Exuberant and happy to finally be, once again, away from stringent building restrictions, I spent weeks with graph paper designing my dream chicken coop for ‘‘The Girls’’. After some figuring and feeling silly making such a mansion for only 3 chickens, I got out the graph paper again and scaled down to what was essentially a 6’ x 4’ box on legs with the necessary roost, light, door, and nest boxes.
By the time we got to the lumber yard it just didn’t seem like it would cost THAT much more to go for the original dream coop. Boy was I Wrong! (It was nearly 75% more... but I refuse to dwell on that!
Since, after all, this was my Dream Coop, I wanted to incorporate everything I ever wanted in the way of a chicken coop. I moved my purple, metal strip of nest boxes from my (matching color) mid century modern re-do home, where ‘‘The Girls’’ were used to nesting and the lovely little hand built ramp to get to said nest boxes.
I knew it was just silly to assume I would only ever have 3 chickens, so I began to plan on a built-in brooder for any chicks that may come along. (Let’s face it – who am I kidding here?) Within days I had 6 Silkies in a plastic storage container, inside a large wire dog kennel (for extra protection) inside my tiny storage building! Since “they” would need a nice place to grow up with ‘‘The Girls’’ later, we ended up using the bottom tray from the dog crate for our bottom ‘built in’ brooder tray in the Dream Coop. It can be put either on top of, or below the ½” x 1” wire. A very nice feature.
A clean place to store feed and chicken goodies seemed appropriate, so a storage area was placed below the brooder. Naturally, the Silkies went in there to live until they could be integrated with ‘‘The Girls’’! The project kept taking longer and longer, and they got more mature in the process, so the brooder had to be passed on to the Production Red chicks I got!
I’m not sure I made my roost long enough, but my boyfriend (and head construction consultant), wanted to place a foot of it outside the building (to be painted red) for the Rooster to later look over his flock and crow in the mornings. Leaving only 5 feet of roost inside got crowded rather quickly, but the old girls roost in front of their next boxes, anyway, so there’s still plenty of room.
We still have to permanently wire the electricity, and the surveillance cameras, and the ‘stereo’, but for now we have a very long extension cord! What can I say? ‘‘The Girls’’ love their ‘tunes’! J