Update 12/14/16 - Added "lattice" type roof to aviary few weeks ago.
Hello fellow chicken lovers,
I have built several aviaries and coops, but this is the first in my new house. Most of the coops here on this site are made of wood but I use steel because of the advantages in weight, strength and ease of assembly. It is also cheaper and lasts longer in the dry desert environment of Inland Southern California. You can paint to the metal to save from rust but I dont. Unless the bottom rail is sitting in wet soil, the rust is only on the surface and actually gives it a nice color.
The chickens will have two 7'x10' living areas. The entire structure is 7' x 20'.
Here are the end panels being pre-assembled (cut and MIG welded) in the garage. 1" x .060" Steel tube for the majority and .75"x.060" for the gable.
Frame assembly photos
Here it is Now! Bare frame
Updated - 2-5-2014
Added Doors this Weekend. Also drove angle iron into the ground and welded them to the frame, this should keep it from blowing away during the windy season. Purchased wood and shade cloth and the hardware.
I spent $150 for the metal
another $125 for the shade cloth, hardware and wood.
yes zip ties!
Updated - 2-15-2014
Changed my mind of the netting on the sides and decided to use Shade Cloth all around. Adding an extra $90
So total I have spent just under $400.
Roof - Chocolate Brown 75% shade cloth. 6'x20' I had to use two of them... giving me 2' of overhang. Bought at Home Depot for $30 each.
I used 99 cent furring strips to secure the shade cloth to the frame... I had to drill pilot holes in the wood, then I used #8 x 1-1/2" self tapping screws to secure to the metal frame.
A look from the underside...
Keeping the shade cloth taut was difficult, because I had to hold the roof and siding taut with one hand while trying to drill/screw the wood siding.. I later figured out that it was easier to staple the shade cloth to the wood siding, then I could just hold the wood while screwing. Needless to say adding the shade cloth was the most time consuming.
Siding - Tan 75% shade cloth - 6' x 50'... just enough to wrap around all the sides.
Its not done yet... still need to create a center divider to seperate each side. I added some of my American Games to check for leaks. I wanted to keep the aviary level which left gaps that the chickens could escape from, so I had to add brick landscaping borders along the bottom. It probably would have been a good idea to grade the area flat.
Added center divider
Trapeze perch - So the roosters can taunt eachother through the fence while getting exercise.
Added plywood across bottom of aviary to jazz it up a little. It also prevents roosters from fighting through the shade cloth. I already had a couple little holes where they kicked or pecked through.
Also added some nesting boxes.
added metal roof
I still want to roof the entire structure.. The shade cloth is NOT water proof like I expected. I thought the rain would bead off the roof considering the angle (pitch) of the cloth, but the rain just splashes through and soaks everything.
Come back soon to see updates. Hopefully I will have a proper roof next time.
Chickens enjoying the coop
Some of my other coops/pens