My DIY Maine Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jazor, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Yes, and I'm a handyman/lady

    16 vote(s)
    64.0%
  2. No, I chose to beg/steal/borrow/barter for mine!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Yes, and I am not a handyman/lady

    9 vote(s)
    36.0%
  4. No, I bought one

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Jazor

    Jazor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Near Freeport
    My Coop
    Hey BYC friends,

    I figured I would put together the ongoing saga of my coop and run. I decided to use a portion of my barn as the coop, and fence in an area off the Eastern edge of the coop for the birds to get some sun and fresh air during the day when I can't be around. My property is about three and a half acres, with a good portion of that where the birds can range in the evenings (under supervision).

    Below are some pretty basic descriptions of my DIY chicken coop & Run design, and some of the materials I used. Overall I would say this build cost $300, with the majority of the costs being tied up in the fencing and lumber. I could have saved money on the lumber by combing craigslist for more pallets or other free/inexpensive materials for sure.

    Materials list:
    2x4's (just used $2.50 home depot softwood two-by's for the chicken run)
    Screws & Nails
    Poultry fencing - 3 rolls (finding enough of the 50 foot by 48 inch fencing included a trip to both Lowe's and Home Depot at ~$45 per roll
    Quik Crete - about 6 bags
    Spray foam - around 3 cans ("greatstuff" expanding foam)
    Rubberized under coating - about 8 cans



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    I began by deciding which area would be the best for the birds. I figured the East side of the barn would provide them the best daylight during the morning and early afternoon when I am least available to allow them to free range. With this in mind, I opted to convert part of the barn into a coop as well as build an extended run for them leading out of the coop. Knowing I am gone for around 12 hours a day (as is my fiancee) the birds would need protection of sorts--so the entire run is fenced as well as concreted along the bottom to deter predators from finding an easy way in.

    The beginning steps were to clear out the area and clean the barn. I did this, and decided I would coat the 2x4 framing of the barn walls with some rubberized undercoat to protect it from rotting to an extent. Once I did this, I went ahead and used expanding foam to seal off any major gaps and cracks that could allow snow, rain, or exorbitant moisture into the barn and coop area.


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    With the barn cleared out, I was able to start making some progress on the construction. Sadly, I'm not very handy. I recruited a friend, and a cousin to help (and to their credit they were a lot of help) but the three of us combined still lack the skills of a single carpenter. We spent plenty of time measuring once, cutting twice, then cutting thrice, then measuring three times the next go-round, etc. It was a learning process for all of us, and I'd confidently say we would be just as bad at doing it all over again even with our learning experiences! That being said--it still looks alright and functions quite well, all things considered. If we can do it...you can do it. Seriously


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    Once the interior was prepped (for lack of a better term) we cleared the East side of the barn of scrap wood (made for a nice fire) and weeds. Once it was mowed down, we measured off the area for the run (2x4's being 8 foot, we decided to make it 8x16 feet to keep things "simple). Once the trench was dug (and it was shallow, 4 inch to 6 inch) we framed up the run itself, and concreted the base in. With the run framed and the "foundation" poured I proceeded to add a soffit to the barn to keep the rain/snow/moisture out as well--then began stapling my poultry fencing to the run.


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    There was a lot of debate on the run. I wanted a way to get myself in there. Being over 6 foot and 200lbs I am not a small human. We decided a door would be out of our realm of capabilities for construction, so if need be--I'll be forced to go through a window. I'm hoping that day doesn't arrive.

    As shown above, we used an existing window for the birds to enter the coop from the run and vice versa. The real end-game here will be to cut a much smaller, and lower, door for them but the window was the temporary fix for the time being. It's possible the window will turn into a door so I can get into the run if need be. These are all ideas still being hashed out (aka argued over half a dozen times until we decide upon the "best bad idea").

    With that section being done, I moved inside. I had a few pallets we had stripped down and used them to frame up the wall. During this time we opted to run lighting through this side of the barn seeing as how I already had existing power out there. Lighting and pallets installed we moved to making the door. I wanted it to be big enough to carry large items through easily. This lets me carry things like hay and shavings easily, and also gives me some space to chase chickens/my friends' kids through the doorway easily. Making the large door really let our ignorance shine through--we must have installed the hinges three times and the latch twice before we finally had it as an operation door; however, we did it all in the course of 45 minutes...at least it didn't take too much time.

    Once the wall was up, we stapled up the fencing, installed the second ramp on the inside, and I hung my feeder & waterer. I'm sure I'll be adding to the feeding and watering system, especially as the winter months draw near. So far "it works" and that is all that matters.


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    Overall I am pretty happy with the results. It's certainly not too fancy--but I believe it should be sufficient for a decent number of birds. I'm most worried about predators, as they are certainly in the area (already handled one fox) and we're gone for 12+ hours a day. That being said, I think we've taken some pretty good steps to protect the flock and I'm sure the learning experiences will continue to pour down on us like a snowstorm of enlightenment.

    Consider this an open book for questions, comments, suggestions, beratement, and any other tom foolery. I'm admittedly awful with building of any type, so I take full credit for any poor worksmanship--and would always be open to advice. Having admitted that, I'll take any opportunity to throw my friend & cousin under the bus and blame them for anything wrong.

    Cheers,
    Jazor
     
  2. shadygardener

    shadygardener Out Of The Brooder

    Very nice!
     
  3. Jazor

    Jazor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Near Freeport
    My Coop
    Thank you!
     
  4. meledwards

    meledwards Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2013
    Winthrop, Maine
    Hey! You need to post updated pics of their new nest boxes and roosts! [​IMG]
     
  5. Jazor

    Jazor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Near Freeport
    My Coop
    Agreed! I was going to add a photo of the boxes, but the Tap-A-Talk app only allows you to upload them at a certain size. Didn't want a massive crooked picture up here. Will update it soon
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I'm not a carpenter by any means but voted I was handy. And I can say that as I just always do what needs to be done around the house and as it gets done, not always right but better all the time, I think I'm kind of handy.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    So...... Have you had to crawl through the window? :lau
     
  8. Jazor

    Jazor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Near Freeport
    My Coop
    hahaha yes I sure have, and I'm glad I don't have any neighbors nearby to witness it!
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  9. dowgirl71

    dowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 25, 2012
    Brewer, Maine
    Great set up, Jazor! Noticed you even had a place for your coffee cup.[​IMG]
     
  10. Jazor

    Jazor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Near Freeport
    My Coop
    Must have a space for essential equipment!

    I should update this with the roost and nest boxes. I'll need to remember to bring the phone down to the barn next time I do a cleaning day.
     

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