Our journey into backyard chickens began with an abandoned chick, crossing a busy road.

We didn't know much about chickens, but we discovered quickly that chicks grow fast and the shoe box was becoming unsuitable. The first coop was 4x3x1.5 made out of left over wire mesh. Unfortunately it was not robust enough to defend against our dogs.

After a trip to the vets to fix up Fluffy's injuries, here he/she is hanging out in the garden:

Construction on coop v2 begins. I was going for an A-frame tractor coop based on some designs I'd seen on the BYC coop pages. The diagonal sides are 4 feet and the base is 5x8.

Then I decided it needed to be higher:

A third of the length is devoted to the roosting/laying area:

The sides open outwards for easy access to the eggs and for cleaning:

The side has a door for general access:

Added an opening for the roosting/laying area. I'm not sure how big a chicken gets, but if I need to widen it, I believe I can cut the left post down and widen it:

For meshing, I used 1/2" hardware cloth. I like this better than chicken wire because the small gaps make it difficult for the dogs to get any leverage. Also it is rigid, easy to work with and looks OK.

Chicken ladder:

Fluffy chilling out in the coop:

Fluffy has two new buddies: Zsa Zsa and Gabor (Cochicanaus):

Still need a few more things done:
  • Need to build some roosting racks and boxes.
  • Some hanging feeders/waterers
  • Wheels (it's supposed to a tractor after all)
  • Seal the roost so it can be cleaned out easily.
  • More chickens!