The coop turned out great, but I think it would only be practical for some people. It is a pretty small coop so the chickens need to be able to get outside and run around. Since I have a fully fenced yard with trees and good cover I let the chickens roam the yard all day long. They are only in the coop at night. I really don't think it has enough room to keep chickens in constantly. I went on a short vacation and they were locked in the coop for a day and a half and they were ready to get out! I am planning on building a 4x8 extension run that can be hooked up to it if I have to leave them for a few days. I house four standard size chickens in it but two or three would probably be more suitable. And again, they need to be able to run around the yard during the day. But the coop does provide a cozy and secure space at night. It is nice to be able to move the coop around the yard too. The coop stays really clean if they are only in at night and uses minimal wood chips for bedding.
The plans were in the Spring 2011 issue of Country Gardens Magazine on page 47. You can buy the plans at www.BHG.com/coop.
To construct the coop you need to be able to use a skil saw, chop saw, table saw and router and the cost of materials is about $300.
I made a few changes:
I added a loft over the nesting boxes so all four chickens would have room to cuddle up when it gets cold.
Removed the nesting box partition so instead of two small nesting boxes there is one big one.
Attached the roost differently.
Added a strip of wood along the bottom of the metal roofing b/c I have kids and didn't want them hitting their head on it.
Added heavy wire gauge to the bottom of the run.
Painted the coop red.
I hang a ceramic light above to heat the coop during the winter. The coop is not insulated well, so it needs to be heated in cold weather.
Here are a few pictures:
The Inside of the coop.
Beulah in the loft above the nesting boxes. All four can fit up here and it is big enough to fit a small heating mat during the winter.
Close up of the inside.
Hanging feeder and place for the water font.
Attached the roost to the side with a piece of notched plywood.
Added wire to the bottom of the run.
Added a strip of wood to the roof edge. It is not really too sharp but a kid might hit hard enough to do damage.
Latches that can be locked against raccoons.
My sweet chickies. Gertrude & Gussie Buff Orpingtons, Beulah a Barred Rock and Effie a Golden Laced Wyandotte.
Last edited by MissClaraCluck (Yesterday 11:53 pm)