Dear readers: I recognize that for some of you, spring does not represent chickens and eggs. I kindly implore you to indulge me one more chickens post. Then, I promise, I will return to our regularly scheduled program of veggie gardening and wonderful food. Thank you.
The coop is up. Three days of sawing, hammering and painting later, the girls have a semi-permanent home. I think it turned out pretty great for a recycled dog-then-duck house:
Here’s how we went from dog/duck house to chicken coop. First, here’s the starting point:
I cleaned out and scrubbed the future coop.
Nick got to work cutting and assembling 2x4s to build the run.
I painted the run with an exterior latex floor paint in dark grey because that was the only exterior grade paint we had hanging around the house. I painted the interior of the coop with a light yellow latex and painted the exterior in a cool green color.
For the coop, we used paints we already had from other projects, but it’s worth pointing out that if you are flexible on color you can score cheap paint at your local hardware store in the “odd bin” section. When I was buying paint to do the mural for my son’s room I discovered that I could get a gallon of paint for $10 and scored some great colors I wouldn’t otherwise have considered this way.
Nick built a base of pressure treated 2x4s and screwed it to the bottom of the run.
I wrapped the run in 1/2-inch, heavy-gauge hardware cloth. I secured the mesh to the frame with heavy duty staples. The staple gun and I got quite cozy on this project.
Nick began to cut out the openings for the nesting boxes and the clean-out door.
Here’s the major components of the coop coming together.
We drilled some ventilation holes for our chickens.
Nick begins to put on the hinged roof.
Meanwhile, we have to make a space for our coop. Sorry rogue patch of raspberry canes, you’ll have to find a new home. Dig, dig, dig.
Not too bad. It’s even a relatively level patch of earth.
I covered the coop space with cardboard to cut down on weeds and draw worms to below the run.
We positioned the run and Nick installed the door.
I put on and began to paint the coop trim. Damn right my chickens deserve trim!
When everything is kinda dry we load the coop onto a hand-cart and roll it to its backyard location.
Nick thought this was the greatest thing ever. Mobile Chicken Home!
Our awesome neighbors Herb and Joyce came by to see if we needed some help. The whole neighborhood has been very supportive of our Great Chicken Adventure. Nick and Herb he-manned the coop into position on top of the run.
Nick went inside the coop for some last minute modifications to the ramp and roosting bars.
Bella does a very good chicken impression:
- The color scheme
- The big overhangs of the roof
- The location – I can watch the chickens from the living room!
- The size: it was easy to fit into a space we could easily clear and is large enough for our two chickens.
- It sounds stupid, but we didn’t really think about how tall the finished product would be and the egg door is too tall for our daughter to gather eggs without a step-stool. That’s a bummer.
- I am probably going to have to remove another half-row of raspberries to make room for an access path around the coop.
- We figured the ramp and the roosting pole in the run would be pretty easy to figure out but in actuality they involved bringing together quite a few things in a small space. It was trickier than we thought and I would pre-plan that aspect better next time.