Southern California Urban Coop

I received a coop as a surprise gift from my husband on Christmas morning 2007. It was a completely unexpected and very exciting present, and almost immediately afterwards I started researching chickens.
Here it is on the day I got it.

After reading up on chicken breeds, chicken care and brooder design, and doing a lot of research online, we were ready to get our chicks. I found a place in Los Angeles that sold sexed Rhode Island Reds, and we drove down on a Saturday morning and got Jackie and Lisa. Aren't they so cute?

As the chickens grew, we worked on adding the coop and run to the back yard. Here are Jackie and Lisa taking their first stroll in the run. We buried corrugated metal about 6 inches into the ground and left about a foot above ground to keep out predators. I'm very paranoid because we have so many raccoons in our neighborhood, but the run is holding strong so far.

Here's the coop and run close to completion. The feeder is hanging from a chain attached to a cross beam so they don't knock it over. We put fencing over the sides and top, because there are hawks in our area. The coop itself has a roof that opens completely and a removable floor so we can clean it fairly easily.

The coop and run are connected by a wood tunnel with a removable floor. The chickens like it a lot. They hang out there because its shady and well ventilated. Here's a view from the run, through the tunnel and into the coop.

The tunnel has a door on top that we can use to open and close the door to the coop without having to go in the run (which is helpful because Lisa is a little escape artist).

Here are Jackie and Lisa testing out the perches inside the coop. They really prefer to snuggle up on the floor, though.

After some time, we installed a green roof on the coop. There are several layers under the dirt, including a layer of plexi glass, a layer of gravel, a wire screen to hold the gravel in place and then a special soil mixture. The plants themselves are sedum, which are kind of like tiny spreading succulents. The point of the green roof, beyond looking pretty, is to help insulate the coop so it doesn't get too hot in the summer.

Another recent addition, now that the chickens are laying, is a nest box. Both the top and bottom open for easy egg gathering (top) and easy cleaning (bottom).

That's the coop. Hope you like it.

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