Little Deuce CoopOur family decided to reduce the size of our flock from 7 hens down to 2 hens. The goal was to reduce the amount of space in our backyard that was being occupied by our coop and run. The remaining hens would be free ranging in the yard all the time. So we I got to work. I built this new coop and listed our old one on Craigslist, it sold in 18 hours and had 2 backup offers.
The Little Deuce Coop I built to replace the old one was designed to include all of the good things of the first without any of the bad things. I made up a list of items that had to be included to make cleaning and maintenance easier since I was the one doing it all the time.
The list was as follows:
- Compact and movable
- Modular/Screw together - The coop comes apart into 4 wall panels, 2 roof section and a base platform. It packs flat and is easy to store if needed.
- Freestanding with a slide out tray to make cleaning the floor easy.
- Smooth interior - no corners caused by exposed framing that make cleaning difficult.
- Extremely well ventilated - I felt his was a problem with the last coop.
- Insulated for the cold/heat - It's basically a wooden cooler with ventilation
- No metal or asphalt used for the roof.
- Removable nestbox and perch(es)
I started by laying out and cutting the wall panels from 3/8" v-groove siding. I then let in the windows and doors with the trim saw and drilled the vent holes. Next I "flat framing" them with 1x (one by) pine, glued and stapled. You can see the framing in the righthand picture below.
Once all the walls were framed out and fitted I filled the voids between the framing with 3/4" styrofoam insulation. Then I glued and stapled 3/16" lauan plywood to the inside side of the wall panels. Using a spiral saw I cut the window and door openings in the Lauan ply after the glue set. I did the same proceedure to the backs of the doors and windows as well. At this point I refitted the wall panels together, squared them up and fabricated roof panels using the same method.
There are 2 panels that make up the roof. One is the short portion that hinges open to allow access to the nest box and the other is the large pitched roof that covers the main portion of the coop. I again disassembled the whole thing an applied a coat of Kilz II primer inside and out.
The next stop was to build the base that would support the coop above the ground and house the slide out tray for cleaning. This was done using treated (yuck!) 2x4's and 2x3's. There are three sides made from 2x3's that the coop actually sits on. One side was omitted to allow a tray to slide out. There are two 2x3 bars that run underneath the the sides and actual support the tray. The legs are short sections of 2x4 that are screwed into the sides from the bottom and braced at 45° on at least 2 sides. The tray is a simple piece of 3/8" plywood with treated 1x (one by) sides cut shy of the depth of the 2x3 sides. It simply rests in the 2x3 bars.In the picture below you can see my daughter's foot sticking out the side the tray slides out.
The coop got taken apart again and painted with two coats of the final colors the put back together. The doors and windows got hung and the remaining hardware was installed. The roof sections got a layer of rosin paper and the shingled with cedar shakes. I built a custom ridge vent for the main part of the coop and installed the round cross vents. Then I cut, fit and painted 1x3 trim for the corners and 1x4 trim for the bottom edges. The bottom trim boards actually hold the the main body of the coop onto the base frame. I built a nest box that simply hangs on the top of the short side and can be removed for easy cleaning. I added a removable perch made from a piece of 2x3 with chamford edges that sits in 2 little brackets I knocked up.
That's basically it. Hope you find this useful. The total cost for the coop was about $200 wbut it was offset by the $330 I got from the sale of our old coop. Feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions.