The Coop De Grass

By stcroixusvi, Jan 11, 2012 | Updated: Feb 5, 2012 | | |
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  1. stcroixusvi

    The Coop de Grass

    They say that immitation is the most sincerest form of flattery! If so, I will shamelessly say that we copied our coop design from one we saw on the coop forum. Todtrac (https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=62380-mid-life-crisis) and Be_collective (https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=3415-coop_design) provided the design that allowed us to place our coop in full view. Our coop space is right at the entrance to our home and driveway, so creating a building that was functional, yet architecturally pleasing, was very important to us. We also wanted it near our garden space. Our chicks arrived Friday, May 13, 2011, and the coop building started the following week.

    I mixed up the first and second pics - reverse order!
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    Framing up the coop - it is 7 x 10 in order to allow the nesting boxes and storage area to be on the outside. Interior space will be 7 x 7. We are in a temperate climate; I imagine the chick(en)s will be outside much of the time. Initially I intended to give away some of our chicks, thereby keeping our flock managable, but our daughter nixed that. "If you had 22 children would you give one up?"
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    Our friend keeps saying, "this is for chickens?"
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    Next the roof was framed:

    [​IMG]
    Then some plywood:
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    The top needs to be finished off before the shingles can be added.
    A week later, shingles![​IMG]
    And some nesting boxes getting final touches:
    [​IMG]
    We are still trying to figure out exactly how to situate the roosting area. Since our space is limited, we are going to give them two levels, space beneath the roosting area and a ramp to access the second floor. Lucky birds!
    June 10, 2011
    Back at work - some issues resolved. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    We decided to have one window on each side open. Originally I wanted all 8 to open but had to consider the timing involved to make that happen, so we compromised. The windows were free on freecycle - a remodeling job. Nice way to recycle windows.
    Here is a picture of the inside- nice work.[​IMG]
    Monday they will add the trim.
    And this is the outside
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    And finally, my contribution today - adding the vinyl flooring, a remnant.
    [​IMG]


    June 14 2011, some more progress! Which is a good thing, because chicks are getting BIG.
    Here is the coop with the doors on, the clean-out doors are not closed all the way, needs some latches, and - still needs some trim:
    [​IMG]


    Here is a close-up of the nesting boxes, lid open:
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    And the other side of the coop:
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    More tomorrow!














    We did a little more work today - finishing touches inside
    [​IMG]
    The coop has a level for the roost and poop deck!
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    The roosts are about a foot from the window.
    [​IMG]
    And they have about 2 feet underneath the poop deck. You can also see the addition of a bar for the nesting area. Hope to get it painted tomorrow!
    Oh, and here are two of our helpers - Teddy and Atticus:
    [​IMG]


    And here is the painted interior - I know, soon to be covered in chicken poop. But fun to see freshly painted! We put 1/2 inch hardware cloth over the window interiors, and will bolster the staples with a wood frame. We have lots of clever predators around here.[​IMG]

    Here is a picture of the coop, finally outside stained. I hate to paint.
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    Take a look at the tomato plant crawling up the right side of the photo! I bought the plant locally - it doesn't seem to want to stop growing....


    And here are some pics of the peeps inside their new digs
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    And here they are at night, dark picture
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    They love their new coop, and are now all sleeping on the roost.


    And finally, the run is somewhat finished - finished enough for the chicks to be outside unsupervised during the day.
    [​IMG]
    The chicks have a rhodo rimmed oak tree inside their run, and we stuck a branch to help them feel a little bit on the wild side.
    And now we can sit back and enjoy the show!
    [​IMG]
    The wire on the run is buried 6 inches and we have a 2 ft apron running around the entire run.


    Things left to do: install the cupola, secure the netting ontop of the run, install hooks on the windows to replace the sticks I am using to prop them open.

    August 13, 2011
    Finally some recent shots - here is the storage area on the side of the coop

    [​IMG]

    And finally, a shot of the cupola - we are still searching for the perfect weathervane[​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Almost a year later, we needed to add a coop for those with special needs.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

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  1. stcroixusvi
    One thing I would have done differently is put the storage on the same side as the door. I originally thought I'd want the nesting boxes on the same side of the door - which is closer to our hourse, making the egg collection easier, but turns out I am in the storage far more often than the nesting boxes and have to continually walk around the coop to get to the door. Just didn't think that one through. Also, think about where you have access to water, and make your door near that as well. When you are in a rush in the a.m. these time savers are priceless!
  2. stcroixusvi
    I am not sure why they are notched. It could be because we get 70+ mph winds on our ridge top, and maybe it made it more secure - I am guessing. We have a friend who is a builder and he constructed the plans after I showed him MidLife crisis's coop on this website. It is a solid construction, probably much more than most. I do remember it cost a lot more than we anticipated :) as with all building projects.
    Do you have a Freecycle in your community? I posted my request for windows and someone responded who knew someone who was remodeling. We turned them 90 degrees so that they would run laterally. If you look closely, ours don't look so hot either - and when a bear tried to get into the coop, he broke one of the windows, but it was easy to get the pane replaced at a glass shop. The ton of light gives them a longer season for laying. We are on a ridge top and they get light long before the sun comes up. I hope this makes a difference this year.
    Can't wait to see pictures of your completed coop! This has been a great design. The clean out door makes it super easy to get in and out, and the run has a door high enough to keep us from bumping our heads. all stuff I learned here!
  3. kenchirole
    Nice coop. It gave me a good clue!
  4. fricknfricassee
    Also, wondering why you "notched" the top of the 4X4 posts. It seems like that would throw off the measurements of the
    perimeter, because the 2X6 floor framing was placed on the outside of the posts. Just wondering how you worked that
    one. Thanks.
  5. fricknfricassee
    Thank you for your reply. We aren't having much luck with finding "recycled" windows, yet. Yes, there are a lot of them out
    there, but so far they all look like "junk". Breaking ground this morning, using your photos as our guide. I am sure we will
    modify some of the dimensions to accommodate nesting boxes that are double stacked..... we will see. Again, thanks for
    your help! We are so excited to get started.
  6. stcroixusvi
    The dimensions were really because of materials - we sort of built it around the windows and plywood for the roof - in order to keep from having to cut for the roof, I think the length is 7ft. The coop itself is 7 x 10 with the extra 3 ft used for storage and nesting box space. I think it's about 5 ft to the first roof, but I am not positive about that.
  7. fricknfricassee
    Loved your finished coop so much, we are going to build the same one! Any help
    on the other dimensions, like how high was the outside box and then the additional
    center room? Thanks!
  8. chuckeychickens
    Love your coop, Anne! You didn't tell me that the chicks were going to live at the Ritz!
  9. todtrac
    Very nice job, I am glad you were inspired by our coop. Enjoy your chickens.. Todtrac.
  10. gallusdomesticus
    beautiful coop....well done!

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