My wife, children and I moved to a rural part of New South Wales, Australia early 2012 and we knew as soon as we did that we were going to get into raising livestock, not the least of which were going to be chickens. The place we moved to had a run down chicken yard and shelter and I knew as soon as I saw it that one of the first things I was going to do was demolish the old "coop", for lack of a better word, fix up the yard and build a new coop.
In the months that followed I finally got the yard finished. It ended up twice as big as it was originally and it was time to start putting some real thought into the coop. During my research I came across backyardchickens.com and perused the coop designs on it and found one that I really liked and decided to base mine off of it.
I started with some rough sketches
I then did more accurate scale drawing to get a better idea of how it would all fit together
After tallying it all up I discovered that it was going to cost over $1000AU in materials alone .....so back to the drawing board.
I halved the height and made other small changes in an attempt to reduce cost.
However this proved to still be to costly. At a loss as to what to do, I somehow found my way to Romadfox's Chicken Coop and found inspiration. We live on 1000 acres, most of which is bush land with enough timber to build a village of chicken coops So with a fresh idea I sketched up a combo version of my original floor plan but in log cabin style.
Right away I knew this was going to be a lot harder, take much more time and be very challenging as I've never done anything like this before. But I figure that just meant more fun or at least a more interesting experience. Time to get to work.
I leveled out the site and used 14 bessa blocks as foundations. The floor is simply 2 pieces of 1.2m x 2.4m x 12mm ply wood nailed onto a frame of treated 2"x4" framing timbers. I got some logs, shaped them and put on the first layer.
The first few layers were going to be the ones to tell me whether this whole thing was going to work or not and they taught me some lessons I'd have to apply to subsequent logs.
Next I screwed in some uprights for the people door, chicken door and one load bearing support log, the need for which will become apparent.
In hindsight this may not have been the best way to go about it but it should still work. For now it was just a matter of getting the logs on.
The new tenants are eager to move in
And this is what it currently looks like. I've just finished a major hurdle which was the angled sides where the nesting boxes are going to go. It was all a little fiddly. I'll keep the updates coming as I do more. Watch this space