Hello! I built 11 of them last year. I'd never built anything before, so the first one was a crash-course, but I had a lot of fun and was totally hooked after that. The building materials usually ran about $200 each, although I made a fantastic one out of cedar (minus the plywood floor) and that one was closer to $350 I think.
It generally took me about a week and a half to make each one, as I have a full time job and wasn't able to get it all done on weekends. I give this coop design a two thumbs up for sure. I'd say go for it.
Thanks! They are gorgeous. I'm hoping it may be something I can tackle mostly by myslef. I haven't told hubby that we'll need soemthing for the pullets before moving them into the big coop. Building the coop last year took a lot longer and a lot more $$ than I had thought so don't want to push it right now. Of course I'm not breaking it to him unitl after the chickes are here
How do the chickens like it? Is it easy enough to keep clean/collect eggs/etc?
my wife and i built one last year. easy and fun. we have 5 hens but they free range the back yard and are not closed in the ark. its easy to clean, just vacuum it out with a shop vac and replace pine shavings. its easy to gather eggs, just open the top doors. i think it would be REALLY tight if all 5 were closed in. good luck.
Thanks happyhens! I had so much fun building those. Not that there weren't moments when I was cursing and sweating.
Being new to the world of woodworking, there were a couple of things I learned the hard way, most of them involving math skills. (Or lack thereof, in my case)
As far as ventilation goes, there's about a 3/4 inch opening along the ends of the upper floor side panels. A crack of light gets in, and some airflow occurs. I increased this by changing the angle at which the doors set in there. Added light could be engineered by substituting plexiglass for the end top floor doors, I would imagine, although I never tried it. With the first a-frame style tractor I built, we actually had the one whole side plexiglass so you could see right in. It looks like I only have a picture of the solid side unfortunately.
There was a request for a picture of the Catawba with side doors off, but it looks like I don't have a shot of that. I did make a youtube video of the tractor though, showing how it all comes apart. Maybe that will help.