Cordwood chichen coop castle!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cluck-a-roo, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. cluck-a-roo

    cluck-a-roo Hatching

    Aug 13, 2013
    Howdy all,
    I've been lurking here for a while now but now I'm ready to contribute!
    My lovely girlfriend and have just moved to the small town of Golden from Vancouver BC. Even before we moved, we knew that one of the first things we would do was to build a chicken coop. In Vancouver, although hens are allowed, this was but a dream since we were renting.

    We looked at tones of design ideas for coops and runs. We were thinking of a log coop, a tractor style, board and baton. One day, Sara found this method of building called cordwood construction. It basically involved stacking logs between a specially mixed mortar.

    We settled on the cordwood coop. After doing some research and reading a few books, we started the construction. All the literature suggested the walls be from 12 to 18’’ thick. Due to the dimensions of the coop and the space available in our yard, we attempted 6 ½” walls. It appears to have worked.

    Here is the base. We initially were aiming for a zero cost coop but soon realized that we were too picky about what we wanted. All the lumber was found, donated or bought at a local mill. As you can see, the platform is upside down, the outside diameter is 4X6'. The frame is attached to four treated 6X6s by carriage bolts. Now here’s the kicker, I ensured that the weight would be evenly distributed on all four supports, wich it worked out fine. Later, I had the brilliant idea of adding a green (living) roof. I’m not an engeneer but I doubt that the four posts could bear the weight. No green roof for now…

    Next was the floor. They are simply 2X4s stacked side by side with gaps for the four corners. Note the rough cut 6X6s they will be the thickness of the mortar. For the foundation, I removed the sod, dug out a bit and leveled the four holes with sand.


    Oh oh! The chicks are in. Time to step it up!


    I cut the slots for the exterior roosting box and started on the pitch of the roof

    It’s now taking shape. The cordwood is going well. We used windfall spruce from about 3 to 5” in diameter. With the chop saw, I cut 6 1/2“ lengths. After that they went on a trip to the belt sander for the edges. How many were needed you ask? A lot! Here is the mortar mix. I estimate we used between 30 and 35 batches.
    9 part sand
    6 part lime
    6 part Saw dust
    2 Portland cement
    Add water until you have a “wet snowball” consistency.

    We thought we’d get fancy with the hen door. It’s a 2X6 frame.

    As you can see, the roosting box will be accessible from outside the run. A nice big window to the front and the “human door” on the back side.


    Peek-a-boo! The overhang might be a little over kill but better safe than sorry.

    The “human door” I have since installed an antler handle and a cedar lock.

    Here’s the coop finished. A hinged roosting box, the winter hen door. (which we haven’t figured out how to hinge yet. Any ideas?). And a Re-Store window. Instead of burying the fencing, we decided to burry cedar logs all around the perimeter of the run. I have also since installed electric fencing.

    Here she is! All finished. We found scrap tin roof and it looks awesome until I can figure out how to add a green roof. All that’s added now is an electric fence and a deer antler for the run door. And most importantly, the hens seem to love it!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
    2 people like this.
  2. lawrencerooney

    lawrencerooney In the Brooder

    Jun 3, 2013
    In the hand of God
    Wow ... that is absolutely amazing! Great job. The design and the materials used makes the whole thing look really unique and quaint.
    Great job [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  3. Italia

    Italia Chirping

    Jul 2, 2013
    This is fabulous! I have always loved the look of that way of building. Thanks for the pics and amounts of materials used. I am inspired. When it cools down I think I'll be chop'n some cedar logs.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I love your coop!!!!
  5. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Songster

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    It is beautiful!!
  6. txnative

    txnative Chirping

    Apr 30, 2013
    Kempner, Texas
    Very nice!
  7. OScarlet

    OScarlet Songster

    Jul 30, 2013
    gorgeous! (where is the ventilation though...??)
  8. cluck-a-roo

    cluck-a-roo Hatching

    Aug 13, 2013
    Good question. The rafters are fully opened; we will stuff them with insulation in the winter. Also, the front window is on hinges. We keep is opened on hot days. The cordwood construction makes the structure very breathable; it also dissipates heat surprisingly well. Now if I can add that green roof that would definitely cool things down!
  9. youngoilguy

    youngoilguy Hatching

    Aug 4, 2013
  10. MurphysBYC

    MurphysBYC In the Brooder

    Wicked cool! Grats on such a great job!

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