Chicken Coop Construction

If it wasn’t apparent in my last post, I was seriously chomping at the bit to build my chicken coop. Anticipating a break in the wintery weather over the weekend, I scooped up the materials last week and spent the last few days building the coop of my dreams. Hopefully the chickens will enjoy it as much as my children have so far.

Here’s the finished product.

DSC_0054

This thing weighs a ton but I have nightmares about a gust of wind tossing it onto the sidewalk below. Once I get some protective screen attached I’ll nudge it into its final position closer to the wall and secure it with some stakes.

I based this design on a free set of plans by Purina Mills, which are easy to find online, tweaking the size and shape a bit to fit my situation. There a few things I like about this design. First is the external nesting box that will make it easy to gather eggs and also doesn’t eat up the limited floor space of the coop itself. I also like the fact that it’s on legs, giving the chickens a shaded area to hang out in the summer sun and hopefully making it harder for mice and other critters to get into the coop.

Open nesting box.

DSC_0055

The front of the coop as two doors that open outwards to allow for easy cleaning and feeding. I need to work on my hinge-hanging technique…the doors don’t close as flush as I like, but they’ll work.

I’m happy that was able to resurrect the Acacia tree that fell down a few weeks back and use the trunk to make a roost inside the coop.

DSC_0053

On the other side, where I’ll build a small run, there’s an access door. I had a spare pulley, so I hooked that up as a way to open the door without having to get actually get into the run.

DSC_0060

But my shoddy hinge hanging struck again, and this door also doesn’t close as snug as I’d like. This won’t be a problem when it’s warm, but I wanted a way to secure it during exceptionally cold or stormy weather. I used some of my ubiquitous scrap wood to make some simple stoppers that do the trick.

DSC_0061

For ventilation, the top couple of centimeters of each wall are left open. The roof overhangs enough to keep the weather out (hopefully). The original plans called for gaps on the front and back, but given the coops south-facing location and lack of shade, I thought more ventilation couldn’t hurt.

DSC_0059

I’d also like to make a removable screen that would allow me to leave the front doors open during the summer days to help air out the coop, but I’ll work that out later.

The other exciting news is that I ordered the chickens. I changed my mind at the last minute and ditched the idea of getting Silkies for the time being. In the end, I went with 2 Okazaki Ouhans (hybrid meat/egg layers) and 2 Boris Browns, which are mega layers. I was worried about a drastic falloff in egg production from the Boris Browns after the first year or two, but after a reassuring comment from Jo (thanks Jo!) and talking with the person in charge of chicken sales at the home center, I decided to give them a try. I’ll take delivery of the chicks some time in April and have tasked my boys with naming them.

Back soon with a ‘Chicken Coop Run’ post I hope.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Chicken Coop Construction

  1. That’s pretty sharp, Casey. Chickens are great and take little maintenance. I’m gonna build my second coop sometime soon, as the 12-14 hens I have in the first one don’t want more roomies. I would definitely do the screen/window + a light wired out to it cause in the winter they wont lay without longer light.

    1. Good to hear from you Lucas. Thanks for the advice. I read about including lights…also that giving the chickens a break during the winter isn’t a bad thing either (maybe prolong their laying days)…but seeing as eggs are the biggest reason for me to have chickens, a light might be a good idea. How’s the house coming along?

  2. Great house! Anytime you want to come down to Oita and build another one you would be welcomed with open arms!
    Good luck with the chickens – you will love them – sometimes mine are the only ones that actually listen to me all day – my best friends!!!

    1. Thanks Jo…yeah the offers to build chicken coops are rolling in! I’ll let you know if I quit the teaching racket and go into full-time coop building. šŸ™‚

  3. Will this also serve as your brooder for the chicks? If so, an Itachi (weasel) or hakubishin – assuming they live in your area – might try to gnaw their way through that non-chicken wired 2 centimeter ventilation crack. They’ve got small skulls and are good at “weaseling their way”. It’s happened here at my place… I got weaseled ! – Lost some chicks. Ducklings, too.

    Other than that, Nice build !

    Peace,

    #adamsguild

    1. I’m leaning towards brooding the chicks in the house, but will definitely make sure everything’s critter proof before the chickens come to town. The only weasels running around my yard are my kids, but who knows what the scent of fresh poultry will attract.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s