Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coop Time

Well, Monday was the first really nice day we've had in a while, so with my brother (Sinfonian) raring to go on his coop, we headed to Lowe's to pick up needed materials, and met his father in law back at my folks place and set to putting up a coop or two.  Well, we made good progress on his coop, you can read about it on his blog, so Tuesday we got to work on my coop.  We set up at my house, just across the street from my folks, and got to building my coop.

As I had a bunch of 2x4's I found in my while he used 2x3's, I chose to save some dinero by using the found 2x4's and buying what I needed to make up the rest.  I figure that once all is said and done, the diffence in weight between the two coops won't really be that much.

I have some photos of this construction, they are small, but do represent the build...fuzzy at best.  While my brother regards me as some sort of coop building genius for designing what he and I feel is the "perfect" coop (at least now, as newbies to chickendom, we will likely revise our thoughts on this as time goes on...) to tell the truth, I learned my construction style with lincoln logs when I was six!

Framing up the front walls,  you can see the new beds I built in the foreground.  We used my ladderrack as a building platform.  I'm the goofball in the picture.

Here's the front wall of the coop being put together.  Framing on this piece is just about done.
Front wall and Base laying down, waiting for the back wall to be framed, then it will move into the back yard where assembly will take place.

Assembly going on...just about now we found a major error in my plan.  The base side bars were too small.  I forgot to take into account I wanted the inside to be 3' wide, so had to make the side bars on the base 3'!

This is the back wall of the coop.  You can see the bottom, what will be encased in 1/2 inch Hardware cloth.  Poultry Netting works great at keepin Birds in, but stinks at keeping other Critters out, hence the welded Hardware cloth.

This is a side shot, looking at the framing for the Nesting boxes.  You can also see the framing where the floor will be.  The floor dimensions are 3' wide by 6' long, giving me 18 square feet of floor space.  I allowed for 6 inches between the floor and the door on the front in case I want to use the deep litter method.

So in this photo, you can see the framing for the door, that will drop down to allow cleaning of the coop.  I can reach all parts of the coop floor by leaning in.  The door is 4' wide by 38" high, so I don't have to stoop over to keep my head from banging on the top rail.  Above that is 8" by 6' of vent space for ventilation.  This will be covered with fine mesh, to keep insects out, but let amonia build up out.  I think you can clearly see the old wood and the new wood, and that it's about 40% old, which saved me a bundle.  I have an overhang for the roof of 1" on the back and 4" on the front.  The front is just over 7' with the roof, and 4 inches lower at the back for runoff.

So, tomorrow is supposed to be nasty, but this weekend is looking better.  Hopefully we can make more progress on my brother's coop, and I will look to frame out the nesting box, build a gate for the bottom front that will flip upwards to allow access to the lower run, and build the ramp up to the floor to allow the girls access to the outdoors when the door is open.

All in all, I probably have 4 more days of work to go on this.  I am slow, but what I build stands up.  Everything on this coop was pre-drilled to prevent splitting, and connected with 3 inch exterior grade deck screws.

My lovely wife, though she denies it now, set a budget of $300.00 for this coop.  So far, I am $215.00 into that budget, and may spend a bit more, but will definately come in under budget.  I will continue to take pictures, and once finished, will post plans with cut lists so others can if they want take the plans, use them, modify them whatever. 


  1. Bro, I believe we're rocking on these things. Sure we've made mistakes (mostly on mine as Dad helped fix yours before they were made), but we're well on our way to having them both up and running before they're needed! Who could ask for more? And $300 for a coop like this is chicken feed as they say (pun intended)! Such a coop you and I are building would cost $750 used and $1000 new! Gotta love our handiwork to-date! Thanks for all the help, both on the design and build!

  2. Great job! The framing up is going very well and I can visualize the finished coop and expect it will be very functional for you. The cost you have into it is great and you are obviously gaining great value by doing it yourself. Not to mention it is a family affair which is fun to see!