. The henhouse is 4'x4'x6' with a run underneath. I built a large food bin and a gravity fed water system to reduce labor and ensure clean water. All the supplies are stored in a built in side cabinet. Total material cost was approx. $500
side view showing storage/nest box compartment
front quarter view with everything opened up for cleaning
front view, everything open and removed for cleaning
Litter tray is 4ft by 4ft lined with linoleum. This is the first time in a year that I have removed it for cleaning
There is no water in the henhouse so chicken waste dries in the litter. I change litter once per month. My
original thinking was I would need to change the litter once per week but even after 3-4 weeks there is almost no
bad smell since everything stays so dry. After 4 weeks there is lots of dried chicken waste and sort of a
musty chicken smell but I cant smell anything with the doors closed so I've settled on a once per month
interior trap door is operated from outside
food storage containers (scratch and layer feed) and nest box removed for cleaning.
ramp from lower run to henhouse. run surface is concrete pavers layed over DG. Walls are raised 1
inch off the concrete surface to make it easy to spray out the run
removeable ramp. All components are removeable. I'm thinking I will paint them a darker color
removeable roost ramp and nestbox perch
roost detail. roost is removeable
feed bin, holds 20 lbs. Chickens are free range so this bin lasts more than a month per refill (6 chickens)
side cabinet with everything installed. Yellow water reservoir for automatic water system
lasts three weeks per refill. Two nest boxes more than enough for 6 hens
chicken water nipple located in lower run. There is no water in the hen house for sanitary/smell reasons.
I installed two for redundancy and reliability in case one fails
available here: http://www.amazon.com/Poultry-Chicken-nipple-chickens-hatching/dp/B004NEIS1M
everything back and fresh pine shavings for litter
hen house litter tray removed showing plumbing for automatic water system. Works great and water stays clean
Our hens, Dot (light Brahma), Hawk (EE), Lucy (P. Rock),
Sophie (Australorp), Buffy (B. Orpington) and Blackie (Australorp)
We raised a total of 13 hens to find 6 that were quiet and non aggressive.
The seven troublemakers ended up at a friends small farm. What I've
learned is that troublesome hens (noisy, domineering) is more a
matter of individual chicken personality than breed.