Rex's Rustic Roost
The Rustic Roost was inspired by Purina's Hen Hutch, the details of which can be found at http://poultry.purinamills.com/stellent/groups/public/documents/web_content/ecmd0007989.pdf
We winged it so no plans but the shape is nearly the same as Purina's hutch but our seven girls get seven sq ft interior floor space each. A fair amount of salvaged materials were used so we don't have a parts list either. Between the previous owner and a neighbor there was alot of building materials lying around.
Here's how it started. The frame for the coop is 7L x 7W x 5H while the run is 14x14. The coop is about 2.5ft off the ground so I can crawl around underneath. The run includes the coop. The run space under the coop is for the girls to run under when a crow cries "raccoon".
Here it is with the walls and roof. As you can see one wall of the coop is a pallet. We also used part of a pallet to separate the coop in two. One side of the coop contains the roost while the other side is mostly nest space. The walls that aren't pallets are comprised of OSB we had lying around.
The roof of the coop is corrugated metal while the run is mostly corrugated plastic. I don't remember which type. Probably not polycarb. Whatever was cheapest.
The three tired roost is made out of landscaping timbers that were cut lengthwise. They were 2x4 with rounded edges. They are each 38" long with 16" in between roosts. The girls seem to like it, at least the top two.
The hole in the wall in this picture is now a door to clean out under the roost. At the top of the roost there are two red posts where the roost is attached to the coop. Thought it might be a good idea to make the roost detachable for easier cleaning.
The floor has cheap vinyl tiles which are popping up. The instructions said not for use under 50 degrees but we thought we give them a try anyway. Maybe if we would of used liquid nails they would have stayed down.
Here's the nest side of the coop. They have three nests and they use them all. About twice a week I find an egg near the food.
My second attempt at a homemade feeder was a success. Just a plastic peanut jar with a pie tin underneath. Outside they have a store bought hanging feeder.
Here's the coop with cedar siding we got on Craig's List. From the roost the girls enjoy a view of the shed and the sunrise. The window is a piece of polycarb. The vent is just a space between the roofing material and the beams. There's a door made of cedar house siding for me to go inside if necessary. Mostly I just use it to check on the feed and water. The ladder to the pop door is a piece of former deck railing. The pop door opens from the outside of the run via a piece of insulated wire with a pulley. The extension cord goes to the interior light on a timer to give the girls some extra light. In December we only get 8.5 hrs of light a day.
On this side there are three doors. Two for cleaning one for nest access. You can see we used whatever wood was lying around. One problem with the variety of woods used is that they expand at different rates. Some days it is very hard to open and close the doors. We need to trim them down. We do have extra siding to cover the doors so they look better but then they wouldn't be flush.
In this picture you can also see how the hardware cloth meets the floor. The cloth is stapled to landscape 2x4s and tucked under. Under the hardware cloth are blocks normally used to make small retaining walls. Click for a close up photo
Here's were I steal the eggs. I don't actually steal them we have a reciprocal agreement where they get tasty treats and I get tasty eggs.
The rolls of cloth are attached to a piece of trim board via screws and washers. The cloth is also stapled to the posts and weaved together in places. The sliding door has a latch that will accept a padlock.
Here's the whole coop and run. It's not painted because I like the look of wood even though it doesn't photograph well.
The entrance to the run is a sliding door which uses closet door hardware to slide. The door's runner is a piece of old bed frame. The run's watering system is a bucket hooked up to a drinker kit I got from the Randall Burkey Company. It sets on top of another bucket to minimize the amount of dirt the girls throw into it.
Some of the things I'd like to change
I'd like to insulate the coop to muffle the morning cackles. Never knew they could be so loud. It doesn't get too hot or too cold here in the Seattle area so we didn't bother with insulation.
I'd like to get rid of the outside roost. Even though it is lower than the pop door and lower the roosts in the coop the girls want to roost outside. They use the outside roosts during the day so for now they're going to stay.
Wish the whole run was covered with hardware cloth. We ran out of money and had to switch to chicken wire but so far it's holding up.
Right now I don't have any trouble crawling around under and inside the coop. Years from now I can see that I may have some difficulty.
What I like
All the different doors are great. With a rake I can reach just about any corner without getting inside.
Actually I like everything about it except what was mentioned above.
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