Our coop was once nothing more than a large planter box that my TH had started to build for me. But it had sat in the garage for over a year. So after doing all my research into what chickens need I began to alter it. I built a coop into the back half of the planter . I built walls and then cut three windows into the front for ventilation and light and also cut vents on each side at the top where the walls meet the roof. All the windows including the vents are covered with hardware cloth to keep the coop secure from unwanted invaders. Here are some pictures of the early coop:
As you can see we cut the front part of the fence and made it into a door that was secured with chicken wire as well as the gaps on each side. While you can't really see it in any of the pictures, the roof was covered with shingles donated from one of our neighbors.
The inside is rather simple and plain compared to most other people's chicken coops, but it is just what the girls need with none of the fancy whistles and bells. The inside has a perch for the girls to use (Though Oprah likes to control the whole perch), a nesting box for the girls to use, and a shelf for their feeder and their waterer to sit on and not get all their bedding in it.
Our two wyndottes spend most of their nights sleeping together in the nesting box, though usually if they can sneak past Oprah in the middle of the night they will get up on the perch with her lol.
The coop is insulated with corrugated cardboard in two layers to keep the coop warm during the winters and cool in the summers. Also in the fall we will be covering the windows with clear acrylic plastic that will be fitted to the windows to keep the cold out.
But after a week of having our girls and letting them free range during the day when I was home, I felt as though they definitely needed some more room to stretch their legs during the day that would be safe for them to be in while I wasn't home. So we added a side "garden" as I call it that I built out of reclaimed wood. This time we used a plastic fencing that one of our other neighbors had donated as it is strong enough to keep the girls in and our dogs out. I then removed the chicken wire covering the gap in the left bottom of the coop so that the girls had free access to their new garden whenever they wanted.
It's not the prettiest thing, but it is certainly functional, and the girls love to lounge in it when its shady and peck at the grass.
Then we decided to add a longer covered run for them to use and also for them to be able to be covered if its raining or windy outside. Once it was completed we also painted the whole coop aside from the garden frame. The run has a door that we can prop open and let the girls go in and out as they please when they are free ranging. TH also hung some cabbage in their for them to peck at. At first it was frustrating for him to watch them because they weren't sure what to make of the cabbage, but now they are in love with it and have pecked it to oblivion. So here are the pictures of the run:
If you notice the piece of wood running the length of the run as well, we are going to make them a small plant bed where I am going to plant them some greens that they will be able to peck through the chicken wire.
Here are the finished coop pictures:
We also made a kind of, curtain, of chicken wire that we drape over the top of the coop fence when we aren't outside with the girls as my two SL wyandottes like to jump up onto the fence and then out of the chicken yard from their perched that are built on the inside of the fence.
So that is our Urban Chicken Coop. While it isn't much, the girls seem to love it, and we worked really hard building it together. Not going to lie though, there are alot of amazing chicken coops that make me rather jealous, but we have talked about the possibility of building something bigger and better when we increase the size of our flock in the future (we currently have the three, and can only have up to six hens within city limits.). I hope you all like it!
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