Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Chicken Coop

Our chicken coop has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a chicken tractor barely big enough for three hens. I couldn't find a photo of it when it was new. This was the day I drug it to the back gate to give to someone else. The chickens had long since left it. I'd used it for rabbits for a little while, then some baby chicks I raised for someone else, but it was falling apart and the time had come to say goodbye. 

I sat down with pen and paper and came up with a coop design that would allow me to up the number of hens to around twenty, plus not require I get on my hands and knees to catch a hen should she need catching. I wanted it to allow for plenty of airflow for our hot summer months, but also have an enclosed roosting area with decent ventilation but no drafts. I also wanted nest boxes that I could access without going inside the coop.

Since we live in city limits, it had to look nice. I may live in the sticks, but there's no shortage of grouchy old busy bodies out here with nothing better to do than call the city and complain about them damn outsiders dragging down the property values. They'll still talk smack, but it won't go past the lunch table at the town's Senior Center.

The foundation consisted of concrete blocks from Home Depot. Notice how we made zero attempt to make them nice and level? This failure will be cursed many times by the Mr. as the build progresses.  You can already see problems developing as this first wall frame section goes up. :D

Rather than fix the foundation while we still could, however, we plowed ahead full steam!

Somehow I managed to not take any photos until nearly six months later, after it was finished and the far end was sinking into a crater that soon turned into a pit just off the edge of the newly installed storm cellar. That's a whole 'nother story for another day though.

I had to include a pic of the chicks when they arrived in the mail. CUTE! :)

The coop has since been divided in half, with the far end being converted to a rabbit room with one of the fish tanks for the aquaponics system in it. The rest of these are of the nest boxes and the roost section.

Nest boxes from inside roosting room

Outside the coop, nest boxes

Inside the coop looking at the roosting area and nest boxes. The end where that hen is, is wire mesh to allow for air flow 
Nest boxes with lid open

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