Sweet Madelines' Concert Hall aka LuWeMiCa

  1. Michelle Farmer-Brown
    Hi all. I'm brand new to chickens and this is my first attempt at building a coop. The resources I've acquired on Backyard Chickens have helped me so much along the way.

    I started out with a 10x12 shed purchased from a local lumber yard. It proved to be quite a challenge to finish the inside because the studs aren't evenly spaced and honestly, it was just slapped together.

    Our first step was to insulate. We used r12 fiberglass pink insulation followed by vapour barrier then plywood.

    We purchased a log splitter in preparation for winter. I got to looking at the crate it came in and realized it was perfect for the nesting boxes. We put in a platform 18" off the floor then put in the sides from the crate (front and back). We added pieces of plywood between each rung to separate each box. We then topped it up with another sheet of plywood.

    The top of the nesting boxes was perfect for a poop tray. We ran flat 2x4s across from one side of the shed to the other, spacing and staggering them so that the girls can't easily poop on each other. I filled the poop tray with sand and added some zeolite (essentially sweet pdz, but that is not available in Canada).

    Next we took the side rails from the log splitter crate and built a ladder. We ran it up part way, added a platform then changed directions up to the roosts.

    Ventilation is a big argument here.
    My spouse is too worried about drafts. It does get quite windy here and it swirls resulting in wind coming from all directions. Right now we've got two vents 6x12 cut into the eaves covered in hardware cloth/wire. Luckily the shed door is about 5' wire, so I prop that open. Next summer I plan on adding a ridge ventilation or some other type of passive ventilation. I just hope the girls make it through the winter without frostbite (I've already stocked up on Vaseline).

    The pop door is just a hole randomly cut, not to any specific size. We framed the hole and ran a piece of wood along the top. We had a door rung left over from a metal shed we dismantled a few years ago. We cut those and ran them vertically. It's the perfect size for the plywood to run up and down in. The plan is to run a pulley so that we can raise it without going into the coop. Our girls are always so desperate to go out first thing in the morning.

    Then we framed in a wall that we tacked fencing to. This gives an area for supplies as well as an extra stop gap to help prevent the girls from escaping.

    We then painted using a gloss exterior latex paint. This will hopefully make it easier to clean, as well as a pest and mould barrier. Sadly, we ran out of paint, so it's only partially done. The exterior will have to wait until spring.

    The nesting boxes are filled with pine shavings and topped up with sweet grass. The coop floor is covered in sweet grass as well. I put a few logs in that I set their feeder and waterer on top of.

    We ran t posts outside and strung fencing along it. We then attached chicken wire across the top to work as a deterrent for flying predators. We had an old gate lying around that we attached to the side of the shed. We then drove a 4x4 into the ground to hold the gate closed. We had a barrel bolt that we attached to the gate. We took a scrap of 2x4 and drilled a hole for the bolt and attached it to the 4x4. We ran a 2x4 across the top of the gate opening to prevent it from swinging inwards. We split some 2x4s to run across the top of the run to help prevent the chicken wire from drooping. A clear tarp will be run over the top and sides up against the shed wall to give them outside shelter from the elements. We're going to dig a hole in the ground into which we're going to bury a tire with spray foam insulation in the sides. We'll set a 3 gallon heavy rubber tub into that for their water with ping pong balls floating in it. During our really cold snaps, -30C or colder ,
    I'll probably heat some rocks to add to the water.

    The girls all moved in 5 days ago (12 leghorns and 3 buckeyes) and seem really happy. They love the nesting boxes. It took them a while to find the roosts but each night more and more are using it.

    I'd like to thank everyone in Backyard Chickens for all of the incredible information. I wouldn't have had a clue on what to do if it hadn't have been for your wealth of knowledge.

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