Simple Urban CoopOctober 2009Using other BYC coops as models for ideas, my husband drew plans based on my list of needs:
A coop with a lockable pop door, an attached nest box, a shelf for storing feed and tools, a large door for easy cleaning of coop, a predator proof run, and a door to the run to access to the pop door and to the food and water. The coop is 3'X5' and the roof is 5' on one side and 4' on the other. The run in 4'X8'. We'll be painting it to match the house and adding vinyl to the floor after we pick up some salvaged pieces from a flooring warehouse. We planned to reuse as many materials as possible, but when the in-laws arrived and offered to help, we decided to buy what we needed in order to get the coop done sooner. The 4 chickens (Plymouth Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, Ameraucana, and Silver-laced Wyandotte) are 7 weeks old and living in a cardboard box in the garage. They are running out of space.
Adding the floor to the coop. My daughter is modeling the shelf for storage under the coop.
Side door opens level with floor so I can clean out the coop easily. The latch and the simple wood pieces keep the door securely closed. The rectangular hole is for the nest boxes. We have hardware cloth covering the ventilation holes. We're in northern California and aren't worried about the cold. The pictures are all taken in October.
Nest boxes (14"X14"X12" as per Gail Damerow's instructions in Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens)
Daughter showing off the spacious coop. There are two roosts for our four chickens. I wanted the coop pretty simple on the inside to aid in cleaning. This way it should happen more often! There are gaps between the roof and the 2X4s on the ends. My husband needs to fix those, add the chicken ladder, install the vinyl and build a door for the run before the girls move into their new home. I'm hoping that will be in a day or two. The painting can wait a little while longer. We're looking into a watering system that would be easy and make it possible to leave them for a weekend.
What I love: The storage space underneath the coop is handy and all my supplies fit there. The large door makes it easy for me to stir the pine shavings. The enclosed run with a partial roof makes the girls happy and with the current rain, they have one dry place to hang out during the day.
What I would change: The girls don't sit on the roosts at night. I'm not sure if the roosts are too high or if the ventilation creates too much of a breeze. I need to make a shorter roost for them. The run is not as tall as I am, so I have to crouch to go in. It had to be that way or it would block a window of our house (not much land in the city!).