So here it is, finally complete, well...mostly. Having zero building skills I can't guarantee that anything is square or level in this structure. It is pretty sturdy though, so that has to count for something.There are so many things I would have done differently on this project, beginning with not buying so many baby chicks in the first place. Four was the magic number, but somehow I came home with 9! Chicken math at its finest. Now I have 8 hens (one was a cockerel), who should start laying any day now. I'm soo excited because a couple of them are starting to sing that special laying song, and their combs are starting to develop. I originally thought it would be so easy to just go out and purchase a coop with attached run large enough for 8 girls - WRONG! Either the prices were ridiculous, or there were too many things that I would need to do or add to make it perfect. So I scoured the coop section of this website, YouTube, books, you name it! I pulled out a notepad and began drawing a rough sketch of what I wanted. There were many cutting errors along the way which changed certain aspects of my design, but here it is!
These are my original plans plus some modifications I made (due to cutting errors).
- The roof actually slopes the opposite direction.
- I did not place the 2x4 in the bottom middle as pictured. I should have added a small door there to make cleaning out the rear easier. Lesson learned!
- This side actually has a clean out door. Don't ask! I think I just got saw happy or something.
- This side has nesting boxes vice a clean out door. Oh well...
- Original top view.
- The front does look like this...except switch the pop door with the maintenance door.
- This is the framing basically complete. I should have leveled the ground before starting, but at the time I was still planning to add wheels and make it movable. What a joke! The thing weighs a ton. The structure itself is 8' wide, 12' long and 6' high. The coop portion is 8' wide, 5' deep and 4' high to have some room under for the girls. Most of the wood was from the scrap wood pile at HomeDepot, and 70% off.
First set of plywood boards in.
Back and first windows in. My neighbor loaned me his circular saw and jigsaw (I think that's what its called).
Side cleaning door. This was not in my original plan, but I became saw happy.
Nesting boxes, without the lid.
Lid on! Plus my Lab mix is checking out the girls!
Primer coat on. Notice the roofing panels on in the wrong direction. Oops! This has caused some leaking problems, so I will have to fix this when I can afford new panels. The panels shown were free from a friend who replaced the ones on their patio.
Siding, made of free fence panels.
Siding with a different type of fence panels. Also free.
Painting in progress. It was supposed to be more peachy, but turned out a burnt orange.
I placed an anti-tunneling skirt around the perimeter. I'll decorate it with pavers and planters later.
Front view inside the run. I used poultry wire on the roof, but I'm having a problem with some critters getting in that way, so hardware cloth will go under the wire this weekend.
Linoleum down before the nesting boxes were installed. I got a huge piece of it for $20 at Lowes.
Homemade pop door. Hey, it works!
Roosting bars made out of 2x4's and some stair risers.
-This is the inside with the nesting box area uncovered.
Eggs! Dottie has been laying double yolked eggs this whole time. I'm not sure who the second layer is.
I've upgraded the waterer so that I can fill it from the outside.
My next upgrade will be to the feeding system. I give credit to SSL Dad on YouTube for giving me the idea for the feeder. I'm also going to expand the run later the summer since I have more chickens.
Here it is! The feeder did not quite turn out how I wanted it too. I need to make a couple of changes to the openings to make it more "user friendly." The chickens are still using it, but I think they would use it more if the openings were larger on the side facing into to coop. We shall see! My run extension is next, and I better hurry up because the rainy season is almost here.