My chickens have needed a new coop for a long time. I finally decided on a design and scratched it out on some paper and gave my poor husband the task of building. We had pushed some trees down with our new Mahindra tractor and found someone to mill them. These trees happened to be aromatic cedar. So this was going to be an extremely posh chicken coop.
So we started of course with the octagonal base. We built it in sections and screwed them together. Each side of the octagon is 4 feet wide.
Then I covered it in cheap vinyl for easier cleaning.
So we started framing. We did each side of the octagon separate. Then we attached them together. This is framed out for a window. We will have 2 and a sky light, plus the front door has a window. So should have enough light.
The roof was a booger. That's what my husband said anyway. It was very difficult to figure out. Had to get a shot of me working.
Time for windows. One on each side. These slide sideways, we got them at Lowe's.
Now the siding goes up! We are lapping these by cutting a 1/4 inch groove along the inside bottom edge. Our new table saw did this nicely. It's so beautiful!
Almost got the walls done.
Hard at work.
This is the north side. Just need a front door.
We used an old door we had sitting around. It was actually our first kitchen door, so its 30 years old. My oldest daughter carved her initial in it.
This is the west side. This will be the chicken entrance.
This is the east side and the nesting box.
I Put some chicken feed inside to see if the girls would check it out. It worked.
Built a ladder out of the 1/4" strips we cut from the side boards. I had to do something with them.
Putting the finishing touches on the nest box, top and front. My husband built this with 1X6's he grooved just like the siding. Gorgeous!
So bless my husband's heart, I don't ask for much. I wanted it to open at the top and the front, so wah lah, he did it. Now I can clean it out easily and collect eggs. My next thing will be to put a hinge that will hold the top so I don't have to. Am I lazy? Don't judge. This is the ultimate coop!
Outside view of the dividers I made. Looking in the front door at nesting box. The dividers are in. I have to get a latch and do some caulking before it is finished.
Wanted to get a shot of the rafters. Boy, these were a booger. This is the east side and the middle.
Hard at work. It is so hot he had to come out of his shirt. Using the Mahindra wisely. It's holding the roofing we bought. It's a hunter green, so I painted the nails the same color.
So this is where the skylight will be. We bought clear plastic roofing material for that.
So I decided to tackle the roost. Cut some grooves in some boards for 1" 4 foot dowel rods. Bottom rod is out farther than the top and it goes down a little too far on the left. I will shim that to bring it up. See how they will roost over my poop catcher. That is actually upside down. I sprayed it with black Flex Seal(As Seen On TV). I have since turned it over and sprayed it with clear flex seal.
So this is the skylight with the clear roofing. It has some leaking issues and I had to do a lot of caulking. Hopefully it is fixed now. Next big rain will tell.
You can see the vents we put in just under the roof.
I got my hinge on. It took forever! Had to get just the right angle on it, but it works!
The dividers I'm using. So here it is all locked up. I had to spray the lock because it was gold. Hopefully it will last.
Another picture of the inside of the roof finished. And this is another look at the ramp I made out of scraps. Hope it lasts.
Here is the outside view of my poop catcher. It pulls all the way out. I will also use that as the way to clean the whole inside out. Just push it out the back. This is just how it looks when closed. The very backside that shows the clear roofing for the skylight and the vents.
My father-in-law volunteered to help level out the area for the pen. He likes to drive our tractor.
Hubby on the roof. He nailed down some shingles that were kind of sticking up.
I got up there later and did some caulking around the clear roofing that had some leaks. I don't like heights!
I used 4" pvc for this feeder. I bought a 6 foot piece and cut about 18" off for the bottom feeder. We cut the top part off and put an end cap on it. This is the cap I got for the top. The little handle is a lot easier to pull off than a regular cap.
This is something I'm very excited about. My automatic door! I have it programmed to open at 7am and to close at 8pm. I made this door out of some scraps and am very proud of it. It works off of solar energy.
Here is the solar panel on the southwest corner.
Now for the really hard part. Building the fence.
I think its level.
We have the gate up. It's going to be covered in chicken wire. We put a butterfly latch on it.
Big Boy had to get in and check it out. He approved. Long view. Just have about 4 feet left. So close.
Wanted to show you the existing coop.
Egg door, high and low.
It has served its purpose and its time. We had a problem with coons getting in by this tree and killing my flock.
My present feed holders which leak around the top when it rains. They will now be inside.
We will install this electric fence around the new pen. My girls free ranging.
I decided to add a 3rd roost. These are all different lengths from the wall so that they are not on top of each other. Notice I turned over the poop catcher. It has been sprayed with clear Flex Seal. This side was deeper and could catch more "stuff". Only thing left is to finish the fence and the water system. We have Labor Day weekend. Hope to finish.
So this is next. The water system. Completely contained and continuous water supply.
We finally got the last big thing done! The waterer.
I know you can't see in the bucket but we have the toilet float valve which keeps the water filled. We also put in a siphon pipe, the one coming out of the bucket on the right. This keeps water in the lines. We used the chicken nipples and my husband put 3 valves on the lines so that we can drain or shut them off. The outside line will have to be drained in winter.
This is how my feeder looks. I ended up gluing it to the main tube because it was too easy to move around. It's a good thing I did because my rooster, Big Boy, decided to use it as a roost.
Nesting box full of hay as you can see.
The automatic door has been a disappointment so far. It quit working and we're trying to trouble shoot it.
So finally the finished product. Hallelujah! This was such a major project, but it is beautiful and I think it will be very much worth it. I have some tweaking of course, but nothing major. Hope you enjoyed this journey with me. I'll update any changes we make. God bless and have a great day.