The Egg Plant.......

By Ol Grey Mare · Jul 18, 2017 · ·
  1. Ol Grey Mare
    After a cross-country relocation that required total liquidation of my previous flock, we were finally ready to get started on a new coop/run and flock in our new home (so fortunate to have found landlords that are open to just about anything, lol). Work officially started in mid-February and I think we are finally just about done.......between the lovely Oregon weather and some really uncoordinated work schedules - plus having about a hundred other things that needed doing - progress has been slow (painfully so at times).
    The basics are a 4x8, walk-in style coop with an attached 9x12 run that is 2/3 roofed to allow protection from the 9 months of rainy season and still provide sunning spots for the rare nice day.
    The first load of building supplies -- things are (FINALLY) getting real:

    The floor - it's "double walled" with ply on top and bottom, with joists every 2 feet. A good, SOLID base!

    My husband and Father-In-Law with the first wall framed. The two best builders a girl could wish for - this is a "small" build for them, they also built the 14x20 barn at our old home, the tack room on which was later converted into a chicken coop.

    Both side walls are now up and the windows and nest box opening are now in the framing. Windows are framed as 1 ft x 4 ft. Nest box is 48 inches long with three nests.

    We even got an assist when our daughter and son-in-law came for a visit (all the way from Ohio) and were put to work in the garage

    Before too long, everything was all framed up...

    time to disassemble and reassemble outside....Side note - THIS would have been the time to be painting everything.....hindsight is definitely 20/20.

    We finally had a day that was dry enough to do some site prep - original location was to have been on the other side of the doorway you see there, so the corners of the coop and garage would basically be meeting - but we rethought that and moved it closer to the house and farther from the neighbors on the other side of the back fence. Broke it all up, tamped it down and leveled it.......

    Had gone back and forth about using cement pier blocks, etc - ended up opting for 4x4 rails running down both sides and one down the center

    And so began the process of reassembling the coop - wall by wall

    I opted for a front, rather than top, opening for my external nest boxes - when hung, the door will be hinged from the bottom.

    Everything went back together just like planned!

    Time to put a lid on this thing - ply wood, paper and metal - as luck would have it, one of the few colors I was okay with for a roof was green - and the lumberyard DH and FIL work at had multiple pieces in green that had been left from various orders that had ended up in the "scrap" pile (order errors, etc) - SCORE!

    Next up - a door - this is a piece I am particularly pleased with. I wanted the door to provide optional extra ventilation and also light to supplement the windows. Bless my hubby's heart, he really came through and took all the "maybe's" and "could we's" I came up with and designed a "false dutch" door with a window in the top that allows for light even when the whole door is closed, and when you open the top half it reveals the fully screened top half of the actual door - covered with hardware cloth - allowing for lots of good air flow!

    By this point we were past the initial deadline.....and the second deadline.....that darn Oregon weather! Because I was planning to brood in the coop, I needed a minimum of walls, floor, roof, door and windows in place to provide a secure place for my chicks. My FIL custom built the windows - a nice, simple frame with plexi - and got them hung. There was some misunderstanding about just where I wanted the hardware cloth - but everything was done before I got home from work that day so darned if I was going to point that out and set things back another day or more with them taking things apart and putting things back. Each window swings upward and is held open with a hook and eye assembly or held closed with wing-nuts. The overhang on the roof and the way the windows hang allow for them to be open even on the rainiest days and keep things inside the coop dry as can be! Worst case scenario the one over the nest box is closed but the one on the other side is able to stay open now that the run over that part is covered.

    Because my intent is to use deep bedding in the coop, I had a "kick board" installed inside the door to keep bedding from spilling out every time the door is opened - you can see here that by this point the chicks had been with us a few weeks.....
    The water and feed are both up on platforms to keep them out of the bedding - the water is visible to the left and is on an overturned litter pan. In the back right corner you can see the "mama heat pad" that I used for keeping the babies warm. This was my first go 'round with that approach and I will NEVER go back to brooding in the house or with a heat lamp! Having power available in the coop is a huge upgrade for me from any previous coop I've had.

    Another brag on DH and FIL - they knew how much I wanted to get my babies outside, so I came home for lunch one nasty, rainy day to find them out there starting on the run:

    Yes, the dreaded "poultry netting" - a calculated risk made with an informed assessment of daytime predator issues and a secure coop that they are in from dusk to dawn. Our daytime issues are nothing more than neighborhood cats - the amount of activity, people and dogs surrounding us keep raccoons, skunks, opossums (all of whom I know for a fact we have, having seen them) relegated to the night time hours and a 6 foot, solid privacy fence keeps any loose dogs out of the yard in which the coop and run are set. Not my first build, and I'm not naïve about the risk I'm choosing to take - under no illusion about this run being predator resistant.

    Remember all that great roofing we got? Well, we had so much left that I had the guys go ahead and cover 2/3 of the run:

    Of course, once there is a run, you need a pop door so you don't have to hassle with carrying the wee beasties back and forth, one by one, every time you want to put them in or out......
    Again, allowing for deep bedding, the bottom of the opening is a good distance up the wall. Also, for security, the door slides down about four inches below the bottom of the opening when closed to keep prying "fingers" of a predator from getting a grip enough to pull the door up and the track keeps it nice and snug against being pushed inward. The pulley and cable allows for easy operation from outside the coop
    The day we installed the ramp (ignore the icky temp ramp to the side)

    The nest boxes were put at the bottom of the priority list because they were not necessary right away. They were securely closed off on the inside by a well anchored piece of t1-11 and tarped off on the outside - but it was time to think about doing some work on them
    Roofing paper and green shingles with a nice piece of flashing and lots of caulk to keep things dry inside - t1-11 facing going on:
    Building the door - the lip you see goes to the inside and creates a snug fit with the opening it slides right into
    From the inside - divider walls not installed in this photo - nests are 14 wide, 16 deep and 18 inches high at the peak of the slope. Landing bar on the front, 24 inches off the floor....was used as a temp roost while the nests were closed off before the poop board/roost was installed - allowed over three weeks of roosting on the actual roost before opening the nests to get them in habit of sleeping in the right place:

    Speaking of poop board - roost is a 2x3 with the 3 inch side up. The roost sets 4 inches over the tray. At just 4 feet in length it is a bit small, but the flock size is larger than originally planned due to FIL falling in love with a bird I hadn't intended to keep....will add additional space if/when proves necessary (also helped by the fact the leghorn insists on sleeping in the rafters).

    Painting, painting, painting..........oh, and more painting........I am SOOOO tired of painting.......but I *think* I am finally done:

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Recent User Reviews

  1. HuffleClaw
    "I like this!!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 26, 2018
    IrishLad61 likes this.
  2. frostic
    "nice coop"
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Aug 6, 2018
    like the coop. any more painting going on? lol
    IrishLad61 likes this.
  3. N F C
    "Great Coop!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 4, 2018
    Love this coop! The dutch door was a great idea, it has added ventilation, daylight, and a way of checking on the birds without them getting out the human door.
    IrishLad61 likes this.


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  1. foxtrotters19
    Love you coop - the barn door I really like - and the colors!!!
      IrishLad61 likes this.
  2. TLHloveschicks
    Wow really pretty and nice design!
      IrishLad61 likes this.
  3. ChickenyChickeny
    i would love to have a coop like that lol
    the colours look awesome, especially
      IrishLad61 likes this.
  4. N F C
    Beautiful coop, good job!
      IrishLad61 likes this.
  5. littlecollier
    Wow! This looks beautiful! I wish I were that handy!

    I can't imagine having to liquidate a flock, but I'm sure all of your new birds are grateful to have such loving (and talented!) owners/parents.

    A belated welcome to my home state of Oregon. We're happy to have you!

      IrishLad61 likes this.
  6. mklogan
    This is amazing! Thanks for sharing the step by step.
      IrishLad61 likes this.
  7. Meg-in-MT
    Wow, your coop is gorgeous. I would never have thought of those colors together, but they look so nice! What a great thing to have handy folks around!
      IrishLad61 likes this.
  8. Jack Speese
    Awesome coop, like everyone else said. I went through the same painful process myself in 2016, had to move and totally liquidate my old flock. Unfortunately I don't have anything close to the construction skills of your talented family, but our son-in-law comes from a family of contractors and he and our daughter pretty much got the shell and roof and floor of my new 8 x8 coop built in a weekend. I finished off the siding, and inside details (had a set of metal nesting boxes) such as a roost and droppings pit with an outside door for easy manure removal (works great!) over the fall of 2016 and winter of 2017. We live in North Augusta South Carolina, in climate zone 8a, so fortunately we aren't plagued by bad weather (Oregon is beautiful in the pictures I've seen but I'm afraid that I couldn't handle the constant rain and overcast...two years in Germany was more than enough of that for me!), so I figured I didn't need things like insulation or anything more than hardware cloth for the windows (enough roof overhang to keep things dry). And it worked, this past winter has been rougher than usual for our area and my birds are fine. I built a pen with a top (320 sq ft in total area), as there are a lot of hawks around here. I used turkey wire for the sides and top, as it's easier to work with than hardware cloth yet much more durable and rust resistant than chicken wire, although I also covered the sides with chicken wire to keep the chicks in and the son birds out. So far it's worked great, my 8 Delawares, 7 New Hampshire Red hens + 1 rooster (a sexing mistake) and 2 blue Cochin hens (couldn't resist them) will be a year old this March and are doing great. Although we have 2 and a half acres and I know my birds would love to run, I don't dare let them because there are too many hawks around. But with 3 ft of coop space and 18 ft of pen space per bird plus our zone 8a climate, they seem fine. We have deciduous woods all around, so in winter with no leaves there are sunny spots and in the summer with leaves there is plenty of shade. But your set-up is awesome, how many and what kind of birds do you have?
  9. Ivy Love
    Awesome coop!
      IrishLad61 likes this.
  10. Yorkshire Coop
    Fabulous coop, I also really love the colour :D
    Excellent coop page too and most helpful :clap
      IrishLad61 likes this.
  11. LDI Chicks
    Wow! What an awesome coop! The pics and showing the process is great! The false Dutch door is so lovely and innovative! Thanks for sharing!
      IrishLad61 and blackdust951 like this.
  12. Bek
    Love your setup! Great pics and process breakdown! And love love LOVE your "false Dutch" door!!!!!:love
      IrishLad61 likes this.
  13. blackdust951
    :thumbsup nice coop!
      IrishLad61 likes this.
  14. Jan in Fallbrook CA
    That's quite a coop! Mine is "cute" - yours is incredible!
      IrishLad61 likes this.
  15. Jef's Girl
    Oh wow! Your coop is awesome! We searched Pinterest for ideas and finally came up with a Cottage. Thanks for sharing.
      IrishLad61 and Ol Grey Mare like this.
  16. Marg's Girls
    I really like your coop, it beautiful.
      Ol Grey Mare likes this.
  17. Debs Flock
    Very nice!! Great pictures. Really love the look of it.
      IrishLad61 and Ol Grey Mare like this.
  18. twisted-acres-farm
    Absolutely beautiful !!! SO what type and number of chicks did you end up with ??
  19. Granny Hatchet
    Love the colors Mare ! Well thought out design but wheres the babies ?
      IrishLad61 and Ol Grey Mare like this.
  20. Texas Kiki
    :yesss: It's beautiful! I love the door and the colors!
      IrishLad61 and Ol Grey Mare like this.

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