Chicken coops are like real estate. After all, a coop is a house, right? Housing for humans and chickens are really needed for the same reason: shelter from the elements of life. How fancy or simple a house or coop is, depends on the person (not the chicken – I have yet to meet a chicken that can build or decorate). Houses vary in size and price. Coops do also, but to my surprise, coops can be very expensive!
Here at LL Farm, we are DIYers (is that a word?). We built our house, we are building our small farm (one DIY project at a time – fences, stalls, buildings, etc.) and yes, we built the chicken coop.
The coop we built for our ladies is from re-purposed materials, so the only cost was for a few items that we did not have – locks, hinges, 1×6 lumber, and a gable vent. The coop is constructed of plywood, which was scrap from a job site. The roof shingles and 2x 4’s were left over from the construction of our house.
The coop is 6′ x 6′ x 4′ tall. The outside is stained with deck stain.
The nesting areas are located under hinged lids, on each side of the coop. They are located on the outside of the fenced in area, making it easy for egg collecting.
The nesting areas are created by using a cut 1 x 6 board. There are a total of 8 nesting boxes (4 on each side). But the ladies all lay their eggs in one location!
The coop and door are made out of plywood. There is a small door cut into the big door. The big door has a bolt lock.
Opening the big door makes it easy to clean the coop and lay down clean straw.
The little door (which the ladies use) stays open during the day by use of a hook latch. We close the small door at night, by hooking it on the other side. Closing the ladies in the coop at night, protects them from predators. They go in by themselves around the same time every night.
The coop is elevated off the ground, and under the coop is surrounded by chicken fencing that is attached to 2 x 8 pieces of lumber. This provides the ladies shade and shelter from the weather. I see them hanging out under there sometimes during rain, instead of going inside the coop. They also congregate under there a lot when the ground is covered from snow. We have a bale of staw on the side where the snow would blow under, so it stays pretty dry under there. I store layer pellets in the metal trash can that you see – so convenient.
Inside are the roosts (a 2 x 4 cut in half) where they sleep at night. You can also see the vent, which helps with circulation.
They look a little started in this picture. They were ready to go to sleep and I shined a light and took a picture (smile).
Before taking these pictures, I made sure there was new straw put down (you didn’t want to see all the poo did you?). This picture may actually prove me wrong…maybe they do know how to decorate. They went in and scratched the straw all around. Hhmm, is that there way of decorating?