Chicken Coop Details

In this post I want to share a few more details about my chicken coop. I’m kind of proud of it for several reasons.  It has not only evolved into a fairly decent chicken coop, but it’s also a very affordable one.  As I’ve mentioned before, my coop was only meant to be temporary until I could build something more functional and attractive, but now it’s looking as though I might keep it for quite some time because it’s turning out to be extremely practical, and my chickens are really comfortable in it.  Besides, I can’t afford anything better or more beautiful right now! 

My friend, Ron, was the one who came up with the simple design for my coop based on his years of experience raising chickens.  Since I had virtually zero perspective, I let him take charge, but we did take the following into consideration:  

1. Size of my backyard.
2. Number of chickens.
3. Inexpensive & easy to build: It had to be inexpensive to accommodate my budget, and it had to be EASY to build. I also wanted to use some existing lumber that Ron and I already had.
4. Durability: It would need to be a sturdy enough design to weather a few years until I had the money to build something better.
5. Easy maintenance: It would need to be easy to maintain and keep clean because I already have enough to do!
7.  Practical design: It would need to be not only practical, but it would need to keep predators out (racoons and dogs mostly) and I wanted to be able to gather eggs without having to enter the coop. It needed to be high enough for me to be able to walk into also.
8. Comfort:  Most of all I wanted a coop that my chickens would be comfortable with so they would want to lay eggs! I wanted it to be large enough, light on the inside, have good roosting options, good ventilation for the hot summers, but enclosed enough to keep out the worst elements during the winter in this part of Oregon.
9. Location:  It needed to be located in an area that would fit into the landscaping while also accommodating space for a bale of straw, food, and access to electrical if I needed to put in a heating lamp.  

  If you want a really practical free guide to “The 7 Biggest & Baddest Mistakes You Can Make Building Your Chicken Coop”  check out this website where you can download the guide.

In the first photo is a picture of Ron making the six 4 x 8 ft. panels made out of plywood, leftover fencing boards, and mesh that is stapled onto the 2 x 2′s.  Each panel can be attached to each other with eyelet scews and a bolt running through them to keep them in place.  Then when I want to move the coop, all I have to do is take off the roof, separate the panels and move it.

The panels open up easily for accessing the inside of the coop.  I stick two poles (mop handles) through the mesh for roosting.  The back panel has the lower piece of plywood that opens up from the bottom for easy access to the feeders that are under the nesting boxes.  It would be better if the plywood were two door panels instead so that I wouldn’t have to hold up the panel, so I will be changing that.  Above is the board that lowers down when I want to access the nesting boxes to get the eggs so I don’t have to enter the coop. My chickens enter the coop through the side door opening.  I usually keep it open, which I may live to regret if any racoons start to migrate through my backyard again!  Until then, I rarely keep them locked in the coop unless I don’t want them outside while I have the gates open to prevent them from getting into the front portion of my backyard where I have my precious flowerbeds

The roof is just three corrugated roof panels on top of a simple frame made of 1 x 2′s.  It fits snugly inside the 4 x 8 dimension of the coop. The roof extends beyond the perimeter of the coop a bit to offer a little more protection from the rain.  To make sure a freak wind doesn’t blow the top off, we added a few hooks to keep it attached to the coop. If we had a lot of snow in Springfield, I would have constructed a gabled roof, but as little as it snows, I can go out there and scoop the snow off should it get too heavy.  My next coop will definately have a gabled roof, because it does look nicer than a flat roof.

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