"No chickens!" was my mantra to my wife when we moved out to the country. For the life of me, I could not understand why we would ever want to have chickens. It made absolutely no sense to me and I put my foot down. "No chickens." Yeah, as if.
For Christmas I purchased a prefab coop in preparation for the chicks that we would get in the spring from our local farmer friend. I love my family a lot.
So here I am thinking "we are set, this chicken thing isn't so bad......." They then started growing and I knew that I was in real trouble at that point. A bigger coop it was. Good thing that I love building and I had really become attached to the chickens by that point.
I started with a 12x4x4 run. This was assembled using 2x4 lumber, a Kreg jig and chicken wire. Double doors at the end that latch using hasps and hook and eyes for ease of opening for me and safety for the chickens. It ended up being the size of a small car.
Installed in the backyard and installed chickens. Immediately knew I had a problem as they had no shelter from the sun or rain. More building was needed. I decided that this would be no only shelter for the birds, but a great base for the coop itself. 4x8 in size, 6 - 4x4's to raise the base and 5/8's plywood for the floor.
They love it! Still a problem, no where for them to sleep at night. Tired of chasing them all around the yard to jam them into the prefab coop. More building. Get out the Deere and mobile work bench and start framing. I had a window given to us a while back that I thought would look quite nice installed in the front.
At this point I thought maybe they would like a gazebo and could be done. Alas, not so safe for them and would not really keep them from wandering away. Keep on building.
Progress! As we live in Canada and the winters are pretty brutal, time to insulate.
Roxul R-15 all around. Itchy, but works. Closer, but more building still required. On to the siding.
Ok, what next? Egg box (maybe they will lay enough eggs to pay this thing off........) and pop door. "I love my family, I love my family, I love my family...." Build more. The egg box was kind of my favourite part.
(I think it kind of looks like a duck wearing a top hat here)
That was kind of fun, but still have door issues. Need to get in, both myself and the chickens, and keep them in. Doors, huh this should be interesting. Created a sliding pop door, was a fun engineering project and a big ole insulated door for me.
Alright, on the home stretch! Time to trim everything out, paint and stain and install the residents. Also set up a rainwater collection system (not so good in the winter, but works the rest of the year.)
A few finishing touches and call it a day!
Time to build - many weekends over the summer.
Cost to build - more expensive than I thought.
Trips to the hardware store - lost count.
What I would change - the height of the run. Next time I would make it at least 6' high for ease of access and clean out.
Worth it - absolutely. We were so proud of our first egg!
Slight update. Winter has settled in here and surprisingly it hasn't been so bad yet. The coop itself stays about 10C warmer than the outside air, so I have not had to turn on the heat lamp as of yet. The flock is getting braver and heading outside whenever the snow isn't falling from the sky. Whenever the white stuff is falling, they Chicken Little big time and will not come out of the coop.
Also thank you all for the compliments and views. Truly appreciated and Happy Holidays to all!
Very much appreciate being selected for the Pic of the Week. I will let the girls know, they will be happy.