I chose to place my coop alongside our wooded area about 40 feet from our back deck door. This location is sheltered from the harsh winds and remains shady for most of the day.
I found a great basic coop plan by TheCreativeMom
I liked the look of the coop but made several modifications:
Image 1: Front of the coop with doors closed.
- I placed my floor joists 24" on center vs 48".
- I did not use pocket holes for the 2x2s on the walls but piloted and toe screwed them in place.
- I increased the wall heights 2 inches and covered the gaps in the siding with the trim.
- I used 2x3 framing for the lower roof support instead of 2x2.
- I used one short upper roof support instead of 2 long upper roof supports. That left space for attachment of an eight foot long 2x4 roost running down the center. The birds basically roost in the upper roof portion of the coop. (See images 8 & 9).
- I did not use a large drop down door on the front of the coop but instead used an eight inch drop down drawer with two doors above it. This enables me to use DLM for this coop. (See images 1 & 2).
- I used 4 strap hinges to attach the drop down clean out door instead of a piano hinge.
- I installed HC backed windows in both doors. Both windows have panels that can be locked on in the winter if needed.
- I changed the basic design of the nesting box to this building style: http://www.thegardencoop.com/blog/2011/03/10/external-nest-box-plans/
- I added windows on both gable ends with hinge top covers and window latches at the bottom. These covers are held open with eye & hook and chains.
- I extended the roofing overhangs to maximize the roofing material I used and offer a little more protection from blown in rain.
- I used polycarbonate "smoke" tinted roof panels over purlins for increased light inside the coop.
- All ventilation areas under the roof eaves are HC backed.
Image 2: Front of the coop with doors open (the blue cooler on the left is the reservoir for my automatic watering system).
Image 3: Nest boxes closed.
Image 4: Nest boxes open.
Image 5: The 8 foot long roost with a shorter "Rooster Roost" installed 90 degrees to the main roost. The head pullet currently controls this spot.
Image 6: The front opening to the nest boxes with privacy curtains... patiently waiting for someone to lay an egg!!
Image 7: Side view of the coop with run attached. There is a homemade PVC feeder (for my homemade fermented feed) hanging just inside the "human access" door. The sloped portion of the run is also covered in the same polycarbonate roofing that is on the coop. There is a shade panel under a section of the run roofing to provide late day shade on the rare occasion the flock is actually in there! The entire coop/run has a 2-foot predator apron buried under the grass/pea stone.
Image 8: This shows most of the gang up on the roost.
Note the LED nightlight at the far end of the coop. I did wire the coop up to run the pump and thermostatically controlled heater for my automatic waterer and because I will be adding electric fencing around the coop before the local bear starts readying herself for winter. She's torn down our bird feeders twice. Now that we have the chickens, the feeders won't be going back up so she can have 'em!
Image 9: A view from the other side of the coop with the gang roosting. Note Dolly, the Delaware head pullet in the center on the "Rooster Roost"!
Also note that the two cockerels are as far apart as they can get on the roost. The young man in front of the window in this image was supposed to be the second Delaware pullet, Dixie. I changed her name to Dexter at 3 weeks old when I figured out she was a he!
Now... the changes I would make if I could do it all over again.
- I would use two 10-ft 4x4's for the four corners to allow me to raise the overall height of the coop 1 foot so I would not have to stoop to reach in and do work.
- I would increase the height of the walls 1 foot for easier access when I have to physically get in there. It would also allow for slightly deeper litter should I need that.
- I would build an exterior access bin for the cooler reservoir on the "service side" of the coop that would be close to counter height with a lid that I could lift to access the cooler for cleaning and refilling. I would insulate the interior of the bin with 2" polyisocyanurate panels for heat retention of the water during winter months.
- Because I am getting a little too into this chicken thing, I'd probably make the darn thing 4x12' if I did it again so I could have more chickens!!!
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Animal lover and Doberman addict, health and fitness enthusiast, former runner now hiker, once equestrian and showed Western, Chemical Engineer by training and occupation, House Flipper at heart, unhappily retired from it , Alzheimer's caretaker. I eat a Paleo diet which led me to wanting BYC for fresh, healthy eggs.
I love taking neglected houses and renovating them into someone's home! It is the most rewarding work I've ever done and I love every aspect of it. So I decided to flip a shed into a coop!
Recent User Reviews
- 5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Oct 14, 2018
Bravo! Love the look, thought out and well made! I love fiberglass roof and how light and lovely that makes it. I like the "add ons" of grazing space, quaint and charming. Looks like plenty on roosting space for your feathered kids. Great nesting boxes etc. Not a thing I did not like... even like that you would make it bigger next time!