[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]For the THIRD TIME, I'm trying to get this page to save without ruining everything I have written. Here goes![/FONT]
Coop Name: The Egg Plant Username: Silkie Man Real name’s Ben.
My first 13 birds in Aug ’09 as pullets. I built a first coop out of an old coop, Fort Bocks, as a totally safe barrier to the outside world. It was a 5x8 dog pen attached to a 4x8 meat chicken pen. Since I found my 6 Silkies, it has been deemed too small so I built my new coop, the Egg Plant. I wanted better living arrangements and a true large high ceiling outdoor area to run in. The nesting boxes were a pain to get to in the dog pen as well! I also needed to find an arrangement that would suit both the larger Golden Comet hens along with the Silkies. This includes the height of nesting boxes, height of roosts, height and pitch of the ramp to get in the coop, etc etc.
So, I set out to build a new wooden coop. I built it primarily alone, pulled in help when it was needed. It’s a “modular” design which I don’t think I have seen anyone do yet. The run’s walls were built in 3 flat sections for easy building. The coop itself was built on top of a frame. Coop and run are not attached so it’s still mobile. The original plan was to have a huge tractor, but it ended up being way too heavy. Treated wood was used for all areas that contact the ground, while standard wood with Thompson’s water seal sprayed on was used for the rest.
Run groundspace is 64ft², Coop floor area is 32ft², and coop volume is slightly over 130 cubic feet. That translates to a 4’x4’x8’ coop, and an 8’x8’ run that’s just shy of 5’ high. I bought mainly 8 foot boards so I would have to do minimal cutting. Any 4’ lengths only require cutting an 8’ board in half, obviously, so it’s really easy. I measured and eyeballed to get it done. I’m still planning to add shingles and paint the sides so it looks nice.Dimensions:
Cost: [eek!] The wood cost was $168, I used a $4 can of Great Stuff foam sealant, about two gallons of waterseal- $22, and some fasteners valued at less than $10. Wire mesh was from eBay as it’s the only place I have seen the 5’ high 1” hex wire mesh. It was about $35 for two 25’ rolls shipped. The main helpful tools were my circular saw, pneumatic nailer/stapler for quick attachments, and a trusty Makita screw gun. The most expensive part would be the pneumatic nailer/stapler, but I’m sure you could find a similar electric unit or a hand stapler. There’s an old storm door I cut down to use with the run. The window/door screen rolls were found by my sister and brother in law at a recycling drop off point, great find! I built an anti-predator barrier by laying 2’ wide screen split right down the middle all along under the run and coop to prevent any digging predators with that.
5/8 outdoor plywood, numerous 2”x4”x8’ boards both treated and normal, foam sealant, wire mesh, door screen, staples, nails, drywall screws, water sealant, door latches and hinges from eBay.Materials used:
Interior: Ladders from an old wooden playhouse were used as roost, I came up with a pretty cool configuration that utilizes space very well! The nesting boxes are all internal and not fastened in, just in case I want to reconfigure it sometime. There’s a 6” by about 7 foot “egg door” in the rear for super easy access. It’s flush fitted to the back wall, but starting to warp because I don’t yet have an eave and didn’t seal that area well enough evidently. The nest boxes are 1 cubic foot.
Images! The description for each image is below it unless otherwise noted.
Click on them to view them larger !!!! Click on the image again to view even larger! All are very crisp and clear even if the thumbnails look stretched.
The finished coop after some unhelpful snow during the final steps.
The coop access door for feeding, watering, power cable run-through, chicken capturing, etc etc.
Two of the finished run walls, not including the side with the people-door.
The completed base for the run.
How the floor section is.
Another shot of the floor. I did get another treated 2”x4”x4’ for each short end to act as “skids” for mobility.
Shots of the gaps that had to be sealed, I will trim them later when I finish up the appearance modifications. It’s strictly functional now to fend off the winter and keep my cluckers warm!
I also added some interior vertical boards in the corners and screwed the walls to them to prevent bowing of the walls. The structural integrity is excellent due to how sturdy the base is.
Interior and residents! (Below) Please click on these to view, the thumbnails are very pixelated!
Interior and the residents! (Above)
Some random shots I may have forgotten to include: Below-
Thanks for looking- when I get organized I’ll update again with some more info! ---Silkie Man