I would like to start this post by saying, neither my husband or myself are carpenters of any kind, by any means.
That being said, I think we did a pretty dang good job with our little coop! (After many weekends/evenings of frustration and pondering, and a little help)
We wanted to save some money by building our own coop instead of purchasing/having someone else build it.
Who knows if we actually did save any money, after what seemed like hundreds of trips to home depot..
Our coop is 5'x4' with 3 external nesting boxes about 13" wide/long each
Here is how it started:
The chicken deck!
We dropped down the perimeter 2x4 on this side as you can see so that we could leave more length on the middle 3 floor joists to support the nesting boxes. We then put small pieces of 2x4 on top of that one so there wasn't just holes there.
Framed the walls:
Here you can see one of the cocktails in a mustache glass that did help me get through this project without losing my mind.
For some silly reason we dug the trenches that would be for burying the hardware cloth WAY too soon, and had to place this piece of plywood over it so as not to break any legs whilst building.
The walls were all framed with 2x4s and attached with 1 5/8" - 3 1/4" galvanized screws.
Now time for some walls!
All done with 3/4" or thicker plywood. We were able to take some misc wood scraps from my mom who is having some serious remodeling done at her house currently. Building materials ARE NOT CHEAP
Here you can see the roosts that we fashioned out of a small tree that we wanted to take down anyways. Au natural!
We have the roosts at the same level and I'm interested to know if we should take one out and move it up higher and why.
The ventilation areas are all covered with 1/2" hardware cloth. We have 1 triangle on each side and the whole front top as ventilation. The ones on the sides have triangular pieces of plywood on hinges, we call "the flaps" (not pictured yet) so that we can open and close them as mother nature demands.
The nesting boxes:
Here we have the rafters all up but not the plywood roof yet. Forecast called for heavy rain, so the tarp went up! I don't much care for working with wet wood.
People access doorway ^
Chicken access doorway v
Now we've got the roof on and chicken door installed. The chicken door will have a pulley system so we can open it from the outside of the run. The external 2x4s you see are the beginnings of run construction.
Here's "the flaps" that have been really nice to have as the weather up here changes in the blink of an eye.
Super hot out: Open all the way.
Five minutes later- Pouring and windy: CLOSE
They can be easily propped up with whatever small stick is lying around.
We used some plastic roofing that we got at home depot for $12ish a sheet. I think we used 3 sheets.
Hopefully it holds up.
We decided that at some point before winter, we will be putting a window on this empty wall. The sun moves along this side of the coop throughout the day and it will be good to have the sun shine in there on cold cold days to warm up the girls.
We left the ladies inside the coop for the first couple of days so they could get acclimated to their new home.
Here is their first venture into the run.
The run is 8'x5' in front of the coop and they also have access to the 4'x5' space underneath the coop in case they want some shade. A total of 60 sqft.
It is also covered in 1/2" hardware cloth which is buried about a foot down, and covered with some BIG rocks at the bottom of the trenches.
Once they are big enough, they will be able to free range during the day.
The girls loving their new digs!
Me: buys sand so the chickens can have a dust bathing area inside the run.
Chickens: dust bathe outside of sand area