This is my coop for five hens. I built it this past May in Sacramento Ca.
I didn't use any plans but I have been planning it in my head for quite a while and it's a lot like other coops I built in the past. I'm a pro carpenter so I just winged it.
Before I built the coop I made sure I had dog proof 6' fencing for the perimeter. The handle for moving it is built into the frame. The wheels are rated for 900 lbs and have solid tires. Most of the material I used, I had on hand. The biggest expense was the roofing and the wheels.
I tried to keep it as light as possible so it would be easy to move. Weight from wood construction adds up fast. The floor is about 4' x 5'.
I framed the roof for extra roosting room.
The wheels had a 3/4" axel and I used a machine bolt as an axel. I epoxied the threads to lock them.
This is a hopper feeder I attached to the outside. It holds a fifty pound sack of feed.
There is plenty of venting because it gets hot here. I'll cover the vents with fabric when it gets cold. It doesn't get below freezing except for a handful of nights a year.
The nest boxes are inside the coop and open to the outside. I used a air stapler to make all the boxes and frames.
They have no problem jumping up to the roost. The black Sex Linked chicks could fly up to the highest roost when they were only about 6" tall. I since moved the larger branch in line with the others to keep the poop in one spot.
I installed polycarbonate roofing. It's supposed to filter 99% of UV and it's unbreakable unlike PVC roofing. It is a little bright inside compared to an unlighted panel. I don't think there are as many spiders and mites in a lighted coop. I made worksheds with the same roofing and you can tell that the UV is a lot less intense under the polycarbonate.
I parked the coop in a shady spot while I made the run. When I move the coop, I close the chickens in and they go for a ride.
While I made the run I bought some Sex Linked pullets. The first few nights they slept in the paper bag I brought them home in. I had a light bulb near the other end of the bag for a week or two.
The run is complete. I can take it apart in panels when I move the coop. It takes about a half hour to move the coop to a new spot. I can move it myself and I don't have a lot of giddy-up anymore.
The run is attached with hook and eye latches so I can take apart the panels without tools. There are two side panels, a front panel with a door, a roof panel and a tiny panel under the front door.
This shows the door construction. I used a half lap joint at the corners and sandwiched the wire under a 1x frame. I made the panels in the run the same way. It's lightweight and strong and should last for many years.
When I first moved the coop, there was green grass. This is what it looks like in a couple days. I let them scratch the ground for a few days and then add layers of wheat straw as needed.
I added some roofing fabric for shade cloth on the sides of the run and the top.
The little platform inside is to allow the chickens easier access to the hopper food box.
The little panel below the front seals the run. A skinny rat might be able to get in. It's about an 10" hop up to the coop floor.
I use a small screw jack I bought at a local yard sale to level the coop to line up with the panels. When it's assembled it is solid and will not rock.
I can go inside and have enough head room to rake out the old straw when I move the coop. I have moved the coop about every three weeks. I save the old bedding in a dry pile and when I get enough I will make a big compost pile.
The coop is complete. I also made a greenhouse this spring. The area for the coop is about 1/4 acre. In the Winter and Spring, everything is green. I will have to wait until then for that great photo of my birds in a nice green pasture. The garden in the background is full of treats for the chickens like tomatoes, melons, cucumbers and zucchini. I grow stuff year round so I will only let them free range a little with supervision. There is a possibility that if I grow the chicken operation I could divide the section to keep the chickens out of the garden and have an eighth of an acre for them to free range. Hmmm.
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