This project all got started after we brought home 10 Black Australorp chicks from the local TSC. We have had chickens in the past but encountered problems with predation by the neighbor's dog. This time we decided to build a predator proof coop and run and only allow free ranging when someone is home to supervise.
I keep saying "we" and I need to clarify that. "We" means "I" thought all this up and my husband went along because he loves the kids and me and is very unselfish. He doesn't even really like chickens. He did the majority of the hard physical labor on his days off from either of his 2 jobs and the 4 kids and I pitched in after school and on weekends. So here is our ( oops, I mean Kevin's) Grand Egg Shack.
Dimensions: 8X10' coop with attached 8X16' run.
When we got home from school the first day of construction Kevin had already done all this! Ian pitched right in to help him complete most of the framing before the end of the day
Ian and Kevin worked hard to get the framing done the first day. We had lots of rain some days during construction and things got really mushy sometimes.
Framing is mostly done by the end of the first day. The framed out area in the back left corner is where the nesting boxes will go. We will have an access door so that we can gather the eggs without having to go into the coop.
Framing all done and the rafters are up. Kevin is looking on and Hannah, Ian, and Jacob are glad the work is done for the day!
Seemed chaotic at times. Here is chaos on the roof!
Kevin is working on shingles. Kelsey, Ian and I put the windows in place. It took a few hundred ( just kidding - only 3 or 4) tries to get them level and attached properly. The girls and I laminated the floor while Kevin did the shingles. It was a very noisy job.
Ian and Jacob are sitting on the newly covered floor. Kelsey, Hannah and I did the flooring while Kevin did the roof. We used 12"X12" laminate tiles that we bought at home depot for 39 cents a piece. It was really easy - just peel and stick. So easy girls could do it!
Next came the staining. We used a semi transparent stain from Home depot in a sage green color. Kevin and Ian have started on the run. It is approximately 8X 16'. We trenched down about 4 " around the base of the run and filled it in with quik crete to prevent digging under by predators. We had the quik crete left over from setting the posts and decided to use that so it wouldn't go to waste!
Hannah, Ian, and Jacob inside the run with the chicks. Kelsey is finishing painting the trim. We landscaped a little around the outside of the run - will probably be deer food before the summer is out.
Jacob inside the run. We covered the run with garden fence. The seams are reinforced with heavy duty vinyl covered clothesline wire.
Closer look at the chicken door and ramp. We can open and close the door from outside the run by using the rope and pulley system.
Hannah, Ian, Jacob and roo-roo inside the run. The boys constructed a few perching places inside the run for the chickens to use.
Jake and Roo-roo!
One of the outdoor perches the boys built. Roo-roo likes it!
Inside the coop Roo-roo and the girls are checking out the new digs.
Closer view of the chicken door.
Running out of wood and anxious to get Roo-roo and the girls inside the coop - we used some strong limbs from some cut down saplings for roosting. We may add more roosts later - we have plenty of room to do that in the 8X10 coop. We also have to finish the nesting boxes but since the girls are only 11 weeks old we have a few more weeks to get them done. I have a hanging feeder in the front left corner as well as a waterer. The hanging feeder has already saved us a bundle in food wastage.
Well, thanks for looking at our Egg Shack. We will post more pics soon.
UPDATE : OCTOBER 7, 2008
New pics of two of our hens using the egg box. I acquired 5 older hens that are already laying and they are teaching my black australorps where they should lay their eggs. Some of the australorps started laying at about 22 weeks and I am still waiting on the others.
Eggs have been small to start ( see picture) when I compare them to the older buffs and white rocks that are already producing. In time, they will get bigger!