One year on - heather Bullard coop review

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sweetsam, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. sweetsam

    sweetsam In the Brooder

    About a year ago, I became obsessed with heather bullards beautiful chicken coop. I bought her plans and built the coop with some minor improvements

    Since it's almost coop building time again, I want to give a practical review of the coop.

    I built a frame with hardware cloth under the coop to secure it. As an added bonus, I am able to use the deep litter method.

    I added a storage shelf on the right hand side ceiling of the coop - it's basically a loft. One of my chickens tried to fly up there and had the extra feeder fall on her (empty thank fully) and no one has ever tried it since.

    I also added a remove-able divider with ventilation holes under the covered coop area.

    I built frames with hardware cloth to insert in the covered coop area door incase it's too hot in the summer.

    I also added a stand alone roost to use below the covered roosting area.
    After having built the coop and used it for a year, I can tell you that the coop is a bit small. I live in Washington and when it's raining especially hard and my chickens are cooped up inside, I almost feel it's actually just enough room for 3 chickens - 4 at most. However, like most chicken people, I have a lot more than that in there right now.

    The coop is beautiful and gets a lot of compliments. It's more weather proof than my other coop which I bought ready made. However, this is Seattle and we do get a lot of rain. If I was to consider another coop - I would make one with a roof that has more overhang or rain gutters to keep the water and moisture away from the run.

    Also the wood under the near boxes swells up from the water - which again comes back to water. The front doors of the coop also swell up although to a much lesser degree, but enough to require adjustment of the door closing mechanisms. I will be looking at ways to keep them dry once I can get out there.

    I had a difficult time locating all the hardware in black. I painted some with metal spray and that did the job, but the paint comes off too quickly and these metal parts push against each other in the process of opening and closing which causes the paint to wear off.

    Heather had bricks laying around the coop. I wasn't planning on doing that initially, but I started to see a hole being dug behind the coop. I closed it and don't think they got inside and I do have hardware cloth underneath, but for my peace of mind, I plan on laying a hardware skirt around the coop and then covering it up with dirt and bricks.

    For letting the chickens out, I try to use the small doors so they don't escape when I open the door.

    The coop is not moveable, so I have to go in and turn the litter or shovel it out. My only complaint is that if I realized how hard cleaning it is under the covered coop area, I would have added either an opening on the floor of the covered coop area (under the roosts) or on the back to allow me easier access.

    I added remove-able wood trays under the roosting bars and it has made cleaning so much easier.

    I will be back with pics of my coop and heathers.

  2. coddledeggs

    coddledeggs In the Brooder

    I realize that you posted this quite a while ago, but I am considering building heather Bullard's coop and it is very helpful to me. Could you post some pictures of your coop? I am having a bit of trouble visualizing some of the changes you made. I would especially like to know more about how you would adapt it to make cleaning under the covered coop area easier.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    @sweetsam I'd like to see pics too!
  4. sweetsam

    sweetsam In the Brooder

    Sure @coddledeggs @aart pics are attached. We did end up moving the coop - it was quite a task. We rolled it on round wood stakes
    I am selling the plan I used

    1 person likes this.

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