Welcome to Pemberley at the Little Red Farmhouse!
Yeah, I know it's not Jane Austen's Pemberley but for a chicken house we think it is pretty grand!
And besides Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth & Jane live there.
This is our coop story:
Our chicken house is 16' x 4' and 2' off the ground. My sweet husband designed it to match our new farmhouse and we built it at his shop which means, yes, it had to be moved. It has two chicken doors in the front and a large access door to get to the nest boxes and a small storage area. On the back are 4 access doors to clean out the coop and fill food and water. The outdoor lights look great and the indoor lights will keep the girls (and 1 guy) warm in the winter. We have 3 windows, one of which is a west facing transom that they love to look out of. The others are on the North and South sides to let in air when the "wind comes sweeping down the plains" as it often does here in Oklahoma. We also put hardwire cloth under the open tailed rafters along the front and back for ventilation. The fencing is V-mesh horse fence that is a continuation of our other fencing. The pen is 35' x 32' and seems to be giving them plenting of pecking room. We hope you will enjoy looking at the pictures and maybe take some ideas for yourself!
We started with skids (that will be removed later) and used 2/4 lumber for the frame. The floor is 3/4" decking.
Here we added the interior walls of plywood & roof decking of 2x4s. We had to use that thickness so the screws from the metal roofing wouldn't go through. We also wanted to see the individual boards under the eaves like on our house.
Exterior siding, windows, and roof goes on plus the electrical is wired now. Exterior siding & trim is Smart Siding by LP. Windows were shed windows off of Ebay, reasonably priced. The open tailed rafters were tricky to figure out how to keep out the critters. We cut 2x4s to fit each space between the rafter tails and stapled hardwire cloth behind them. This part took forever!
Painted (sprayed with a rental unit) and ready for metal roofing (scrap from building our house). We also added hard wire over the bottom half of the windows so we could leave them open in the summer at night.
Moving was the most stressful part! We had no idea how much it weighed. Even with a forklift it was difficult to get it on the trailer. I couldn't look in the rear view mirror all the way home! I was afraid it would fall off. Of course, it didn't. My husband knew what he was doing after all! He always does. Now for some finishing touches, linoleum flooring, feeders, exterior lights, etc.
Here comes the crane! It looks so tiny next to that huge thing. When he picked it up, it weighed over 2,000 lbs! You might think that this was expensive but it cost a little over $100 to rent for one hour. The driver laughed and took pictures because he hadn't moved a chicken coop before.
It is up in the air and the skids come off. Down in the post holes it goes. We made sure all the post holes were perfectly level with a string line so that it could be dropped right in.
Leg bracing & boards to protect the roof come off too.
Here are some of the detail pics:
The nesting boxes are blocked off for now, just until the girls get bigger. Feeders I bought on ebay.
I bought plastic storage containers at the dollar store to use in the nest boxes. We designed the boxes to fit the containers so we can take them out to clean them if we need to. Plywood will be taken down soon so the chicken can access them.
We used galvanized hardware for the coop. Here are the locks we have on all the doors. They turn and then they are secured with D clamps.
Time to move!
Miss Elizabeth Bennett, my favorite.
Happy hens home at last!
And a golden to guard them. Silly dog, he doesn't know he is supposed to be a hunter!
Plans can be found on our other BYC page.
Thanks for visiting Pemberley at the Little Red Farmhouse!