After 3 years of our Playhouse Coop - we embarked on a quest for enlarging our flock to include bantams. Knowing that we didn't want the little girls to get mercilessly picked on by the big girls - we decided to construct a smaller Bantam Coop in which to house the "not-so-big" girls.
Here is the pictorial review of the saga that was our summer:
The coop had to be enclosed on top to allow for our bitterly cold winters but have enough ventilation to deal with our hot hot hot summers. I didn't want a huge footprint so wanted to have the run underneath the coop - which would allow the upper portion to shade the lower portion during the summers. I drew and re-drew the design of this coop so many times that I thought I would lose my mind. I thought that I had everything laid out perfectly but after it was all said-and-done, there were some slight issues that I would love to do over but alas, we're stuck with them.
As you can see from these photos - the pop-door is located on a wall and the chickens have a ladder in which to climb down in order to reach the run area. I chose a wall vs the floor for the pop-door because I realized that having a hole in the floor would guarantee that all the bedding would eventually end up in the run. Notice that we installed two vents in the wall to allow for air-flow.
You can see from this view that the entire side of the top portion is actually a hinged-door and the run also has a hinged door that is separate from the upper portion. There are windows on 3 sides of the coop and all are hinged at the top so that they can be propped open and left that way even if it is raining so that the bedding will remain dry. On days when no rain is threatening the windows can be clipped in the full-open position. The windows are all lined with hardware cloth for security. The entire coop is constructed of pine studs and cedar for all else (with the exception of the stairs which are some sort of composite plastic-y stuff which I don't really like but the thought of asking my husband to disassemble them so that he can replace them with cedar stairs doesn't appeal to me). The run is constructed of buried hardware cloth (approximately 12 inches below the level of the sand to prevent burrowing critters from entering the run/coop).
In this photo - the coop door is fully-opened and you can see inside. The purple clip above the door is to clip the window in the full-open position (the window must be released from the clip before opening the door).
The view inside the coop from the open door shows you that my husband used pine slats for the ceiling and the ceiling is open all the way to the top of the peak. The next boxes are built into the corner of the coop so as to not take up much floor space and to allow the windows to be placed in such a way as to not detract from the outward appearance of symmetry.
You can see the smaller 1"x1"perch that we chose instead of a 2"x4" because it would be a better size for the bantams. Although it is difficult to visualize from this photo - immediately behind the perch there is a shelf that is approximately 12" in depth (this is the area that is set inward to allow for the pop-door to be placed in the wall with enough room for stairs and not interfere with the overall outward symmetry of the coop design). As it turns out - the bantams actually prefer to roost on this shelf area as opposed to the wooden perch - which is ok but somewhat of a pain to clean because I have to actually crawl inside the coop and clean off the shelf with a brush and dustpan.
You can sort-of imagine the shelf in this photo. The black latch is to hold the pop-door open.
Notice the laminate flooring....my husband is an over-achiever!
The pop-door in the open position.
There is a small 12"x12" landing at the top and the bottom of the steps.
Notice that to the left of the window there is a vertical hinged door. This is the nest-box access door. (My dear husband did a nice job of matching up the siding so as to make it less conspicuous.)
My son and his best buddies!
My daughter's 4-H project - BANTAMS (with a couple standards for good measure)! (Love - Easter Egger bantam on her shoulder, Henrietta - Black Australorp on her hand, Loves - Mille Fleur D'uccle beside her boot, Cutie and Fluffy - blue and white Silkies next to the D'uccle, Georgianna - Speckled Sussex next to the Silkies, and Fancy - the White-Crested Blue Polish with the wild feathers on top!)
I hope you've enjoyed perusing our latest foray into the chicken-keeping kingdom! Remember - chickens are like potato chips! You can't just have ONE! Enjoy.
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