This is the coop my husband and I built for our ladies. We started with a book called How to Build Chicken Coops written by Samantha Johnson and Daniel Johnson. Published by Voyageur Press. Pretty good book. In addition to showing you how to do things it did a good job of explaining why. I looked a lot up on the internet too. I have no idea how many pictures I saw. The book made it easier and it didn't have any glaring discrepancies. They used a lot of cedar, which is expensive. We adapted the instructions to use fir and tweaked a couple things just because. For example, we added an additional door so I could fill the gravel dispenser and we arranged the roosting perches a bit differently. The overall size is 20 feet long, 4 feet wide and 5 feet tall not including the peak of the roof/gable.


Behind the coop you will see the edge of a forest which is our backyard. I still have work to do in landscaping around it. I'm looking forward to the spring for that. The roosting and nesting area is closed in with a removable wall. The ladder leads up to a small door in the removable wall.


My husband put locating pins on the back to help me put the wall up in the same place each time. I just lift using the handles and put the wall up on the pins, then secure with four screws. In the foreground you can see a perch we put in the run. You can also see that we are not finished painting it yet.


This is what it looks like with the wall removed. See that there is a low perch just a bit higher than the hen's head and another about that much higher to the right. We first had them parallel with the lower perch and they didn't like that at all. I decided it was too crowded for them to get up there because hens perched on the first one which made the second one inaccessible. Once we moved one up a little bit, they all perched and seemed happy. You can see the vent at the back of the coop. That is about 12x12 inches with louvers on the outside to reduce drafts from whipping through.

The removable wall also has ventilation in the gable directly across from the vent with the louvers. Both are a few inches above the chickens' heads while perched in the coop. The hens should not be in a direct draft at that height. I stuck my hand in there so you can see about how big it is.

These are the latches we used for the doors we cannot walk through. A few people have recommended we change them out, so I guess we will have to figure that out. Do you think racoons can open the spring-loaded hook?

Finally, the gable over the door is also vented because it is enclosed with wire mesh. The mesh is made of 1/4 x 1/4 inch squares. From the front above the door, through the removable door and out through the louvered vent on the other end of the coop, there is a lot of ventilation that does not allow a draft. Of course, in the run there is no protection from a draft. I was mainly worried about the nesting and roosting area in the coop.
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