The Chicken Coop [Part 1]
Howdy y’all. I’m gonna take a little time and tell ya about building my new chicken coop. It’s not my typical post, but it might be becoming more of what I like to talk about.
First a little back story. On the 23rd of February The little lady picked up 3 chickens [a fourth came the next day]. To say I was annoyed was understatement, but you can read her perspective over on Season for Cake. I didn’t really want anything else to take care of, but within a week, these little chicks we’re definitely my “flock”.
The long and short of it is, I completely take care of them, the little lady has already lost most of her interest in them, and the boys are indifferent.
I was thinking of buying one of those internet coops for a few hundred bucks, but I started to think that they are mostly pressboard, which doesn’t do to well with out Pacific North Wet weather. Next idea, Craigslist. Apparently everyone and their brother has a coop making business in their garage [a fact I was blissfully un-aware of].
Certainly around Seattle Backyard Chickens are becoming pretty common, but the coop making business is crazy. A small coop around here is $550 and the bigger ones with attached runs are $750-$1100. I like my chickens and all, but that’s nuts. So I decided to build my own.
A few facts about my coop.
- First, I used no plans. Not that you shouldn’t but I had an idea of what I wanted.
- It’s 8′ wide, 5’8″ deep and 6’4″ tall inside the run.
- It’s probably going to cost me about $550 when it’s all said and done
- However, It’s built to last: Should take about 500 lbs of snow load, and survive any earthquakes we may have.
- The corner posts are 4x4s and it’s framed entirely with 2x4s and pressure treated lumber where it comes in contact with the ground.
- The coop itself is 1/2″ OSB and then sheathed in cedar shingles.
- It’s got a skylight. In the coop, not just the clear roof over the run.
- It’s completely enclosed [even underneath] in 19 gauge 1/2″ galvanized hardware cloth, which should keep out even the most persistent predator.
The framing went up on the first weekend. Like I said 4x4s, pressure treated sill plates and perimeter [to keep the bedding in], all solid, real solid … and heavy. The hardware cloth wraps essentially all the way around the coop width wise in 2 36″ wide lengths that are “stitched” together with 17 gauge wire. I was going to order 66″ wide hardware cloth but it was ridiculously expensive.
The following weekend I built the roof, the roosts, and the nesting box [which isn’t getting attached right away, so they don’t try to roost in it], built the box of the coop, and sheathed it almost entirely [still have a bit to finish]. Final pics and the big reveal hopefully in a few more days.