My Coop

I am blessed to still live on a farm that our family has lived on for 130 years.
I had been using an old garage as my chicken coop that had once been a sap house for boiling down maple syrup by my Grandfather.
The old sap house was actually listing to one side. It had many problems and holes and gaps and after patching and repairing for years I still was having problems keeping predators out.
My husband, who realy was not into chickens, once retired from Construction found himself with time on his hands and said “draw me up a plan for what you want and I will build it for you”.
He checked with our county building department and decided to build just below the size needed for a permit. Its Approximately 11 X 14.
There were about 3 other old outbuildings on the farm that were unused and unrepairable so we spent a couple months dismantling them, removing nails from reusable boards and also keeping the old tin roofing to reuse. I even spent time straightening some of those nails and reused them.
My Husband was always bringing home old windows and doors that he ended up with from work and so we had lots to choose from for our coop.
I chose a new building spot with drainage away on all 4 sides, We started with the foundation of railroad ties and built up with 2 X 4 framing with a northern downsloped slanted roof with good southern sun exposure for the windows.
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I also attached ¼ inch hardware cloth apron to the framing down in the earth a foot and out another foot (like an L )to discourage anything digging in.
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We pored a cement pad for under the Roost section of the coop about 6x6 that is partitioned off so the chickens have a smaller space inside for warmth in the winter. The rest of the coop is dirt floor.
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He devised the roosts (cedar poles) so they can be lifted out easily when its time to clean out the coop and put down fresh pine shavings.
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He also built me a row of nest boxes from scrap board pieces about 2-3 feet from the floor with hinged lids at an angle so the chickens don’t roost on them, making a mess.
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We hinged the top part of the windows so they can be propped open in the summers. The inside widow frames are covered in hardware cloth to keep unwelcome visitors out at night.
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The coop has one people door and two chicken doors.
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the doors themselves are heavy wood doors so racoons can not lift them.
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We used heavy nylon rope and some pulleys and set it up so you just manually open and close the chicken doors outside with these handles.
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The first winter the coop was only covered in Tar paper. I had about 15 chickens then and they did fine with no frost bite.
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There is no insulation in the walls. The chicken and guineas keep the inside warm enough with there body heat. the walls are open to the stud work so there are no hidey places for mice and actually the only way a mouse gets in is during the day when the chicken door is open and then there is no place to hide so the chickens take care of it. Once we started building it we were done with construction on about a month.
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The next year we finished up with Cedar Shake as the exterior. He had previously purchased 3 end lots of cedar shake at his building supplier as remnant returns, so they were 3 different colors but we just mixed them as we applied them, Giving us a Calico look. We now have our Chicken Coop, Boat house, Garden shed and Quonset end wall all matching this exterior.
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We also reclaimed a very small silo and built a round Door and this is where I keep the Chicken feed, hay / straw And pine shavings. Also it has a large shelf we built in the top for storage of extra feeders and waters and chick stuff that I don’t need all the time. We decorated the outside of the silo with some old tin signs
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A couple years ago I also built the two broody hutches with matching cedar shake on the outside.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...s-day-project-finished.1312804/#post-21398316
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The only new materials we had to purchase was the “Bitchathne” waterproofing under-lament we put under the reused tin roofing, the roof joists which were a long span , and the hurricane ties. (we get lots of wind) Maybe $200.00 total at the time.

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I am very happy with my coop and the memories I have of the time spent with my DH building it.
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50-45-1
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https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/byc-member-interview-50-45-1.1485112/

Latest reviews

A nice use of reclaimed material. I love the aesthetics; old world farm charm❤️
I love the way you recycled used materials to buil this big, walk-in style coop. Strong and with all of the elements a coop needs. Excellent
A coop that will last forever. Tell your husband, "Well done."

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