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The Old Homestead Coop

By TwoCrows · Feb 21, 2013 · Updated Dec 16, 2014 ·
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  1. TwoCrows
    Describe 'The Old Homestead Coop' here

    Recently, (2013) I decided to get my chickens out of the "Frost-Bite Motel" and into a REAL coop. This was my first coop build, as originally when I got started in chickens many years ago, I went with one of those pre-fab type coops and updated it a bit. It was a small, raised 2'x6' coop which I had to do much work to, to accommodate all my birds and allow for proper ventilation. However no matter how many slits and holes I put in the roof of this tiny coop, the ventilation just never cut the mustard, so to speak, and the birds were always getting frost bite on their combs. So a new coop was in order.

    Now, since having joined on to BYC, and all the experience that I had accumulated over these past years here, I figured with some help, I could build the hens a proper home. The idea was to build a 6x8 foot coop with an attached run of 8x12 feet. We were building this coop next to "The Old Homestead", and wanted to keep it in the same theme of old homestead, hence The Old Homestead Coop. So, we got down to business.

    We started the ground breaking with the tractor and because of living on a mountain side, dirt must be kept under control! So we used cement blocks to hold back the dirt...
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    Next we cemented in the treated 4x4's...
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    Got the roof beams in place and tilled and leveled the dirt in the coop area and run...
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    Started the framing and the beginnings of the coop. We used Fence Pickets here to keep the cost down and give it that older look...
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    The inside of the coop...
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    Ok...now it is starting to look like a coop and run!...
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    Fortunately, we have access to wash/arroyo sand. I had never used sand and was excited to try it, since many of you have used it and claim it's greatness!! So we spent an entire day, shoveling in this sand and even got started attaching the 1/2 inch hardware cloth to the run...
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    Finished up the hardware cloth in the run, added rocks around the base, (also available in huge supplies around here), got all the windows cut in and can see the light at the end of the tunnel!!...
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    Vents...couldn't forget the venting! I had had enough of the lack of air movement in their original coop. So let the air fly! All along the front and rear, the air can vent out the roof...
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    Added some stuff to the shelves, stained the outside, (let it air off over night), put out feed and water and then added the birds!!...
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    Hung the signs and moved them in...
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    And finally the FINISHED COOP...
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    I found adding curtains to be extremely valuable along with fake eggs. My flock began egg eating due to one hen that could never put a shell on or laid very thin shelled eggs. Curtains keep the boxes dark which leads to less carousing for eggs to eat, hen slips in the box, lays her egg, she leaves, and the birds all leave the egg or eggs alone. I have since added different styles of kitchen curtains and both myself and the birds love them!
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    I chose not to insulate this coop. Having grown up in a barn and around livestock, I have found that outdoor animals do far better when they are not raised in insulated barns or coops. I did however, add electricity. The fence pickets were very easy to install and made quick work of walls. I cannot say enough about this sand! I love how easy it is to clean, there is absolutely no odor and it is loaded with stones for the gizzards and this sand can be hosed down in the summer to keep the birds feet incredibly cool. I used shingles on the roof instead of the galvanized metal roofing that seems to be used on everything around here, and OSB boards instead of plywood to keep the costs down. The roost bar is a rounded 4x4 fence post.

    All in all, I spent about $1800 to build this coop. I am really enjoying this coop, and the girls seem to approve as well.

    (Edit to add 8/2017) I have since switched to wood mulch/chips on the coop floor, run and nest boxes. Myself and the chickens love them!!

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    Meet the new Barred Rock babies!!! (2014)
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    They are 10 days old today. :)

    Update: Sept. 3, 2014...Babies have grown up!! 18 weeks old today!! :)
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    Update: 9/13/14
    Out with the flock today...the Rocks have grown up!
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    Rest in Peace dear Lucy
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