Last summer my boyfriend built my beautiful, beautiful coop using only the plans I had drawn on a piece of printer paper, with these simple instructions: “It’s gotta be cute … and safe … and warm.”
And it is. There is 6 inches of foam insulation in the floor and ceiling — 3 inches in the walls — including the nest box, hatch and doors.
The roost and vinyl-covered poop board are at one end …
The nest box is at the other …
It has sufficient ventilation via operable vents and two functional windows — all double screened with 1/4 inch hardware cloth. In the large clean-out door is fitted a secure screen frame for summer and well into fall. Suspended from the peak is an interchangeable fan or heater.
The outside measures 4′ x 8′; the inside slightly less due to the insulation. Because of the small size, in the building of this coop, it was immediately clear that after framing, the interior walls should be installed first followed by the insulation and then the exterior sheeting.
Although this coop currently houses 4 bantam cochins, I can comfortably keep eight standard hens or 10 bantams.
Behind and under the coop is a secure run area surrounded by 1/2 inch hardware cloth. The wire screening is bent to extend a foot all the way around the run perimeter to prevent digging under. Inside the run is filled with 6″ of rounded pea gravel to provide a well-drained comfortable walking surface for the chickens.
What my run now needs are suspended roosts for daytime entertainment. I did have a few bales of straw for them to hop on, but in the elements, these deteriorate and grow mold and mushrooms, which I feel makes them hazardous to my girls.
I have four bantam mille fleur cochin — the goal is to add two more … or three. Thanks for snooping!
This is a gorgeous coop, Jennifer. I’d be willing to bet that a few of our readers would love to borrow your boyfriend!
We know there are other dedicated coop-extraordinaires out there, and we’d love to hear from them.