New Coop

Jun 12, 2017
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Well, my fiance and I started this project back in October of 16, this is the first chicken coop we have built. We decided to make an addition off an existing cattle barn, and build an 8x12 coop with a 600 sq ft attached run. Since the pre existing cattle barn had a partial concrete floor, it was easy to frame in an addition.
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Here I am packing down the rock waiting on the concrete to be delivered.
I was sure to put bolts in the concrete to secure the coop to the foundation. I have a bad habit of "over engineering" projects. Since it was almost winter, we decided to build the walls of the coop in my barn, then move them to the concrete slab after they were finished. Building the coop walls in the barn offered us some relief from the weather-although our winter was very mild-as well as extra light. My father helped me construct the walls after I got off work.
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My fiance and I don't do anything without a lot of research. We read that the chickens need some more light in the winter to keep up with production. So after we moved the walls outside and secured them to the concrete via the bolts, we started to attach our metal siding. We made sure there was plenty of ventilation via windows and eve vents. and to add extra light we also added a skylight! there is over 21 sq ft of ventilation in the coop, not counting the human door or pop door.
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Jun 12, 2017
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Our chickens arrived mid February, so the pressure was on to get the coop done.
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Since I work a lot, and so does she, our time was limited to a few hours on sunday afternoons after I got off work. We made sure to go the our best to be organized to allow us to accomplish the maximum amount of task each time we worked on the coop. The Feb 28 tornado set us back a few weeks, so I had to work overtime on the coop to make up for lost days. While a friend was cleaning up debris from the twister, he offered to dig my post holes for the run. I was thankful, as I was not looking forward to digging those by hand!
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My fiance did not have any construction experience before this project, and she was willing to learn all she could. Even the smallest task like sealing the red cedar nest box, she jumped right in there and did her best!!! i am so proud of her.
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We wanted to do a poop board to make things easier on us. I framed in the poop board base, and made the poop board removable "just because" you never know!
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My father had some old vinyl flooring from another project he gifted us for our poop board. here he is helping me making the final cuts for the poop board.
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We filled the poop board with sand and Sweet PDZ so hopefully the chickens wont have to worry much about the smell.
I cant believe how quickly they have have grown!
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Once we had the coop ready for the chickens, we move them from the brooder outside on April 9. We still didn't have the run completed yet, but we kept them locked in the coop for 2 weeks to get them programmed that this was "Home" and a safe place to be.
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The next order of business was the fence around the coop. We decided to go with 6' fence buried 1' deep. My lovely fiance wanted a "good workout" so I politely offered her a grub hoe so she could trench. I'm not sure I can repeat what she said here, but bless her heart, she trenched the whole thing over 2 days, making sure it was 1' deep. There was an old road bed there-we didn't know it was there when we started this project-and she had to dig through 5" of pack rock!
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While she worked on that, I took some scraps and built a gate for our fence. I wanted something simple, so I quickly threw together a frame. Keeping everything as simple and square as I could!
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Then I had a few left over scraps from the scrap pile, so I mitered the edges and added some decorative bracing for the wire.
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We and an over abundance of hawks, owls, and eagles here, so we opted for a canopy over the run. I use to work for the IL DNR raising pheasants for the controlled hunts, and our pens were set up in a similar way just on a larger scale. Here I was adding air craft cable around the top perimeter of the fence post, approximately 9' above ground.
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After that was completed, I realized our chickens were 16 weeks old!!! So I had better get started on finishing up the nest box. Here I added the removable partitions.
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Next, I use some scrap lumber to fashion a perch to the nest boxes. I wanted them to have something to hop up to before getting into the box.
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After I got off work that sunday, my folks came to help me and my fiance string the canopy supports across the run. Here my fiance is assisting me in stringing up the main 1/2" cable support. This one spans the farthest across the run, and will support the most weight. All the rest will be smaller cables.
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Since the 1/2" cable is difficult to work with, Dad stepped in to help with getting the tension right.
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My Fiance was an excellent supervisor
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Mom was able to tame one of our barred rock roosters pretty quickly!
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As we were running out of light, we were able to get the last support cable installed. Each cable was equipped with a turnbuckle and quick connect for easy use.
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The support cables installed and ready for the canopy! We can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
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