Coolest Pre-Fab Chicken Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by smartmoose, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. smartmoose

    smartmoose In the Brooder

    I searched endlessly online for a chicken coop that could house 4 hens and also work well for chicks. It also needed to be prefab because I can not get a large structure delivered here (I live on a Caribbean island). For one reason or another (poor reviews, expense, roosts even with nesting boxes, a run that was too small to be functional, not enough room in the coop, not a good set up for babies with their mothers, etc) I did not like anything I found online that was designed specifically for chickens. Also, I found that just because something WAS for chickens, the price seemed to double. Retailers taking advantage of the "backyard chicken" rise in popularity, I suppose.

    By accident I stumbled across this children's playhouse (Bayberry Playhouse...Walmart or Amazon). It shipped in one box that was about 4' x 25" x 10" or so. Every single piece was accounted for, and there was absolutely zero damage (this, after being shipped to Miami, put on a cargo vessel, carried around the Caribbean Sea for 7 days, dropped off at a loading dock, picked up by a pickup truck, and delivered to my house). The walls (22" wide) seem more or less interchangeable. Three wall assemblies consists of two panels. So you can switch the door panel with a window panel, pair up two window panels, or pair up two solid panels, etc, to meet your configuration requirements. I was also able to procure an additional "cafe wall" so that my back wall is completely solid...instead of a half wall. I can not tell you how impressed I am with the customer service of this company. It was similar to LLBean....that good!

    I built a plywood base first. I couldn't find anything online that specifically said what the dimensions of the footprint would be. With the front and back walls "sandwiched" by the left and right walls, including trim, my dimensions ended up being 47.5" (front/back) by 45" (sides), and the roof overhangs 2" on the front and back (if you decide to configure the gable ends left and right). I wanted it configured this way because I didn't want rainwater to shed into the run, which was located off the left side). If you want the gable ends on the front/back (so water does not shed in front of the door), you will need to sandwich the sides by the front/back walls instead to give you the proper dimensions for the roof.

    It took me 6 hours to build the plywood frame and assemble the walls. I did this by myself (5'3" chick with carpentry skills) and used a drill bit that easily exchanged the provided square head driver with a 1/8" drill bit. Not accounting for the painting, another 4 hours to assemble the roof, windows, doors.

    I used corner braces, L braces, and menders that I got at a hardware store to attach the playhouse securely to the plywood deck. And most importantly, better attach the roof to the structure. As built, it is held on to the house by 6 small screws that go into a very thin piece of wood. I don't know if what I did will help it survive a hurricane....but it is better than nothing.

    To make this a chicken coop, I added a poop-board 30" from the floor with a roosting bar positioned 12" off the board. I added two nesting boxes made from wine on the floor for hens with chicks, and one 14" off of the floor for hens w/o chicks. I did not install the cupola (seemed cheesy) or the wooden fence, but I did use the wood for additional perches, ramps, etc. I used a 48" square vinyl mat for the floor, and covered everything with 1" sand. I stapled hardware cloth over the windows, and cut a hole in one side so the chickens could go out into the run (a welded wire dog kennel that is roughly 4x8 and covered). I framed the hole so that there were no gaps between the run and the coop.

    Overall I think this was very well made. The instructions were 98% clear. The only real issue I found was that the bags of screws were not all labeled correctly, so it will be good to lay it all out and use a ruler to relabel them.

    I needed two coats of paint on the exterior sides (I added the trim last for ease of painting...about 2 quarts). I needed 3 coats of paint to cover up the green doors/shutters (1 quart). And I used spray paint to paint the gable vents (1 can). I also painted the roof (4 cans of spray paint) before I assembled it.

    Very pleased with the quality, customer service, price, and cuteness factor.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  2. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    This is really nice, delightful! What kinds of chickens do/will you have there in St. Barthelemy?
  3. smartmoose

    smartmoose In the Brooder

    No idea. Variations of barred plymouth rocks for sure... skinny white ones, and fatter red/brown ones :)
    aart and SueT like this.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Good work.
    You probably don't have any predators in St. Barts other than hawks, dogs, cats and perhaps mongoose?
  5. smartmoose

    smartmoose In the Brooder

    We are "predator-lite" here in St. Bart. Aside from cats and dogs, which usually are not a problem, there isn't anything that will take an adult hen. Chicks can be taken by a few of the aerial predators and the iguanas, but they outgrow them in about a month. Our birds free-range here, our little Norwich Terrier keeps the cats away, we are far enough up a hill that we never see stray dogs. We keep an eye out for the iguanas, but the mother hens are pretty good about protecting their brood. Chicken raising is a lot less stressful here than in my summer abode....Vermont.
  6. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

    Aug 18, 2017
    Caliente Nevada
    It has a door that you can actually walk into :thumbsup
  7. smartmoose

    smartmoose In the Brooder

    Yep. That was one of my criteria....I wanted to be able to get into the coop. I'm 5'3" and I can just stand up in there.
  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    Very cute - certainly sizewise it's more spacious than the average prefab, and you did a nice job of turning it into a coop.
    nminusyplusm likes this.
  9. Eilsel

    Eilsel Songster

    Dec 15, 2017
    NE Kansas
    This is so cute! I love the colors, and it’s way better than any prefab “chicken coop” that I have ever seen. :clap
  10. HealingHens

    HealingHens In the Brooder

    Dec 29, 2016

    It’s so lovely great job!!!!

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