So four years ago I convinced my darling husband to build us (me) a coop for "just a few hens". They have been a joy - through death, sickness, broodiness... I still love 'em! My 1st coop is not expandable, even thought the run did grow to 3x it's original size.
The living space is 3x6, the covered run is 6x6, and the uncovered run (now covered by shade cloth and bird netting) is approx. 11x9. No room for more girls inside - the most I had was 6 and had to add an extra roost. They were a bit cramped, but otherwise happy with all the run space.
Fast fwd four years, and since we have the space, I'm wanting a larger walk-in coop and a much larger covered run. What can I say - my hubs supports my hobby.
First thing was to remove and dig out the fruit trees that haven't produced one edible piece of fruit in 7 years, and replace them with Red Sunset maples to shade the run in the future.
To the right is the "tree-less tree house" we built last summer for our son's 9th birthday. Under it is a swing and there's a slide to the left that was leftover from his old play set he outgrew. Closer to the right is the trampoline. Far left is the pvc soccer goal.
Next is the size. The actual coop will be 12x16 walk in coop. There will be a 12x4 storage area where I can access nest boxes from inside as well. The run is 16x40 (almost) and covered in 1" aviary netting.
So far there has been no budget or time frame. We just build a little when we have "extra" money and weather permitting. This was built mostly in November/December 2013 before the winter weather came. There are 38" gate openings in two places - one in the center at the end, the other on the long wall and will be right next to the coop.
All the lumber is pressure treated. We sunk 4x4's 2' down in concrete. The bottom of the run is 1/2" welded wire buried 12" into the ground to discourage diggers. Our yard is fenced, but better safe than sorry. The top 4' is 2x4" welded wire. We attached the hardware cloth and welded wire with a combination of screws/fender washers and galvanized poultry staples - bought in bulk at a local ag supply store. We have waaaaaaay too many now.
All the side walls are 6' tall - so no stooping! The center posts are about 6'6" for supporting aviary netting and roosts. The gates have self-closing spring hinges so they shut behind me when I enter the run area.
Below pics you can see the aviary netting installed. That was fun (NOT). Bought this on ebay - it is advertised as 1" Mesh Heavy Knotted Premium Grade Aviary Netting. The size I purchased was 25' x 25'. It is UV stabilized for long life and durability and made of polyethylene (not nylon). The seller also advertised that it has a Break/Burst: 85/245 lbs. per mesh and a longevity of 7 to 10 years in high UV areas is what is advertised (says his Grandfather had some of this same netting in continuous use for over 20yrs.)
We pinned it down on the short (16' end) by girst holding it down with construction staples, then screwing it down with 1x2 furring strips. It's main purpose is to keep chickens in, and hawks out. I know a determined predator could chew through it, but they'd have to figure out how to climb up there first.
My father-in-law cut a bunch of junk trees for me off his property to use as roosts. I attached them at staggered heights to the center supports with lag screws and washers. He also cut me 6 stumps to use for perches. Some I'm staggering for ladders to get to the perches.
Here's the completed run with the netting in place after our first light snowfall in early January.
... and after winter storm Pax. The aviary netting held up well in snow, sleet, ice and freezing rain. We had it all!
Fast forward to warmer days in February when we were able to complete the foundation. 2x6 framing on 4x4 skids on concrete blocks. We did a hardware cloth apron 12" folded under the coop do deter any potential predators from digging into the run from under the coop.
And we have to watch this 4 legged predator... our wheaten wiener dog Noodles.
Blocking out the floor joists for 3/4" plywood flooring. Only photo of my husband - as he requested NOT to be photographed.
Walls going up. Laid down vapor barrier, then plywood tongue & groove flooring, then covered with sheet vinyl flooring.
This building is 12' x 16', with 7' walls. The coop area will be 12x12 with a 12x4 storage area/egg collection in the entry .
Wall #3 and a roof! The exterior siding is called Smart Side. Bought at L***s and was pre-primed and less expensive than the T-111 wood siding we've previously used.
The little framed out area under the back left window is for a clean out door. It's about 28" x 8" and I can remove the door to sweep out poop & shavings onto a tarp that can go into my compost pile.
Wall #4. Solid wood exterior door courtesy of Habitat for Humanity. Window was from one we replaced in our master bathroom. The round vents up high (front and back) are covered in window screen and hardware cloth to keep out wasps and critters.
Jobsite supervisors taking a break. They work so hard!
A little more finished. One coat of paint, shingles on the roof and some trim around the door and windows.
The interior. There is a dividing wall separating the coop from the storage area. The nest box is built into this wall with the egg collection being in the storage area. The exterior walls are insulated (we didn't need to, but the hubs said "why not?") and covered in osb sheathing and will be thoroughly painted.
All the windows are wood frame double hung windows. Some I found at Habitat, some from Craigslist sellers.
Early May sunset photo. It's why all the next pictures have a pink tint.
Entry door to coop.
Roosting area. It's 36" to the back wall and has 2 removable roosts. The "tray" underneath is about 5-6" deep, lined with sheet vinyl flooring. It will be full of Sweet Pdz for easy poop clean up!. Love this system for disposing of all the overnight poop.
The interior is painted a nice bright white. My storage area is light blue (leftover paint from some interior room in my home). This is looking from coop into storage area. There is hardware cloth above the wall for ventilation.
Another roosting area picture.
Pop door between the wall studs. It has a rope and pulley system until we can add solar panels and install an automatic door.
Pop door can be opened from storage area without going into the coop. The windows open out at the bottoms with hinges on the tops. Right now we keep them propped open with wood shims.
Sliding "barn" door. It's a hollow core interior closet door we removed from our home. Added hooks to the top, casters on the bottom and hooked it over iron pipe so it will slide open without taking up floor space in my storage area. I got this idea from Pinterest!
Another photo of sliding "barn" door and it's hardware in my entry/storage area.
1/2 my storage area on the egg collection side. It will have a counter and some shelves. You can see the back of the nest box door open.
We will be adding a covered area to the outdoor run. The framing has started, photos to follow.
The coop needs a deck in front of the entry door, and it needs a lot of landscaping. It's ready for the girls to move in once they're fully feathered.
The happy inhabitants of this coop are 17 new babies - 1 Australorp, 2 Barred Rock, 2 Red Sexlink, 1 Welsummer, 1 White Rock, 2 Amerucanas, 1 Dark Brahma, 1 Buff Brahma, 1 Gold Laced Wyandotte, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Cuckoo Marans, 1 Delaware and 1 Buff Orphington. I went with a very mixed flock. They are currently living in my garage and the little teradactyls are growing quickly! I hope they like it! Pictures of the girls to follow...
Feel free to PM me with any questions about the coop, run build, etc.
Kichohana's Coop #2 (chicken math strikes) - picture heavy!
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