The coop Deville is a design that I thought of while researching keeping chickens. I wanted a design that is secure, safe, easy to build and it had to be cheap and easy to maintain.
Cheap it was with a total of $87 spent on hardware and pipe. The fence was a freebie, the lumber was freebies, the vinyl was free.
O.K. inside deminsions are 4'x4'x5'. The run is 4'x4'x10', three nesting boxes measuring 14"x14"x14"
Given the materials that I had on hand. Some round fence post, alot of 5/8 moisture composite wood and various sizes of milled lumber. I based my plans on that factor. I had 4 sections of the 5/8. Based on that I knew I had to come up with something that will last and be easy to maintain. After looking at my dresser and studing how it worked, I decided to use that concept, for easy clean out.
I slotted the frame post and put together sliders. You would not believe how crooked these posts were after sitting out in the yard for a year. I started with the drawer, built my nest box seperate so that I could quickly attach it to the frame. I had to notch out my posts to accept the drawer.
The drawer is is about 6" deep 42" long and 42" wide. I got the idea by looking at my dresser. I put 2 perches in it using some trees that I had cut up. Stablised it using whatever I I found. The nest box was the next thing to go on it, that helped stabilise it more. Remember I was working with 4 crooked round posts.
The sliding door was next a 12"x12" framed in to slide.
The next mission was to close it in and tighten it up. I worked on this only a couple hours a day provided the weather held, over a period of a month or so.
On the top picture you'll see my vents. I found an old swing type door in my building and cominced the cutting. They are 15" long x 8" wide, on three sides. On my roof, I just scewed a 1x2 up there for my pitch, so I have about an inch or so at the pitch for more ventilation. I attached the door with 2 8 inch flat hinges from Lowes. Covered up the pull-out hole for my drawer, via the door. So when you close the door, the hole to pull out my drawer is covered. The bottom of the inside coop is completely covered by the drawer, only 4 small air holes allow air to move around the posts exists. The bottom also sits 2 feet off the ground. Now them conniving racoons will have a really hard time getting in. I lock the door with a simple padlock hasp that I found layin round.
Then came the run, the more difficult part of the Coop Deville. This part challenged me in a couple ways: number 1 I had NO long milled lumber to work with. Of course no money to get any either, but I was working on cleaning my trail out when it hit me. I could use the trees that I'd cut to build my run. Another challenge: I didnt know how to put them together. Well you remember thoselLincoln Logs we used to play with? With nothing but a chisel, hammer and circular saw I went to town with them trees and come up with this. I wont say that I am an expert carpenter, but I do know my way round the hammer enough to get me in trouble. Then using the scraps off that I built the ladder the chickens are gonna need. You might say I built this one piece at a time.
I set the nipples 19 inches from the ground.
No leaks and it operates properly. A friend of mine knows somebody who knows somebody who own a farm equipment supply, so I called them and they said $1.80 for these stainless steel gravity nipples. Well I went ahead and forked over and had my son who lives in the town that the shop was in get them for me. These will save water in the summertime, next time I will put in a few extra ball valves and a union for easier cleaning, but it will work for now.
My feed and waterer set up. I used a 3 gallon bucket for my tank, 3/4 in pvc for water and 4 inch pvc for the feed. That nipple you see was $1.80 each. I put 5 of them on my Coop Deville, 2 inside and three outside under the drawer. I used a jig saw to notch the feeder pipe, then I screwed them together instead of glueing for easy clean with a cut off cap at the bottom and a screw cap at the top and an axle type bolt through the middle, to allow it to swing out. It will hold the weight of three or four bricks. Twist off cap keeps the food dry while the tilt steering allows for convenient filling. I might make the bottom pipe a little longer next time to reach across the entire bottom.
The material you see is 19 oz vinyl I get from my job. I completely wrapped Coop Deville inside and out for longevity, cuz I know I will be cleaning it often. Now I don't have to worry about making a repair for at least 7 years. The pipe and fittings and all the screws is what costs the most. By the way get the torx head screws for outdoor projects, the cost is a little higher but they are worth it. I did not strip even one screw out of three boxes, 2 being 3in and one being 11/2.
You have to pull this
and lift this…
and push this…
Next was security. I needed something that required three thumbs to operate, to keep those pesky coons out. Some old chainlink fence hardware done the trick. The gate was about all the milled lumber I had. Just couldn't get the logs square enough. I stuffed some old pex I had to hold up the vinyl roof I put on the run. The fence was free too, I just had to go get it. Both the run gate and slide door are locked using the fence hardware.