The mostly finished coop and run. I initially made all kinds of plans and drawings of how I wanted to build this coop and as it turns out I didn't follow any of them. I took a lot of advice from this website. I let the yard decide how big to build it. It had to fit between various trees, walkways and fence. It had to be hidden from the street, and as rodent proof as possible. I started it October 2011 and ~finished it the end of February 2012. In the picture above; the coop has the solid door and is situated under two large holly bushes. The run is the larger structure with 2 open frame doors. The dark green structure to the right of the picture is a compost bin. The metal trash cans store food and bedding. The bin in the lower left corner contains yard waste that can be used as bedding (chipper/shredded trees). There are 2 apple, 1 pomegranate and 1 plum tree in this picture as well.
Cinder block foundation. I tried to make it level and square. I made it as big as the space would allow which is ~ 3 x 3 feet.
I made the frame and floor out of old stockade fence. I painted it with left over house paint. There is hardware cloth between the floor and frame.
I framed the sides and roof. I put hardware cloth on 3 sides. I insulated the roof and back since it faces south (It gets hot here in Texas)
The roof is wood slates, insulation, then metal sheet roof. I put "wing" roofs? on the side to keep rain out the the open areas. I hinges some of the side slates to open it up in hot weather. I wish I had put hardware cloth between the slates and ventilation on the roof.
Front door to coop. I put hardware cloth on the back and sides to keep rodents out. I secured the hardware cloth with metal plates. I also wedged metal plates in the gaps on the hinge side of the door to keep out rodents. I put plexi-glass on the right to be able to look in before opening the door.
The inside left wall of the coop. Showing the ventilation. I retrofitted 1/4 hardware cloth on the ceiling to keep critters out.
The inside right wall of the coop. Showing ventilation. The white box in a thermometer that transmits the coop temp and humidity to a monitor in my house.
open front door to the coop. Using a beak-time waterer inside while I get the birds acclimated. (I thought it leaked but after using a week I've decided it really doesn't leak) The roost is in the back with a "chicken staircase leading up to it and hooked over the back. I put a vinyl floor over the painted wood and a rubber barn mat over that. The boards in the front hold the bedding in and are removable. The stairs, roost and nest box are also removable.
Start of chicken run.
chicken run. I used cyclone fence rail for the frame. The back poles closest to the fence are slanted in to provide space between the fence so I can get back there. This part of my side yard is very sloped and uneven. I kinda terraced it with cinder blocks. I put hardware cloth over cattle panel for the walls. I put hardware cloth ~ 12 inches on either side to thwart digging in or out. I used cyclone fence parts from Lowe's to attach cattle panel to the cyclone fence and hog rings from Home Depot to attach hardware cloth to cattle panel.
Gate to chicken run. I changed the latches out because these were too much trouble. I also replaced the cement pavers with rubber landscape tiles because it is easier on my knees!
I used suntuf vinyl roofing to cover the run and put a gutter in the back to keep water off my new fence.
Roof transition area between coop and run. This has worked well.
transition area from run to coop.
Inside the run. I made the floor level by making a "shelf" of left over cattle panel and rubber landscape mats from home depot. I used plastic hardware cloth on the inside of the run to hold in bedding and to protect the chickens from the sharp edges of the metal hardware cloth. The feeder has trigger underneath that the chicken is supposed to hit and some food falls out. We will see if it works.
Maybe you can see in this picture that the run floor is level with the outside pop door. There is "dead" space below the floor. Time will tell if this becomes a problem.
This is the beak-time waterer that I'm going to use. I have installed it since taking this picture. It should be level. I thought it was going to leak but in the end it works pretty good.
And here are my 3 silkie chickens, Eleanor is the white one, Hillary is to the right and Jacqueline to the left of the picture! They look a little straggly but I've only had them 2 days.