Our coop building project started on May 1st 2012, our first brood of chickens were in it on June 3rd. The coop wasn't complete finished until the 29th of Sept... In general we started with an 8x12 shed kit from Lowe's. It had nice double man doors and a small window. We decided to situate the coop and run between to fairly large gardens (1/4 acre ea). Eventually fencing the gardens will allow us to free range the chickens in the garden that is fallow. Unfortunately, I haven't finished fencing the gardens... Time and money, at least that's my excuse.
We started the project by rough leveling a 10x14 pad. The location of the coop is at the top of a gently sloping hill, it faces west.
Once the frame was leveled, we decked it and started putting up the walls. Our grand daughter Lilly was supervising the construction.
We decided to use corrugated sheet metal for roofing. To get to this stage was basically a week.
Eventually I ran 1/2"x24" hardware cloth around the base of the coop, to keep critters out.
I added a window in the east wall, for cross ventilation, and put small vents in the peak of the north and south walls. An 8x12 covered porch was added, and this is where I started running into 'issues'. There is only an inch, or so, of clearance between the man door and the bottom of the sofit that goes along the wall of the front of the shed. In order to open the man doors, I had to cut an angle along the top of the door. Or position the top of the 'porch' so that it was above the edge of the roofing. This would have required a gutter along the front of the coop, so I opted to put the roof of the porch below the roof of the shed.
The 50 gal rain barrel fills completely after a short Oregon rain storm, so it stays full most of the time. Though we had a very unusually dry summer here, so I filled the barrel twice. The coop has no power or water plumbed to it yet, but that is a in the future expansion plans... Next I fitted a window in the east wall, and started constructing the fence for the run (12'x32').
A chicken door in the west wall and nesting boxes in the east wall (these are accessible without entering the coop, or the eventual garden fencing).
One of our Ameraucana's inspecting the the door and ramp.
The cupola was last, but I couldn't resist, my neighbor build a new barn and he had a cupola, so - you know I kinda had to... Cupola is a little small, but it has a corrugated roof and a built in bird house.
Finished product with run, gates on both sides of the run which is completely covered with 1" chicken wire (that was fun...).
(note straw mulch on garden, that was a HUGE mistake...<grin>, we had wheat in no time..)
Some interior notes. I covered the floor and shelves with a 1/4" melamine, which I had hoped to make cleaning easier. That was a mistake. Chicken poo sticks to it like glue. I built a roost which the first brood of 8 buf orp's used until the 2nd brood of 10 (2ea GLW, SLW, RIR, BPR, Am) were integrated. Now all the birds roost on the shelves or the rafters, who ever gets the highest roost wins in the chicken world I guess.
Pine shaving on the floor, put that on the shelv's as well, but it dosent stay there...
In conclusion, we hope that this coop will eventually house 30 birds (3ft sq / bird), for now it seems totally adequate for 18 birds. They only use 5 of the 10 nesting boxes, but at least they are using them. I think my next coop will be of my own design. Which may ultimately cost more, but I wont have any of the issues that arose with using a shed kit. In all it was a very fun project, and at the end of the day, like my wife says - it's a chicken coop for cryin out loud...
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