Describe 'The "Girl's Club" coop ' here
This is the 2nd time I have tried my hand at raising chickens. The first time was about 20 years ago when my kids were young. My DH and I put together a shed and put chicken wire around an area for the run. It was messy and over-sized.
This time around, I was determined to do a better job. So, after much research and recruiting building help from a close friend, we came up with the following. Since I don't want any Roosters, I thought an appropriate coop name would be "Girl's Club". I plan on making a sign, but haven't gotten to that yet.
I have 7 EE girls I have raised from 2 day old chicks. They are 9 or 10 weeks old now. The coop is 4' X 6', raised off the ground and the run is 6' X 8'.
Beginning of coop. The nest boxes will be on the left side on the outside to save space.
My "builder" cutting the openings before adding the nesting boxes.
When the coop was finished (built off site), we prepared the resting area by trenching out the run area to place thick rubber brick type blocks in the ground where the run will sit on. This will prevent critters from digging under and getting in. We decided not to leave the area under the coop available to the girls. Too hard to keep clean and get to them if they were injured or sick.
Made the run on a slant so rain water would trickle off the roof. Our property is on a "slight" incline and there is a pond on the edge of our property (our neighbors - there are geese and ducks there regularly). Also, the coop door swings our next to my garden area. I plan on fencing in the garden to keep the geese and ducks out and maybe let the girls in once and awhile.
With a coat of paint.
Put fencing all around. Small hardware cloth, not regular "chicken wire". No pics of the pen roof, but did put a metal roof on like the one on the coop. Since they will be in the pen most of the time, I wanted it to be secure. We have several different kinds of critters that love chicken for dinner.
After reading several posts on BYC, I agreed with the idea of putting flooring material down on the coop floor and poop boards.
Painted the inside of coop white to brighten it up and easy cleaning in case they "projectile" poop on walls.
The poop board and roosting bar lift out for easy cleaning. Also put a barrier board at opening of coop to keep the bedding in. The first night they were in there, one girl was actually roosting on the board
I put 2 roosting areas to make sure they had enough room. I'll see how it goes. They are situated above the entrance to the nesting box openings. The nesting box entrances are on the left and the opening you see on the right is the opening to the run. Place sweet PDZ on the poop boards and shavings on the coop floor.
The chicken door to the coop was changed from my original design. Originally we had the door swing up, but I didn't like the space it took up. So, after checking out BYC again, I had my "builder" change the design so the door slides up and down. There is a string that pulls from the outside on the left of this picture. I still need to paid the left slide bar. The run roost bar is a thick branch I found in the woods.
First girl checking out the coop.
Thought I took a pic of the nesting boxes, but guess not. They are 3 separate boxes that open by lifting up the lid, each individually. I have something blocking entrance to them right now since they aren't ready to lay eggs. I also have 2 small windows on the "pond" side of the coop covered in hardware cloth for security and that fold down with a latch/lock. No electricity in the coop, but living in Hickory, NC, the weather never gets too bad. By the time it is winter again they will be older and able to handle the mild winters in this area.
Changes: Paint BEFORE putting things together.
We already plan on expanding the run. We will open the fencing on the side that faces the pond, and take out the middle center board so we can walk through to the extended part. The other 2 middle boards will remain so they can use them to roost on.
Enjoy the pics and thanks for stopping by.
Can't wait for the eggs!