The Breakfast Box
We own 3 acres and have dreamed of being farmers, so we started out a couple of years ago with a vegetable garden (which has grown in size every year). Since we don't have a whole lot of land I talked to my husband about getting some chickens for eggs...His response, "No way, I lived next to people who had chickens...they stink!" Then I got the idea of pygora goats. We even went to look at a pygora farm 3 hours away. We thought about it, then the economy went in the dumps and we didn't have the funds to do it. So this spring (2010) I approached the subject of chickens again...I had done my research and knew how to keep the smell down . I got a reluctant ok.
Once we got the chicks (they were so cute!) he got busy building a coop. He gave me the measurements and I threw together this diagram (he would have a stroke if he saw this...definitely not up to his specifications!)

Here is our youngest working hard to get the holes for the posts dug!
I did have pictures of the building in progress, but I somehow deleted them off the computer (UGH!). Here is what I do have pictures of:
West side. Door where we can go in and change food & water:
North side. Top door is for collecting eggs, bottom doors are for storage. We started off with the egg collection door opening on small hinges (kind of like on the back door of a small SUV), but we didn't think it opened far enough so we changed it to a chain from the roof that hooks to hold the door open. There is also a vent on this side at the peak (but it was added after I took the picture). My oldest is peeking out the nest boxes from the inside.:

This is the another picture of the north side. My husband added a deck in front of the pop door!


The east side of the coop has a peak window (covered with screen and wire mesh) that can be opened. There is also a door at the bottom that we can open to spray out the coop:


South side has a window that we can open and close from the outside. The pull cord for the pop door is right next to the window. We did have a rope on the pull door, but it stretched too much so my husband changed it to a cable. It works great!
Now for the inside! At first we weren't going to insulate, then we decided we better since we do live in Michigan. We had the roosts in with the 2 1/2" side up and after talking to different people we reinstalled them after insulating with the wide side up. My husband did run electricity so we have a plug on the inside for a heat lamp if needed. There are two lights, one above the roosts and another in the alcove above the nesting boxes. I think I may have to get some pictures of those. After insulating my daughters and I had a wonderful time painting the inside
Looking at the roost area from the 'people' door. The floor is made of plastic decking material that should be easy to spray down when we clean. Sheep jumping over a fence, just in case they have trouble falling asleep!

The nesting boxes. We added a board for them so they can hop into the nesting boxes. The shelf above the boxes is a little storage area. We keep extra pine bedding up there right now.

Some of the butterflies we painted around on the walls:

This is a close up picture of the pop door. My husband attached a piece of steel to the bottom of the door to make it heavy so a coon wouldn't be able to lift the door from the outside, if it got into the run.

The finished coop before the run:
The coop with the covered run. My husband angled the fencing that covers the run so we can put a tarp on top and the rain will run off. My Aussie/Border Collie mix, Emmy just had to get in the picture. If you look close you can see the little ladder that goes up to the deck. The run is all sand.:

The chicks checking out their new home:

My girls having fun with their new pets. The roosts make a great seat... for now!

A silhouette of my amazing husband!

The things I really like about the coop:
Being able to access the nest boxes from the outside, having lights inside the coop, and the best thing of all is the time I spent with my family!
I don't know what I would change as of now since we made changes as we went along. I'm sure once the hens start laying and we've been using the coop for a while there will be changes I want to make. One thing I will do is landscape around the coop.

I want to thank my wonderful husband for all his hard work, my daughters for their creativity (thought of the name The Breakfast Box, the sheep jumping over the fence, and many other little details), and all the BYCers who posted their coops. I spent many hours looking through all the coops to get different ideas! I can only hope that our coop will help out others.
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