Building the Chicken Coop:
We built the coop starting in December 2015 and finished around the end of January due to the weather and Zach’s work schedule. I briefly discussed the chicken coop in my blog post Reusing Old Materials To Make Something New
We picked a spot for the chicken coop that was mostly flat and started by making a square base. We then put boards across the square base make a floor in the chicken coop. We determined the size based on how many chickens we wanted to have eventually and doing research on how much space a chicken needs to have in order to live comfortably. Since we were using boards from an old deck they were not all the size length. To make it easier we trimmed them after they were already attached.
We decided an A-Frame design would be convenient and we could continue it out into the run making sure that the chickens were enclosed at all times to prevent predators from getting the chickens. It also was helpful that busy beaver was giving away plywood that they had used for displaying their plants on. So we picked up as much as we could from them, it was piled with their pallets which are also free for the taking. We used these for the sides of the coop which worked out very nicely as they were the perfect size.
We were a few plywood sheets short so we used some of the boards to complete the sides. We then began enclosing the side that would be for the chicken run. We placed the boards and attached them and then using the chainsaw we trimmed the boards to the size they needed to be. The chicken coop isn’t right by the house and therefore it would have been a lot of electrical cords to run other saws and Zach is very handy with a chainsaw.
Once that side was complete we began working on the run part of the chicken coop. We just continued the A-Frame design out as long as we needed and anchored it together. We put a brace board across the middle and decided the chicks will be able to use that to roost on as well so it is dual purpose (helps sturdy the run and a roost.)
We decided to use roll roofing for the sides since it was the most cost efficient. We had to buy 2 rolls of roll roofing, which was our first big expense besides for screws.
We put the roofing on and used roofing nails to hold it in place. We started at the bottom and layered it to the top. At the top we used a piece of rubber that was used for the farm silos (it was replaced with new and this was the old that was no longer useful). It is always great to find a new purpose for something that is no longer needed.
We no longer had any of the salvaged boards from the deck and so we used pallet boards to make the final wall of the chicken coop that would also have the door.
We also used pallet boards to make the door of the coop. We then added 2 boards that are can be twisted to help keep the door closed.
We cut a hole in the side of the coop to let the chickens come out to the run and made them a little ramp to walk down. We added boards to help make it more like stairs so the chickens wouldn’t just slide down but could get traction to walk down the ramp into the grass.
We then put chicken wire over the run and tied it together. On the end of the coop we made it so we could untwist the wire to get into the chickens run if needed. We put a board across to give the chickens another roosting area.
The newest addition that the chickens have is a swing. Zach drilled holes in a small piece of wood and strung plastic clothesline through, knotting the ends underneath to prevent it from sliding through. He then hung it around the chicken wire in the run. I keep seeing the chickens check it out but I haven’t caught them swinging yet. I’m sure they will love to swing as soon as they get brave enough to try it.
We put a bale of hay in the coop which the chickens helped fluff up themselves. We hung their feeder so that they didn’t have to bend to eat which helps them from scratching the feed onto the floor of the coop. Feed can make expensive bedding if they are able to put their feet into the feeder, because it will be everywhere! The feeder and the waterer are inside of the coop. Zach and I decided on a galvanized metal waterer for the chickens to prevent it from freezing and cracking in the winter. Therefore I am unable to hang it but I check on the chickens multiple times a day to make sure they didn’t scratch any bedding into their water.
I painted the chicken coop black to help preserve the wood and give a nice finished look.
Stay tuned for:
Chickens Part 2: Baby Chicks
Chickens Part 3: Getting to Know the Chickens and Herbs for Chickens
Chickens Part 4: Family Ties into chicken farming