Coop at the end of day 3 of work.

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.

Coop at the end of the first weekend of work

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.

Coop at the end of day 3 of work.

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.

Roosts and nest box framingCoop Skylight

Coop getting all boxed in

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