Today I want to share with you the building of the chicken coop! (in iPhone Instagram photos) We’d never built (or owned) a chicken coop before so it was a lot of speculation and guessing on how to make it the best. I thought about buying one, but they are expensive and really tiny. I wanted a larger coop so that my chickens would have plenty of space on the days when they couldn’t go outside and they wouldn’t get bored (which leads to bullying.) I also wanted it to be predator proof. We have just about everything that likes to eat chickens living in our yard. Foxes, raccoons, hawks, dogs, cats, snakes, ect… And there is no way I ever want to come out to find a snake in my chicken coop. Or a dead chicken from a raccoon attack. So I decided to make the coop as solid as possible so there is less chance of that ever happening. Basically I designed it and Ryan built it. We did it all in steps as we went along. There wasn’t really a master plan when we started. There are a few things I would change now, but overall I like it. And so do the chickens!
We started off by deciding where it would go and how big we wanted the entire coop/run to be. Then we built a frame for the bottom of the run and covered it in hardwire cloth. This should keep out the critters that dig. Then we leveled the ground and put it in and started building the frame of the coop.
We left a little space under the coop so that the chickens would have more space to run around outside. I’m so glad we did because this is where they hide when it gets really hot in the summer. This coop space got separated into two sides, one for the chickens and one to store all their food and stuff.
We ended up putting shingles on the roof. At first we thought we could just make a plywood rook… but then we realized the only way to keep it from leaking was to shingle it. Luckily shingles aren’t that hard to do! Ryan also added some windows to the coop for ventilation. In the winter we will probably need to cover some of them if it gets too cold, but they are great in the spring, summer and fall.
We covered about half the run in a corrugated plastic to let the sun in but keep the rain out. So that the food and everything won’t get wet. and of course the kitties had to test it all out to be sure it was safe for the chickens. We also designed the roof to lift off so that when we do the semi annual deep cleaning we can stand up inside the run. That makes it MUCH easier to do!
Then we put the chickens in! We gave them a few logs to roost on outside and they love that. I also catch them playing on the ramp to the coop, since we made it really long and not too steep. Overall they seem to love their home 🙂