Our coop started out life as a pony stable. It is 8x12 with a metal shed roof. It had three half walls with 1” plywood inside and grey metal out. The floor was dirt with rubber horse mats for cushion. Before we bought our house, my wife and I had talked about getting chickens for eggs and possibly meat. Once we found our house we knew we would be able to move from thinking to doing. The property was set up well for this adventure. The soon to be coop is situated in the back corner of our almost 3 acres with many trees on three sides for protection and a good distance from neighbors and the house. My wife went to Texas for the summer for work so the boys and I stayed home to live the dream. This project took us almost 2 months to complete (if it is ever complete).
We started by framing in the floor with 2x6s and a pressure treated 4x4 across the front. (Jason is trying not to bend over any more nails)
We then sheeted the floor joists with ¾” CDX. (Jayce is handing me nails one at a time. One of the reasons why it took 2 months)
This is what we had to start with, with the addition of the floor.
We then framed the front wall. I bought sub-standard 2x4s from HD. You know the ones with the knots at the ends and they charged full price. Lesson learned in lumber selection. I had to pre-drill holes for the nails just to drive it in (another reason it took 2 months to build).
Next the man door went in. I have it opening out to prevent loosing valuable floor space.
Then the sheeting of the front wall, ½” CDX. The pop door is 12” high by 14 ½” wide. Fits nicely between the studs.
Framing of the other three walls had me scratching my head a bit. The existing structure was not square, plumb, or level. I struggled with how to make it all flow together.
This is what I came up with. 2x4s on edge with ½” CDX . I got this window from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store for $10. The window in the other picture came out of a door from a manufactured home. My wife liked the cross hatch.
Here is the coop sheeted on the front and side. I eventually made my way to the back.
Getting ready for paint with the calk and trim boards.
Started with primer.
The first of many coats of Red Delicious.
The trim color is called Marshmallow.
Since this was a pony shelter before there were 4” round posts in the ground already so I drove some “T” posts in between the wood posts and stretched chicken wire along the bottom with about 6-12” laying flat on the ground to prevent digging and above that is 4’ tall 2x4 welded wire fencing for height. It is about 5’ tall all around the run. The run is 25’ by 45’. I dug a hole at the opposite end of the run a concreted in a 12’ tall post to support the rope that holds up the bird netting. The entire run is netted and the seams are sewn with 25lb test fishing line.
My wife came home from Texas and we were ready for chickens. I wanted 6 but we came home with 8. Chicken Math strikes again. We bought 5 that were guaranteed to be hens and 3 straight run RIR. 2 RIR ended up being roos. Darn the luck. I read that 2 roosters are bad because they might fight so I acquired a third Rooster (enter Kevin).
So with 3 Roosters I felt that I needed to separate them from the hens so there is a more peaceful environment in the hen house (Kevin taught those young roosters so much). So I built a rooster house. I split the hens run in half with chicken wire and bird netting. I ran water to the coop to make my chores easier and power for the heat lamp, fluorescent light and exterior flood light.
I furnished the interior with a nice earth tone tan paint (cause that is what I had)
I built a bank of 8 nesting boxes for the ladies.
While I was repairing the bird net after a bit of snow Kevin made use of my ladder when I was on break.
I really enjoyed working on this project with my boys. It was a great learning experience for me (patience is not my strong suit) and the boys learned some things from their old man. Since the initial build of the coop and rooster house, I have added another 25’x45’ of run just for the roosters. It is not covered with net. I let the hens free range all day long and they put themselves to bed. The coop light is on a timer so it comes on at around 6 pm and off at about 8pm so they can settle in for the night. I have only had two incidences where I have lost a hen. Both events happened during the day while we were home. The second time we lost a hen a rooster was out there with the hens and a coyote still managed to get one. Brave.
This summer our Polish hen went broody. She sat on 7 eggs. I didn’t think that many could fit under her. Of the 7, 2 hatched. They are Black Austrolorp (Roo) mixed with an Ameracauna and the other is part White Leghorn.
My family and I enjoy our 11 hens, 4 roosters and 2 chicks. I can’t wait to build another coop. Bigger and better than this one.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. God Bless.
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