I currently have an 8x8 coop, built from a recycled crate that used to hold a giant magnet. My parents used to use it as a garden tool shed, but when we got chickens we converted it. However, it's now too small for my 21 birds, so we need to expand.

This is basically what it is now:

And this is an idea of what it's going to be come October:

Right now I only have 1 2x2 window in the back, and I desperately need more. I plan to put in a 4' window on the south side (you can see it in the picture there, on the right wall).

Here are my rough plans on graph paper:

Here's the floor plan I drew up:

With 21 birds (7 of which are guineas) I need about 28 feet of roost space. So the two roosts on the north wall are the 8 foot roosts for the chickens. The one roost on the north wall is the 5' high bar for the guineas. There are going to be 6 nest boxes (on other side of the feed can), and the bottom 2 are going to be floor level and partially enclosed for the guineas. The dotted lines in a rectangle by the roosts mark my "introduction" pen that is going to be removable. That's where new birds will go during the introduction phase. There are going to be 3 trap doors: one on the east wall to go out to the field, one on the north wall to go into the garden, and one on the west wall to go to the barnyard and orchard. That way I can have them go where I want and not have to worry about putting up any temporary fencing.

And yes... It is going to be called "Valhalla," which was the legendary home of the Valkyrie, fierce warrior women from the Norse legends (at least I believe it was Norse). I'm going to paint a nice big sign with fancy-ish type and hang it over the door. :)

More pictures will be added as things get going. :)

September 12

We got the first building step done! My mom and I put on the first 2x6, which is going to hold the floor joists. The plan is to build the extension and then cut out the existing north wall. It can't be cut out completely though, so there will be a 2' wall on both sides (one side will have the feed bin and the nest boxes, the other will have the roosts and the temporary intro pen).

Here are the "floor joists":

Next step is going to be buying more nails/screws. And then we can put on the real floor joists and get the patio blocks lined up and level. (My coop is raised with about 8 inches of patio block, so the extension has to be as well.)

September 24

Floor joists are up!

September 27

We are beasts!!
In one day we got the whole frame up, and considering we haven't ever built anything ourselves before, that's an amazing accomplishment!

Tomorrow Dad and I are going to put the rafters up and he's going to get the T1-11 and the corrugated metal roofing, and possibly we'll cut the door in the wall of the original coop. Hopefully the "chance of rain" will be so small it doesn't happen. I'd LOVE to get this done by Sunday!!

September 29

Well, it did rain yesterday. All day. So nothing got done. However today was pretty nice, so we got the rafters, purlins, and corrugated metal roofing on! No pics yet since by the time we finished it it was dark and cold, but I'll get some tomorrow for sure. The next steps are cutting the door, putting on the T1-11 and inner plywood, and insulating the ceiling. Looking great!

September 20 - October 2

We got all the inner plywood/particle board up in the last 2 days. Today we're putting on the T1-11 and hopefully cutting out the door, installing the windows, and putting up the roosts. The nest boxes will take more careful planning so those might wait til tomorrow.

Well, it started to rain, so we were only able to get the T1-11 up. But that's a good start. :)

October 11

Well, things have moved along nicely the past few days. We got the wall cut out, the roosts and supports for the nest boxes up, and the windows on!

The roosts... which need center supports and a bigger poop board underneath. (I've got fat birds...)

I'm super excited about corner nest boxes! Now... If only we could get them cut properly crooked to match the crooked wall of the old coop....

We screwed the hinges for the windows inside -- the breeze was quite chilly!

Windows up and framed! YAY!!!

October 15

I got my nest boxes built yesterday! And someone laid an egg in one today! YAY!!

I also got the cracks filled with spray foam and we built a support for the roosts (my birds are so fat that the roosts are already permanently warped in the middle... :p)

October 19

Got some things done yesterday and today!
- Hardware cloth over vents
- Support for roosts
- Shelves for storage
- Turnbuckles for windows
- Garden door up
- More bruises on my hand from using the screwdriver :p

Oh look... There's a cow out there... x]