Tour the chicken coop

My chicken coop dreams came true today…we officially finished the new chicken coop!  We have a few more changes to make such as automatic PVC feeders, automatic water nipples and an automatic chicken door that opens to the free-range area. But otherwise, it’s all done and I must say, it’s the cutest coop I ever did see.  Ready for a tour?

We picked an area for the coop next-door to the pig pasture.  The compost is also very close so it makes for cleaning & collecting manure pretty easy.  The location is also right next to our soon-to-be garden, so throwing some fruits and veggies their way will be easy as well.  We currently have 10 future egg-layers and 21 meat chickens.  We plan to do a large group of meat chickens a few times a year.  We will soon add meat rabbits and a turkey or two to the flock. So, as we hope that they can all share the space together, we built a pretty big coop.  It is 10′ x 10′ in dimension and has an attached 3,000 square foot ‘free-range’ area for them to enjoy.

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Hubby marking off the corners to set the posts.  You can see the chicken run area in the back- grassy & protected by trees. 

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We were good for holding boards & helping Hubby frame the walls, but of course he did all the heavy lifting. 

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Everyone pitched in to ‘help’! We used corrugated metal sheets for the roof, ran at an angle for rain run off.  It’s not shown here, but we covered the floor with some cheap vinyl flooring to make clean up easier.

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We found two of the windows at our local Habitat For Humanity for dirt cheap.  They weren’t full working/sliding windows, so to easily open them for ventilation we made a simple pulley system using thin rope, eye hooks and rope cleats to keep the windows open when needed. Our other two windows my dad had laying around & was nice enough to let us use them.  To keep it predator proof, we stapled hardware cloth over the window openings.

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For the chicken door out to the run, we also used the same rope/hook/cleat system to raise or lower the door.  The bottom of the door also has a lock that attaches to the floor of the coop to keep predators out at night.  Eventually we will install an automatic door that will open/close at pre-set times.  My husband has found lots of DIY automatic doors online using car window and antenna motors!  So someday soonish we will be making that change.

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The nesting boxes are plentiful!  Way more then we need, but if we ever decide to fill this coop with 30 egg-layers, then we are already set up.  My husband was able to make all the boxes from scrap material.  We plan to put the rabbit boxes in the space under the nesting boxes.

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The roosting area has 3 levels made with a mix of left over lumber and eucalyptus branches from our trees.  There is close to 40 linear feet in roosting bars so all the chickens should have plenty of room to roost.

And finally, the finished product!

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We painted it to match our house and added some fun color with petunias in the window boxes.  My handy hubby made the door out of siding and 2×4’s and added the fun hardware. I really love how the coop turned out and the girls that have been living in it for the last 10 days sure seem to as well. I can’t wait to fill it up with lots of birds and rabbits and enjoy it for many years to come!

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