Greetings from St. Johnsbury Vermont. I set up a temporary coop and run for our chickies until we move back to our nice barn in the next town over next year. Anyway, I didn't want to make a huge investment in a coop and run. Therefore I used recycled materials including lumber and hardware to build this set-up. The only purchases we made for the run were six 2 x 4s, hardware cloth and a bag a screws. I did buy a used window for the coop. All other materials including the wall unit were on hand. I used store signage (thick plexiglass) for the roof and part of the upper section of the run. The door is from the time the house was built in 1896. I can tell because there are identical doors with the same hardware in the house)...we just cut out the inner panels.
The coop is inside this huge carriage house. There was a high round opening which accomodated a wood stove pipe facing out the back of the structure. Originally I was just going to use that opening but I wanted a small window instead and cut out an opening for the window. This is where the girls come and go...long plank goes from the window to the lower shelf on the wall unit. There are two other windows where the coop is so there is plenty of light. I lined the inside of the coop (floor, walls and ceilings) with political lawn signs which are made of a double corrogated plastic material. These signs are waterproof and form good insulation. When I am home, the girls get to free range in the backyard; otherwise they spend their day in the run. In the bottom portion of the wall unit I have two large, long bins which will be filled with dirt, sand, DE, and wood ash for their dust baths in the winter. I am in the process of raking all the leaves up and will put this on the dirt floor of the run. I am also planning to cover the outside walls with clear plastic to keep wind and snow out, they'll have plenty of sunshine during the afternoon hours. During the day they have access to the coop anytime they want. My husband Dennis is suffering with ALS and unable to build anymore. So, my brother Anthony and a friend (Joe) built the run. When he agreed to do this for me, he said "Sure, just give me the plans." So I showed him a sketch of where I wanted everything. He wanted real plans. I told him it was like making a crazy quilt....just use the pieces you have. He wasn't crazy about my idea for the roof and thought it need more support so he bought the 2 x 4s. I built the inside coop last spring and Anthony added the nesting boxes with a hinged lid for me after he finished the run. It's amazing how quickly the girls adapted to their new digs. I still have lots of windows, doors, frames and lumber from the second floor of this carriage house that I'm planning a second coop which will house the seven new bantam cochins that just hatched. And....when we do move back to our other house, I plan to take everything with me and rebuild another coop in the barn. Don't even ask me about chicken math.................
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