This month’s Cool Coop just might be the “Coolest” yet! Tom from Illinois used the architecture of his historic neighborhood as an inspiration for this unique coop. Continue reading as he describes the design and construction of his coop, “Tom’s Bird House”:
Our goal for the coop was to incorporate it into the neighborhood. We live in the historic district in town and there is not a whole lot of room for us to work with. I wanted the coop to look like it belongs with the barn – which is now a garage. Our house is 130 yrs old.
The coop was designed to make good use of our limited available space. I’m kind of a “junk” collector, so the windows and door and other architectural pieces that I already had also determined the size and design of the coop.
The above drawing is the master plan. I designed the coop around some dumpster dive / garbage day finds. 3 windows, a closet / cabinet door and a couple of porch brackets – plus house shutters.
After receiving my permit from the village, it was time to start framing. We’re allowed only 4 hens and we’ve never owned birds of any kind. I figured if the chickens didn’t work out, the little house would make a nice garden / planting shed. I’ve built a few things in my day, but never anything this large.
I started the framing mid October and luckily that year we had a mild winter, because the following winter was brutal! A lot of time went into research on BackYardChickens, so I pretty much new what I wanted to build into the coop. I also viewed a number of how-to videos on YouTube to make sure my framing and roofing was correct.
Early in the spring I was able to continue work on the inside and also made a couple of planter boxes.
Over the winter I was able to start on the inside and even designed and began the storage cabinet. I angled the front door so that the birds would not be able to roost on it and poop all over it as well. The cabinet comes in real handy.
Summer is finally here and it was time to start painting inside and out and start installing the siding. This project was getting much bigger than anticipated, but I need to stay on course! We had our 4 chicks in a back room of the house. We had them for a couple of weeks, so was time to get moving! I believe my neighbors thought I was “nuts”.
The below drawing is the master plan of the run. Looking back, I would have made this a bit larger. I do let the girls out to run around in the yard as well. Much of the wood used was scavenged from a local store front renovation. Still not too old to Dumpster Dive!
Some fun details… I used and old explosives box to line the inside of the 2 nesting boxes.
Inside walls painted, window screens and screen door completed with hardware cloth. Poop board and roosting bar area all from reclaimed wood.
I needed to hide a seem in the ceiling so I developed this decorative treatment, which was designed to resemble chicken feet.
It was starting to get cold as winter was approaching and unfortunately I didn’t have a main front door yet. I disassembled this old storm door to build the coop door.
The girls had a visitor in the spring. Nice Try!!
Everyone is happy now!
Thanks Tom for sharing your awesome coop! A lot of time and effort went into the construction this coop and I’m sure our readers will appreciate the detailed plans and photos you provided. Your colorful flock is the perfect addition to your historic coop!
If you have a “Cool Coop” you would like to share with the Community, email me at RNickols@communitychickens.com
Click on the link below for previous entries in the “Cool Coops!” series…
To view what else is happening at our Southwest Missouri property visit: the garden-roof coop
If you enjoy bird-watching (in addition to chicken-watching), I invite you to follow my Facebook page: Rebecca’s Bird Gardens