NorCal CC

By norcalchet · Sep 8, 2014 · Updated Mar 11, 2019 · ·
  1. norcalchet
    EDIT: I added a light sensitive automatic door opener. See below.

    Here’s the finished product. Cost about $1,500 (I was shooting for $500 - Oops).

    The story of the build goes:

    Buy house in Northern California.

    Think it would be nice to have chickens.

    Don’t ask wife.

    Buy chicks.


    Discover Learn first mistake people make is to buy chicks before coop is built.

    Google more.

    Decide on small coop inside a big run (because of hawks).

    Something like this:

    Try to figure out plans for coop.

    Give up.

    Buy coop (from antique store for $185).

    Try to figure out plans for run.

    Give up.

    Continue to watch chicks grow.

    Google more.

    Buy plans for run from here:

    Modify plans by making it twice as big and incorporating the retaining wall along the back.

    Buy tools (sweet!).

    Buy lumber.

    Dig trenches.

    Stain wood.

    Frame wood.

    Attach hardware cloth.

    Definitely use these to attach hardware cloth (I tried everything).

    Put it together.

    And none too soon.

    Put on roof.

    Add straw.

    Add roost (an old fence post).

    Add chickens.

    And relax.

    Some features:

    Brick entry for the rainy season.

    Solution to retaining wall.

    Dutch door.

    View with top door open.

    Automatic waterer from Since I bought this and use the deep litter method, I only go into the run once a week to refill their food.

    My kids get the eggs.

    After dinner I let them out. They always go home to roost (but you knew that).

    Chicken TV.

    EDIT: I added a light sensitive automatic door opener. This thing has been awesome! The girls let themselves out in the morning and in at dusk all by themselves.


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    N F C likes this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. MROO
    "Great Set-Up - Great Pictures - Funny Read!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Mar 11, 2019
    This is a great set-up and the documentation is good, too. The pics and minimal text are clear and easy to follow ... but the chuckles and smiles that flow naturally along with the read are the best!
    norcalchet likes this.
  2. ronott1
    "Excellent coop build!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Mar 11, 2019
    norcalchet likes this.


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  1. N F C
    I love your run!
      norcalchet likes this.
  2. critterkeeper25
    Love your pics/story. Did a superb job for not following any plans. What is/was your day job? Like the little deer that you put in your yard to add interest. LOL Our local deer aren't afraid of people either. Unless it's hunting season.
  3. Henna56
    very nice!
  4. BrendaJ
  5. IzzyMom
    Great story. Wonderful pictures. Awesome being able to share in your experience. Well done!!!
  6. Ballerina Bird
    Such a great looking run! And very cute girls.
  7. norcalchet
    Tara, I think the regulator is on the red cap (otherwise, the thing would overflow). But I would check the water fountain website to be sure. Chet
  8. tara3436
    What a great coop! Question about your waterer - I am building a similar one by just buying the nipples and PVC pide, and attaching my garden hose. I see a lot of sites selling pressue regulators but I didn't see one on yours and wasn't clear if I need one between the hose and waterer.

    Do you have one? If so, do you know if its necessary and why?

    PS - I live in the south where this wont freeze... so that's never a concern.
  9. ladyearth
  10. ladyearth
  11. ladyearth
    great job..
    I too got chickens before coop etc.. twice I did that . the first time I gave them away several days later....
    Second time I hurried to TSC to get 2 coops since they were 2 year old chickens..
    ..6 of them,
    The guy had stuck in a tiny cage at the flea market....I guess I felt sorry for them... I debated getting chicks too that day.. the flea market was right next door to TSC parking lot.....dumb.. Instead of chicks bought THe 6 .... 2 year olds.....five hens and one Roo...
    Hubby said ...I cant believe you bought chickens again ..not prepared,again !!!! .....
    Glad you used hardware cloth. also pleased you let them roam before there bedtime...
    really like your roof. Is it steel or fiberglass panels????
  12. stuckinvtown
    So great. Your girls must me so happy.
  13. lovepeeps
    love it you did great
  14. Mellow1
    Very, very, cool. Great job on the run! Ditto on the fun read, entertaining :)
  15. darina
    Haha, I love the "Give up" portions. Sounds like me!
  16. JacobMaxwell
    Beautiful coop/run! Great story too.
  17. RM44
    So fun to read! And love the end game (chicken TV)!
  18. norcalchet
    Steve, the red cap is a regulator. It comes with the water fountain (follow the link in the post). I'd say the nipples are about 10-12 inches off the ground. Good luck. Chet
  19. RezChamp
    ya eh, typical man.... I like tools too. ...and design as I go. mine turned out pretty good Too.
    Nice job NorCal CC.
    I really like your Chicken TV shots. That and the eggs make it more than worth the inner turoil if being a "design as I go" man aint it.
  20. SteveinDallas
    Nicely done. Really like your watering system. Can you tell me about the red cap on top of your water feeder? Is that some sort of air vent that keeps it from having an air lock or something.... couldn't tell.
    Also, your birds are very similair to mine. How high up off the ground is the bottom of the red waterers?
    Thank you
  21. snowflake
    love your set up, easy to build and looks nice
  22. Bloveschickens
  23. lynnehd
    Thanks for your thread, your pictures and your sense of humor!
  24. katsdar
    very nicely done love the way you told the story
  25. BYC Project Manager
    Congratulations, we've chosen one of your pics for the CC-POW. Thanks for posting your coop design & pictures to our "Chicken Coops" pages! You can find more info about the CC-POW here: CC-POW Process.
  26. EIEIOchick
    Nice job and funny story!
  27. So Cal Chic
    Love that Dutch door! Wanted one on mine, was told it would be difficult and now I'm regretting I didn't insist. Also like how you incorporated your retaining wall into the run. Good job. Chicken TV is the best!
  28. hollilynn
    Fun read! Nice job too. Nothing more entertaining than chicken tv;)
  29. Theegoliath
    New tools! Great job : )
  30. SusanPC
    What great fun to read about your coop project. We have gone through a similar process with "Wow, it sounds neat that I can have chickens in my backyard here..." to a recent coop/run build that cost about $1,000 and has my girls living in style after housing them in a smaller coop/run combo for the first few months. Thanks for sharing!
  31. arkansas55
    Wow,love your coop and flock!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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