My new coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rbruno, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. rbruno

    rbruno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I finally moved our chickens into our new coop yesterday. It has been a long process and wanted to finally share some pictures of my coop. Our chickens had been in a temporary pen taking up about half of my feed room in my horse barn. It work out fine, but it was a pain to get the eggs and feed and water the chickens much less the loss of space to store hay. I have been working on my coop for about a year but with the type of building I built, it took forever cause everything had to be fitted. You will see why in a bit. When my better half decided that she wanted chickens, I didn't really know what to expect. I liked the idea of fresh eggs, so I started to do some research. I new for sure that I needed a coop. I used this site a great deal to get ideas and and also talked to a few other people who had chickens for advice. I knew the coop had to be secure, big enough for my chickens, have ventilation, and have plenty of light. I have built two barns on my property and extended both so I knew I could build something. The other thing I wanted to do was not invest a lot of money. Kids going to college in the next year or so gives you an entirely different perspective on money. As everyone with a farm or other animals knows, you always have "stuff" sitting around. I also have had great fun and made some great furniture pieces out of reclaimed lumber. At one point, I had a great contact for access to tearing down only barns and houses to reuse material for furniture. Combine that with left over from projects, and I have plenty of "stuff". So, I started to look around from one I had in stock to try and build this coop. Because of my love of old barns that I have reclaimed, I also wanted to try my hand at doing a little timber framing. This is a mini timber frame structure that is held mostly together with mortise and tenon construction holding it together. It is a 8'X12" structure with two bays. It is divided in half with a 6X8 area for chickens and 6X8 area for storage.

    Foundation: The first picture is of one of my corner piers. Every mini timber frame coop needs a stone foundation..... lol.. A friend was working on project that had an older house that need to be removed. In the back of the house, there was a cut granite stone outdoor fireplace. It really was a work of art. I hated to take it apart. Two days with a pry-bar and a tired back and I had plenty of nice stone for my foundation. I have 6 piers all together. One for each post in the frame. The floor joist on top of the stone piers are 2X8s from a construction project that was throwing them away. They were leftover so I picked them up for nothing. More on the decking in a bit.

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    Next is the frame itself. I have a friend who has a small WW II surplus saw mill on his property. He has helped me out countless times with lumber and material for my other barns. I can't even guess how many logs I have hauled to him, and he has cut to use in this building. Almost everything in this project came from his mill. So I gave him a called, described my project, and asked if he had anything. By lucky chance, he had 4 oak trees damaged in a storm that he was taking down and would have plenty of material for my coop. So we sawed as many 4x4 oak pieces we could for the coop.[​IMG]
    I had enough 4x4s to make a second story. Great for storage.
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    This is the view from standing on the second story timbers.
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    I used basic mortise and tenon joints. The joints are somewhat small compared to traditional timber frames because I only used 4x4s instead of bigger timbers. This was a nice size for me to start with. I only did one different joint and that is in the picture. It is a step mortise tenon. It is used to carry a little extra weight from one of the horizontal timbers to one of the post. I used it in the center support. In the one picture you can see the post is cut back about an inch and the horizontal pieces is angled into the step. For the cross braces, you used a half lap joint. This is easier then trying to cut a pocket mortise on a brace. If you get those wrong, the frame will never square up. So, I assembled the frame, squared it, marked the braces, and "lapped" them in. The angles are different on the cuts so they can't pull apart.
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    Next, I went scavenging around my barns for decking for the floor and the second floor and the wall to separate the chickens from storage. I used oak, pine, and even a piece of black walnut for this part. The decking on the floor is half oak and half old pine bleachers. I was an assistant principal at a high school with old wooden bleachers. When we had them replaced, I took some of the old wood home. Again, it was going to the dumpster so I figured why not. You never know what you may need. This was at least 12 years ago. Who knew then that I would need it for a chicken coop. I also put welded wire in the wall and second floor for ventilation for the chickens.
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    Next was the rafters. These were 2x6 poplar pieces that my friend with the saw mill cut for me. It was for another one of my barns and I had just enough left over to use for rafters. The roof has a 12x12 pitch which gives me some good storage space above.
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    Again, scavenged around and found enough lumber for the nailers for the tin roof. All cut by my friend for various other projects and left sitting waiting for another project. The ends stuck out past the rafters till I started to put the roof on. I squared everything with the tin. Again, since I am using scavenged lumber, nothing is perfect and all needs to be fitted and cut.
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    Roof. This was my first real expense. Bought the tin roof to match my other barns. The frame in the eave on the one side will be for an old barn louvered vent from an old barn I picked up 18 years ago. Had it in stock.... lol
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    This is when things really slowed down. Windows and doors. The same place I got the stone had the windows I used for the coop. I took 4 window panes to use on the coop. I had to make all the frames, again from spare lumber I had, and attach them with hinges. There are 3 windows on the first floor that all open for ventilation and one in the eave on the second floor that is stationary. The door is very old door from a house build in the mid 18 hundreds. It is made of very old growth heart pine and weighs a ton. I have had it for years and figure might as well use it. I will clean it up and stain it in the spring. I had to make the frame and hinge it as well. Everything at this point was cut to fit so it took me a long time. This is also when I had my really only other expense. I had to buy the vertical lap siding. I painted the lap so that is why it looks partially painted. I will finish painting in the spring.
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    So that is about it. The chickens are in the coop now. Final painting, trim, and finishing the eaves and soffet will have to wait till spring. The box in the bottom corner is the nest boxes so I can get the eggs without going inside. I only have 4 chickens now but have room for more. Hopefully a run will be added in the spring as well. The two cedar logs are for the roost. I have the trunk of a small cedar tree that I will eventually make "branches" for the chickens to roost as well.
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    Thanks for reading,
    Rob
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Nicely done!!!! A lucky flock, indeed, to call that coop home!
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Very cool, great little timber project.
    What is your climate location?
     
  4. rbruno

    rbruno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in central MD. Usually warm and humid in the summer and usually we get a good cold snap in Jan and February with some snow. But, this winter it has been very mild and rainy.
    Rob
     

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