Lake Norman Coop De Ville

By emarketwiz, Sep 14, 2012 | Updated: Jun 10, 2013 | | |
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  1. emarketwiz
    Lake Norman "Coop De Ville"

    Click on the pictures to see larger versions

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    Coop Builders Ken Poindexter and Wendy Broughman

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    This post chronicles the journey of my sweetheart and I into urban chicken mania. We stumbled upon an evening news clip about urban chicken coops in our area which began our research and ultimate commitment to having chickens. Less than two months later we began construction of the coop Below are some of the details regarding the coop construction which began July 22, 2012 and I finished (for the most part) on September 14, 2012; with lessons learned along the way. Thanks for visiting this page and I appreciate the opportunity to share our experience with you.


    Coop design criteria:

    • Room for 5 hens
    • aesthetically pleasing (We live on the shore of a large lake just north of Charlotte, NC so don't want to offend our neighbors)
    • Somewhat portable in case we move
    • Automatic door so I don't have to get up each morning at dawn to let chickens out (although I end up there every morning anyway)


    Design and Feature Influences:


    • Wichita Cabin Coop
    • 8 X 16 Coop and Storage Room
    • The Palace

    The coop is five feet wide by ten feet long. I designed the coop using Google SketchUp. It was designed and built in two sections that are attached together by five 1/2 inch bolts, washers and nuts.


    * Things I would do differently now listed at bottom of this page


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    It was built from mostly 2 X 4's. I also used 2 X 6's, 1/2 inch plywood, one 2 X 12, 8 inch tongue & groove siding, 1 X 3's and 1 X 4's. None of the wood was treated so I applied 2 coats of Behr white deck stain. I used 1/2" hardware cloth to keep out predators and the chickens in. It has a corrugated metal roof.


    My girlfriend and I began on July 22, 2012 by locating a suitable location in the yard to build the coop. We began by installing and leveling 22 12" X 15" pavers. I only had to cut 2 of them with a dry masonry blade on a miter saw. We did no more work until August 21, 2012 when as I began to install the base boards realized that we had done a poor job of leveling the pavers so we purchased a bucket of polymeric sand and leveled each paver once again.

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    None of the wood used was pressure treated so we stained the boards that would touch the ground before beginning construction. We found a good deal on a used Shopsmith Mark V 510 woodworking machine which was bought and used to build the coop.


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    We covered the ground and foundation with weed barrier cloth and started putting the boards together.

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    The housing section of the coop is 4' X 5'. It is 7' tall in front and 6' tall at the rear.

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    August 23, 2012

    Framed the roof for the pen section. It is 7' X 8'. This section of the coop is 5' X 6' so their is an 18" overhang front and rear and a 1' overhang on the left side. It is 6.5' tall in front and 5.5' tall in the rear. We had to finish this side of the roof because with a 1' overhang from the adjacent housing section roof we wouldn't have room to nail the felt and metal roof on if it were built concurrently.


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    I am NOT a woodworker so trying to figure out how to notch 2 X 4's at an angle was a pain.


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    We originally used wooden blocks to attach the front and rear spreaders but later switched to metal L brackets in order to be able to install the wire mesh and trim strips properly.

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    August 24, 2012

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    August 25, 2012

    Installed the 1/2 inch plywood for the pen roof and stained. Wendy did most of the staining on the entire coop.


    Note: The clear plastic was used as a drop cloth to keep the white stain off of the black weed barrier and was removed and thrown away before we introduced the sand.
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    August 26, 2012

    On goes the roof felt paper.


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    No chickens yet but the moths like it :)


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    August 27, 2012

    The metal roof goes on this section. We start to frame the housing section roof.


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    August 28, 2012

    I begin framing for the nest box which will be 16 " high X 14" deep X 28.25" wide for 2 nests.


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    All wooden blocks holding the spreaders are replaced with metal corner brackets.

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    August 29, 2012

    Installed the 2" X 12" header board drilled for three 1/2" X 4" bolts to attach the pen and housing sections together. Also finished framing for the window over the nest box.


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    August 30, 2012

    Started installing the 1/2" hardware cloth.


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    August 31, 2012

    The housing roof plywood goes on and the floor is framed.


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    September 6,. 2012

    We pick up our chickens from the NC state poultry sale. Five Hy-Line Browns with all of their shots. Housing section not ready so we are in overdrive. See Wendy on the side of the coop painting away.


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    September 8, 2012

    Housing section is almost finished except for nest box. Notice the battery box for the Pullet-Shut Automatic door. The Battery is charged by a solar panel mounted on top of the coop. Next to it you see the photoelectric eye which opens the door at sunrise and closes it at sunset. The door itself is all metal and very precision built. It works like a dream. We put 15 bags of sand at 50lbs each into the pen.



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    September 9, 2012

    Working on the nest box



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    September 17, 2012

    Installed 2 gallon watering system with stainless steel nipples.


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    The girls took right to it!

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    Installed new trigger based feeder. The girls hit the trigger and food is dispensed. To my surprise it only took a few minutes for them to figure the system out. Still needs to be stained.

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    September 20, 2012

    Changed the container for the feeding system. The first container's lid was too difficult to get on and off and broke the container rim. Also stained it.


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    Added a second roost a little lower and 14" apart from the other one. Two of our girls were having a difficult time getting onto the first one which is 30" off of the floor.

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    Fake wooden eggs to help the girls learn where to lay.

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    October 3, 2012

    Our First Egg! The only problem is that Mama didn't lay it in the nest box but rather on the floor of the housing area. I never thought I'd be so excited about an egg.


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    Our first egg was the best we have ever tasted!

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    Yum!

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    October 5, 2012

    Egg Number Two! Still not laying in the nest box though. UMMMM...


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    October 6, 2012

    I heard one of the girls fussing inside the coop so I went and placed her in a nest box. She came out twice and went back in, sat and left us an egg. The other girls all came into the coop to watch. Hopefully they learned where this is supposed to take place.



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    October 8, 2012

    We are now getting two eggs a day! They are using both next boxes!



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    October 29. 2012

    Getting cooler and windy so I built two windows with 1" X 3" poplar and Lexan which I had cut at Lowes.


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    I drilled and secured the Lexan to the frame using #6 X .5" screws and rubber washers


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    Next will be disassembly; staining the frames white and reassembly


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    Safe from the wind!


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    Windows removed, taken apart, stained white, put back together and reinstalled!
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    Added a hardware cloth tube to the top of the trigger feeder to keep the girls off of the bucket; it works great!
    The girls are fed Countryside Organic Feed and they love it!

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    Wendy came up with a great idea for a sand sifting design and as a result I constructed this. It is 24"X12" and has screen on the inside supported by hardware cloth on the outside to hold the weight of the sand and waste. Works like a dream, but it takes a fairly strong person to use this. Sand is heavy!
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    Here it is at work! The sand is clean and the waste goes into the compost pile.
    WARNING: You have to wear some type of respiratory filter mask to prevent breathing in the fine silica particles from the sand which over time I have read can lead to silicosis.


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    March 10, 2013 Wendy's mom brought us this cool rooster carving and we coated it with exterior urethane and mounted it on the coop where we can enjoy it by our sitting area.


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    We're starting to let the girls free range around our backyard on pretty days.


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    The Girls!

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    The chickens have been great for us! We get up early each morning to see what they're up to. My sweetheart and I enjoy coffee by the coop each morning and find ourselves going out to see them a few times a day. We are fortunate to be self-employed and work from home much of the time. We are addicted to chickens! LOL


    I couldn't have undertaken or completed this project without the love, help and support of my wonderful girlfriend Wendy. She worked hard and long hours helping to build the coop and had some great ideas that we incorporated into the design.


    Wendy's mother Sharon named the coop and we love it!


    Things I would do differently:


    1. Build a split door (two sections that each open independently) with the bottom sectionbeing around two feet tall so that when the top section is opened to feed and water the chickens can't get out. This issue started when we began to let them free range around the yard some days when we can supervise them.


    2. Forget the barrier cloth. The chickens just dig it up at shred it and we have all of it up except between the wood and foundation block.


    3. We will probably go with a treadle feeder instead of the trigger feeder soon. I just have to build one. They manage to get the feed all over the sand and we clean a lot of it out of the sand.



    4. We have been contemplating removing the sand and using straw. The sand is very heavy to clean and I use straw in the new tractor coop that I designed and built; it is easier to work with but not as aesthetically pleasing.

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Comments

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  1. Redhenny
    Choice Dakine! That's the right way to build an awesome Chicken Coop. I bet they still grumble?
  2. ECarter1217
    looks so beautiful
  3. PoultryAddict 1
    LOL
    yeah, see how nice that coop will be in a WEAK.
    the white will be splattered in poop, the cute gravel and mulch will be spread apart, I don't get why people would waste money on something that is not even going to last one week.
  4. room onthebroom
    A really great article & beautiful coop. Thanks for sharing.
  5. Chicken Fred
    Hello, I live in Belmont and I just got my coop, run, and two Leghorn hens off Craigslist in Weddington about 3 week ago. I heard that sand can be a problem and I talked to some people here in Belmont that have chickens and they use potting soil. So I tried it. Works great. First it is light weight, it draws good bugs and worms that my girls love to dig up. It siphon well using to same system you use to clean the run. When it rains it doesn't turn to mud and dries quickly. The girls love to roll around in it and I understand that it is good for getting the parasites off of them. hope this helps. Chicken Fred
  6. Chesca
    Love this coop. Any idea how heavy or hard it would be to move? You mentioned making it in two pieces for moveability... I'm in the same boat right now, I'm moving to a new city and bringing my chickens with me. I have about a week between houses (closing on old one, closing on new one.) What to do with the chickens? build a temporary coop (like an A frame?) or build the one I want- like this one but it might not be easy to move. Anyway, just wondering if you've ever tried to lift them?
  7. scampisi
    Excellent…We also copied the Wichita Cabin Coop and love it! Super easy to clean with the poop hammock under the roost bars. If you don't have one check it out. : )
  8. Sam3 Abq
    Did you install any hardware cloth around the perimeter of the run or underneath the run to prevent predators from digging under and into the run ?
    We're going to start building our version of the WCC this coming Friday.
    Thanks - Sam
  9. Sam3 Abq
    why the split roof elevations ? Very nice job !
  10. jbher
    Do you have your sketchup file available anywhere to download? I'm trying to design ours in Sketchup and love a lot of the features of yours! Thanks for sharing such detailed photos and steps, too!
  11. Sunshine2000
    WOW! I wish I had one like that! Your girls are gorgeous!
  12. Jim N Phyl
    Very Very Nice Coop ! Thankyou for Sharing.
  13. franko
    I really like your coop. Great job. If you can have a Rooster you will have as much fun hatching out your own.
  14. CountryGeorge
    What a nice coop! I'm buildiing a coop for six banties that are right now peeping in their brooder behind me and I'm getting some ideas from your excellent build.
  15. OHhappychicks
    This is so beautiful! Love the landscaping around it. I'm interested in the auto-door. Did you design it or purchase it? We have 2 coops and it would be awesome to have an auto-door.
  16. chickenlily13
    Super job! Am working on my coop now , nothing this gorgeous though. All that matters is that all chicks are happy! ha
  17. CRSelvey
    Thank you for sharing your story. Its very exciting!!
  18. sbriant
    thats an AMAZING coop! I love it!!
  19. seasue
    BSOLUTELY amazing!!! Your coop and "family" are beautiful and I hope you have years of pleasure with it. My coop is also named "Coop DeVille", but that is because I live in Deville, Louisiana. Does anyone know is there a way to archive this or save it. I would love to show my husband who is out of the country right now
  20. Habibs Hens
    coop of the week
    well deserved
    brilliant
  21. M Rinier
    what a very well documented coop. Interesting design and look. I agree, nothing like fresh eggs.We have Amish girls that come to our shop once a week with fresh eggs. Only 2 dollars a dozen.
  22. ShadyHillFarm
    Beautiful coop!! Looks like it came out of the pages of a magazine!
  23. chickenpooplady
    Wow! This is wonderful! I love the coop and the directions were amazing! I also love the feeder and waterer! Great job!
  24. osagechickens
    You did not build a chicken coop, you have created a chicken paradise. What a beautiful setting. Love everything about your set up.
    Thanks so much for sharing with us
  25. TXchickmum
    Wow!!! Beautiful coop!
  26. landonjacob
    Great job!!! Looks beautiful! For not being a woodworker your really nailed it! I figured you had a history in construction before you said otherwise. I've been working on my coop for a few weeks now. I'm not a natural woodwork either so I've had to take it apart a couple times and redesign/rebuild to make sure it looks nice. ;)
    I thought the automatic door was a great idea. Do the chickens ever got locked out though?
  27. joycemay
    Wow, Love it!!!
  28. BYC Project Manager
    Congratulations, we've chosen one of your pics for the Chicken Coop Picture of the Week! Thanks for posting your coop design & pictures to our "Chicken Coops" pages! You can find more info about the CC-POW here: CC-POW Process
  29. lunaflacita
    Beautiful! What was the total cost for this coop?
  30. judyki2004
    I'ts an adorable coop, a great how to page , lovely garden! Blessings & congratulations!
  31. Weasleymum
    What a beautiful coop, I love it! It is very similar to the one I'm designing right now, especially in terms of dimensions/ scale. May I ask, how far does the roof of the run overhang in the front, and on the side?
  32. CrazyPetunias
    definitely alot of pride in the design and construction. It shows :) I like the solar panel for the chick door. Very nice addition.
  33. roostersandhens
  34. Chickenfan4life
    Wow, this is such a nice coop. The girls look healthy and happy, you've OBVIOUSLY made sure they're safe, and the coop is maybe the most beautiful I've ever seen!
    You can rest assured I will give this a good rating for the coop contest! ;)
  35. MarcoPollo
    Beautiful coop and landscaping. Those moths are so pretty. And so are the chickens!
  36. Melabella
    Great coop, and what a nice thing to do together! Love the picture by picture progress. For not being a woodworker, you did awesome!!!
  37. emarketwiz
    Thanks for the nice comments! The girls lay brown eggs.
  38. mo puff
    OOooOo MY, O MY, What a wonderful world ! Your chickens are LUCKY to have you, what will happen when you get married and have real children? i, am SooOo just kidding you.... Life is a many splendored thing.. i mean WING!. Love your story, LOVE your coop. LOVE your red bodied family! What color eggs do they lay? I ask because I am making a mosaic from eggshell and am curious @ colors of eggs/\
    Thank you for the plans and FUN.
  39. Tikkijane
    This is nice! You'll have to let us know how the feeder works out. :)
  40. Joe Jordan
    Wow, your birds don't know how good they have it. Very nice!!!
  41. Miss Lydia
  42. Izzymoon
    I love the food box, great idea!!
  43. tbcpat
    Man I wish I was a chicken!
  44. coolcanoechic
    Beautiful coop! Love the landscaping.
  45. jewelofthesky
    Thanks for the instructions on the feeder. I need to my hubby to work building one:)
  46. emarketwiz
    With regard to the feeder I ordered the trigger from http://triggerhappychickens.co.uk/ and drilled a 3/4" inch hole in the bottom of the bucket. I designed the stand so that the platform the container sits on is around 12 inches from the food platter which is elevated on 1"x4" boards around the bottom keeping it elevated from the ground. I designed the top of the stand to hold a container with a 7 inch diameter at the bottom which happens to work great for 5 quart containers with lids available at Ace Hardware stores. The platform is 1/2 inch plywood with a 1.5 inch hole drilled in the center for the trigger to fit through and work well. The other pieces are 1" X 2" strips. I screwed it all together with #6 X 1.25" screws. The platter is a 12" terra cotta planter base I bought at Lowes Home Improvement. Let em know if I can provide any additional information. Thanks for the kind words!
  47. judyki2004
    Absolutely beautiful! Gorgeous! I love it! the coop design, the feeders & water systems, the hens are so cute... & the garden is like a paradise! Blessings
  48. jewelofthesky
    What an incredible setting for your coop!!! Wow, am I jealous! You both did a fantastic job and have a beautiful coop/run to be very proud of. Could you give details on how you built the automatic feeder? That looks like a great idea and would keep the food dry and not moldy. I have 5 chickens also, three are 17 months old (3 different breeds) and two are 6 month old Easter Eggers who just started laying beautiful green eggs. I LOVE my chickens. Who knew they we so much fun to have. Happy clucking.
  49. fpdoty
    Fantastic! And thanks for the construction details. This is my new favorite coop.
  50. Shamba
    Very pretty coop. We are addicted to our chickens too and have placed lawn chairs nearby from which we enjoy their company thoughout the day. The solar door is ingenious!

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