So, we decided to build our own coop but, the plethora of designs literally was overwhelming. Even tried our hand at a bit of CAD work & finally decided on this modification of aspects we liked about several coops.
First you build the frame (we use treated 4x4s) - the bearded one is our son
Then we added joists & stringers (no full on human weight intended so we were able to keep these light)
Then we scored some decking in a Lowe's reduced bundle (they are stashed on the side or out back, never know what you'll get but, we got all these decking boards, some 2x4s, roof cap, plywood, etc. for only $20 + tax (try asking if they can cut you a deal you may be surprised)).
The window was a leftover from a remodel on my husband's shop. He gladly donated it to our chicken project.
We purchased rough sawn cedar boards from our local Amish wood mill for $32 & proceeded to cedar lapboard the sides:
Next came the nest boxes, the bottom is a piece of metal shelving, the sides & top are plywood:
Only a true blacksmith can create sparks working with wood. . .
Actually he's grinding off any screw tips that came through the wood to prevent injury to chickens
Then we added roofing felt & cedar lapboards above the nest box up the side of the coop, later we will cover the outside of the nest box with cedar also:
A view from inside, this actually looks quite cozy:
Then we framed the pop hole & tested the trusses:
Then had to move it outside before attaching trusses, roofing plywood & roofing felt:
We also fitted & hung the large back doors that will facilitate cleaning:
Couple more views from inside after the roof was added & while we were adding inside trim to make the doors fit tightly to the coop:
It turned out to be too heavy for the guys to carry up the hill so we loaded it on our small trailer & towed it with one of our trucks:
Then we moved it onsite to finish the details:
We had high winds overnight that lifted the roofing felt, so we had to clamp it down.
We did build different roost poles & plan to add poop boards to ease cleaning.
Adding roofing shingles to both the roof & the nest box lid:
Then a few coats of deck paint on the back doors for weather-proofing & some final detail wrapping the nesting box in cedar:
First day out of the coop, after their 3 day lock up, out in the "yard" wind is 33mph out of the south & the temp is 88. A tad too windy for some folks so we braced a piece of prebuilt fencing from the Lowes half price pack on the windward side of the coop. The entire flock hunkered down after exploring some:
Coop is complete, big double doors on the back allow complete access to inside for easy cleaning (roll up the wheel barrow & rake it out (we switched to river sand after the first couple of weeks, less wasted "litter" so easy to sift out just the droppings). Window faces east for early morning sun. Husband made the walkway out of cedar boards, up to the pop hole painted for weather proofing. Nest box is covered with cedar, latched & lid is shingled. Roof overhangs painted to help with rain/moisture/sun.
Girls run in on their own as the sun sets, if we have any lagging we just walk around the yard calling "Coop, coop, coop" and off they dash for the coop.
Next pictures to come will be the fenced 1/2 acre yard/orchard they "free range" in all day.