Western Living

By mbhwest, Aug 14, 2012 | Updated: Aug 15, 2012 | | |
  1. mbhwest
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    8'w x 6'd x 60"h medium coop western design. We live in a rural community and desired the western ruggedness in design of this coop. We also had to observe the HOA guidelines of no structure above fence sight line. It is built from 100% reclaimed / re-used wood and misc. materials. The only purchases we made were for roof waterproofing materials, sealing caulk, floor joist brackets, screws, nails, chicken wire, paint, fans, light and bandaids to cover all the "incidents' we had while building. All for less than $275.00 total build. The structure is a 2x6 wood floor, 2x4 wall with 2x4 roof. Wired for interior lights and fans with outdoor "porch" light for accent. All completely insulated from the floor to ceiling to help with the 110' + temps down to freezing we have here in Arizona.


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    We started with the understanding that heat is a critical factor here in Arizona; Also considering that we get less than 8" annual rain fall. We opted to dig down to start our coop vs. giving it the raised footing that is traditional in most coops. We dug a 10'L x 7'W x 2'D hole before setting the foundation footings. This resulted in giving the "girls" a run under the coop that was 2' high and 2' below ground level offering shade and coolness during the peak heat of the day maximizing coolness. It took plenty of labor to do but has paid off with the girls avoiding heat stress and laying daily even when it has reached 115'!




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    The footers are 4x4 with joist brackets holding the 2x6 cross beams. The flooring is double 3/4" (top and bottom of the 2x6 floor beam) with insulation and waterproof barrier installed in between them. We then built each wall in modular form. All four walls are insulated, have water barrier sheeting and windows that can be closed off. Each section of wall was secured into place using 5"bolts and 4" hex screws. The seams to all connecting surfaces were caulked to seal water and bugs from easy entry.

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    We built the majority of the coop walls in the house as the temp outside was in excess of 100' during the build. All cuts were made outside, yet I do not want to even discuss the dust issue!!! Below the photo reflects wall finished and ready for the exterior 5/8 plywood to be attached. Above shows a facing wall installed.
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    The nesting boxes were built into the wall giving strength and additional versatility. The wall frame was built first. The window framed and then the nesting box framed below. 3/4" floor for the nest boxes attached to the top of the bottom cross 2x4" then another 2x4" placed on top of the 3/4" plywood across the bottom to secure in place. Nesting box size 15"D x 16"H x adjustable nesting dividers to add or remove for flock size. Shown below are four nests in 5'8" wide area. This wall when finished is held in place by 5" bolts through floor and 4" hex bolts into 2x6 floor joist


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    The nest box dividers are the best idea yet!! and as many of you know, the best ideas happened totally by accident! they are totally removable for easy cleaning of nesting box and adjustable to allow increase or decrease in nesting boxes to flock size. Take your dividing wall material, we used 3/8" plywood, cut to size. Then take a 2x4" or comparable and cut into triangle pieces to mount on the board flush with the floor. Screw into the divider wall material being sure to pre-drill a hole through the wood to prevent splitting when securing to divider material. The dividers now stand on there own and can be moved from side to side or removed as desired.

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    Below pictures the coop with all walls and roof installed, roof tarp and shingles waiting. The canopy over it is for our benefit giving shade while we work. Starting to apply the barn wood facing. We were fortunate to discover an old film studio that had sold to a developer. All the buildings and materials were auctioned off. What was left, scrap, which we were lucky to get permission to take what we needed.

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    The chicken roosts are actually horse carriage pieces. The windows have removable shutters that slide into place when needed.


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    Whew!! finally done. finished view of nest boxes and view out the window.


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    The door has an old hand cuff as a knocker, the girls door secures for weather. the hanging lamp to the right works. Old barn wood is the facing with equally old roof wood for the over hang.

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    Side view of coop. yes.. compost pile in the background with compost containers. Note the access area for the girls to go underneath the coop during the heat. Nesting boxes have outside lid to access eggs without entering coop. We installed misters outside and fans inside to help with the extreme heat. Girls are happy and we are sure happy to have the project complete.

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    The girls at home. enjoying there new digs. The project more than worth while. The girls are more than just laying hens.. they are part of the family.

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    For additional build detail please just send a request. Will be sure to help you in every way we can. Enjoy your adventure too!

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Comments

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  1. chicksbunsdog
    Very nice coop!
  2. joan1708
    WAY COOL!
  3. Stumpy
    What a fantastic coop! I like the look and functionality. It's hard for me to imagine 8" annual rainfall -- we probably had that much in the last three weeks. What a wonderful home for your girls!
  4. Brookliner
    What a great idea to dig down.

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