Before we got our chickens, I looked at literally HUNDREDS of coop designs and photos online. There's such a variety!
I thought that I would probably wait to get chickens until I had a chance to repair and rebuild the dilapidated old chicken house that was here on the property when we moved in. After all, it's very large and spacious with an excellent design and great location. Unfortunately, it also needs some foundation repair and is covered in peeling clapboards that I suspect to be coated in old lead-based paint.
So obviously, fixing up that chicken house is going to be a good-sized project. NOT one we could undertake when, last weekend, we decided on the spur of the moment that we needed to buy the gorgeous blue Orpington chickens we saw offered for sale on Craig's list.
The day we saw the chickens, we told the lady we'd be back in one week to buy them. Then we rushed home and started building a pen.
It needed to be simple, cheap, and light enough to be portable, so that I could drag it to a new location every day myself. Here's what we came up with:
|Ken, planning the coop design.|
|Ken doesn't have very advanced carpentry skills, so he compensates by using angle brackets. Lots and lots of angle brackets. Whatever works is fine with me! I'm just grateful he's willing to build it.|
|The skeleton of the coop comes together.|
|Adding the chicken wire. As you can see, Ken has lots of helpers supervising everything he does.|
|Adding the plywood walls. To keep the coop as light and portable as possible, we used very thin plywood. Because 1/4" plywood is not very strong, we included chicken wire on all sides, even the sides that have the plywood.|
|I added two coats of paint. Now I think it looks like a big white chicken Winnebago!|
|The back "window" is where the nest boxes will go, so we can collect eggs from the outside.|
|Sterling the cat decided to run under the wet paint and got a stripe down his back, exactly like in a Pepé Le Pew cartoon. |
|The coop, now with feeder, waterer, roost and door (but no door latches yet) is inspected by our Quality Control Dog.|
|The coop now has chickens in it. Everyone is fascinated!|
|The sheep are deeply suspicious that SOMEBODY has food in there! Fortunately, the door does have latches on it now.|