As a closet end of the world survivalist I thought chickens would be a great idea. My hippy girlfriend was quiet pleased when I announced I was building a chicken-coop complete with chickens. As a computer nerd and this wasn't too bad even for a guy that doesn't know how to use a hammer. As this website was literally the only real contributing factor to achieving a real life standing chicken coop I thought I would continue the trend and share my story.
POST EDIT* Its now April of 2013. I currently get two eggs a day.
- I initially got 7 chicks from some guy on craigslist. Five of them ended up being roosters that had to go.
- Replaced Roosters with more four more 6 month old hens from craigslist.
- Foster Great Dane earned 3 strikes after several chicken deaths. Dog went to new home.
- I now have 2 hens that consistently lay every day. I have two more chicks in a brooder now that will join the flock in another month.
- Current largest problem is figuring out how to keep the chickens out of my raised flower beds.
HUGE thanks to BYC and their community. The only website that I found that was worth while for building my own coop.
- Material cost was about $500. It took the girlfriend and I about 30 hours to build. Had I planned and not just eye balled others coops I could have probably done it in 20 hours.
- I have to put in nest boxes for my eggs. They are going on the west and north sides of the coop. Im lazy so they probably wont go in for a few more weeks. (Ill update the pictures when I do)
- Need inside pictures
- Pre-drill fragile wood!
- Should have properly level the floor, I will eventually have to move coop and level the ground unless I decide to stop using the door!
In total I spent about $1,000. This is because (as stated above) I am a computer nerd and was lacking things like a table and hand saw. If you had the correct tools or a badass neighbor the price tag would have been pretty close to $500 for the materials. The main goal was to try and keep things simple so I used 2x8x4 treated boards and 1/2"" plywood sheeting. I covered the plywood in linseed oil and then filled the gaps with caulking.
This was the space that would be dedicated for the coop. Misha loves when I water the yard.
We used pavers to put the coop on. The major problem that I see happening is settling when it starts to rain. The door has already shifted ever so slightly. Its likely that we will have to pick the whole coop up and properly flatten the space with gravel in the future. We will see in 6 months.
I have two large dogs that love to chase the squirrels and the racoons that are around have never been in my yard, but just incase we buried pavers to keep critters from hopefully digging through.
Here is the girlfriend figuring out how to level and straighten everything. (Shes very upset that I used this picture)
Our first real visual progress. I used 3" decking screws to put everything up.
Here is another angle of how the progess is going. We used cloth wire to put the sides on.
This is my inital plan for putting the coop up. I should have made this part more steady. When I had to crawl in later to seal things off with caulking it bended at my weight.
Another angle after some plywood had gone up.
Its finally starting to look like a coop.
We have 6 Rhoad Island Reds. Cross your fingers that we dont have any Roo's. My survial side says "dinner" and the girlfriend says Craigslist if we do have Roo's.
Close enough for government work. We let the chickens in for a few afternoons.
The door was a nightmare. We started by trying 1x1's. We split them because we didnt pre drill holes and it was really flimsy so we switched to 2x4's.
We used an oil based paint which took about 24 hours to dry.
The window was made using 1x1's and plexi-glass and liquid nail caulking. I used my jigsaw to cut the hole out. The inside doesnt look nearly as nice but I guess it doesnt matter if you're a chicken.
Putting the roof together was a pain in the *** and we failed which Ill share in a later edit. The biggest problem was the molding splitting when we screwed in the fiberglass panels. Which by the way you use the hand saw to cut to the correct size by taking the blade off, and turning it around, otherwise known as backwards.
Here is the finished product.