County Jail coopWhen we hatched out chicks last year, we thought that they were going to live with the existing flock. WRONG! So we had to build another coop. Since the first one looked like a school, we decided to stay with a theme. My husband's favorite movie is "Tombstone", so old west theme it is.
We started drawing it out on the floor, but the dogs kept laying on it and erasing the pictures. So Joe drew it out on paper. The floor of the coop is 8'x8' with the framing being 16" on center. There are 4x4 pillars at every corner and 4 spaced out under the floor.
All the materials are reused or recycled from other projects. Some are donations from freinds doing renovations to their own houses. Others came from projects we did. We only had to buy some nails,screws and paint.
We made the framimg for the floor and walls in the garage and carried them to the site. We put them together using a nail gun and screws. The framing is 2x4's. Joe decided that everything had to be in multiples of 4, because that's how the wood comes. The walls are 6' tall and we used the drop offs to block in the windows on the fascade and the back wall.
There's a tarp under the floor to stop drafts. The plywood went on top of the floor and we put up the framing. Once the walls and rafters were up, we could sheet the roof and back of the fascade. Then we used plywood that a freind gave us for the sides and front. It was already painted grey, that's what gave me the idea for a jail. Next the back window went in. Our neighbor gave us his old crank out. We put chicken wire over it on the inside as a precaution.
Joe is a sheetmetal worker, so he made metal endcaps for the top and sides of the fascade. Just to even it out, I asked him to make pieces for the other corners as well. I think it looks better that way. He also made the bars for the front windows and the door. The front windows are just for light. They're plexiglass, caulked and nailed in place. I used 1/2", 1/4 round molding for the inside frame and then nailed that to the framing. Joe put the bars in a metal frame that got screwed to the outside frame of the window openings. This tan door was just temperary. We used an interior door, cut it in half and hinged the bottom so it drops down. You can see the strips we added. The "real" door is and exterior door that we did the same thing to. They were driving us crazy, so they had to get in their new coop ASAP. We made sure to caulk everything before the chickies went out because it takes a couple of days to dry and I didn't want them to eat any of it. You know how curious chickens can be.
We used regular shingles for the roof and tarred the seams where the roof and fascade meet. The shingles were leftover from redoing the garage roof. One tip: pull the plastic strips off the tar strips on the backside of each shingle. Those are meant to keep the shingles from sticking to each other in the package.
I started painting the cinder block design on the front while Joe finished the inside. We used fiberglass insulation in the walls with a vapor barrier over it. Then we covered it with particleboard. There's nesting boxes on one side and perches on the other. The hanging food and water dishes are at the front. We put in a drop ceiling(again some leftovers), and cut out a hole in the center for a heat lamp. Joe put in a metal collar so that the fixture wouldn't touch the tiles.
We put in the "real" door and added a porch. They actually sit on it in the evening before they head in for the night. I wish I knew where I could get a chicken sized rocking chair!
The last step was to paint the name on the top. It's not that easy when there are chickens trying to come up the ladder after you.
Joe made the over-sized keys as well. Nice touch, don't you think?
This is how our little town looked. The general store (right) burned down in February. We lost our red-golden pheasants. We'll rebuild, some day.