You asked for it – pics of my chicken coop from start to finish…

Several readers have recently asked me to post pics of my chicken coop, so I thought it would be a good idea to publish a few that show the coop being built from start to finish.

IMG 0469 300x225 You asked for it   pics of my chicken coop from start to finish...

The floor before the walls were put up…

IMG 0479 300x225 You asked for it   pics of my chicken coop from start to finish...

Framing the walls and roof with 2×4’s – and yes I know the the blocks are turned “the wrong way” I turned them that way because it was easier for me to level and was more stable, I’ve done this on other building that are still standing after 16 years with no problems at all.

IMG 0484 300x225 You asked for it   pics of my chicken coop from start to finish...

Putting the T1-11 siding and the roof on…

IMG 04971 225x300 You asked for it   pics of my chicken coop from start to finish...

Chicken “ladder” and door.

IMG 0516 300x225 You asked for it   pics of my chicken coop from start to finish...

Nest boxes – looking through the window.

IMG 0487 300x225 You asked for it   pics of my chicken coop from start to finish...

The roost area…

IMG 0513 300x225 You asked for it   pics of my chicken coop from start to finish...

The run area is 8 x 25

IMG 0546 300x225 You asked for it   pics of my chicken coop from start to finish...

The finished coop and run.

Comments

  1. worrisome says:

    How many chickens do you keep there MD?

  2. I like the nest boxes. Are those pre-purchased, or made from something like cat litter boxes?

    • Bret,

      Purchased off Amazon.com… you can make your own but these are light weight. last forever and best of all are easy to clean, just take them off the wall (lift up and out) and spray with a water-hose.

    • Schatzie Ohio says:

      The nest boxes look like the ones that are sold by Tractor Supply.

      • Schatzie Ohio,
        You’re right, they do look a lot like the ones from TSC, which are also relatively inexpensive, considering they should last a long time.

        MD,
        As a newbie chicken rancher about to start my first flock I see 4 nesting boxes in the photo; but, you said you have 16 chickens. Are there more boxes, or do the birds share.

        • OhioPrepper,

          They share (they don’t all lay their eggs at the same time) the boxes. When they go broody (set on the eggs to hatch offspring) I move them outside the coop to a different location where they can hatch the eggs.

          • MD,
            Thanks and one last question. I assume that the 4:16 (1:4) ratio works OK then, which in my case means I’ll only need a couple since I plan to start with 6-8 birds.

  3. Love the chicken coop and run. Just wish we weren’t in a rental and could justify the investment of time and money to have chickens here. Luckily, we have great neighbors that keep chickens and they share their eggs with us regularly! One day we’ll have our own place. In the process of buying 2.62 ac. right now and that may be our home one day. Makes a good BOL though for now. Again, love the coop M.D.

  4. Nice work! I had to go back and re-do my nesting boxes. I had them toi close to the roosting bars and the lazy girls would roost in the boxes and the eggs would get covered in poo. That was my “if i had it to do all over” statement. If you could build another ,would you change anything?

  5. bctruck,

    Not really. I need to add some screen covered vents up near the roof for air circulation.

    • Encourager says:

      Make sure you cover those vents with hardware cloth, too. I had a weasel push in the chicken wire over the vent and kill all but two chickens….well, it decapitated half, and the other half (minus the two) were so badly mutilated we had to destroy them.

  6. Matt Pounds says:

    Did you get a permit for that sir? Blocks turned the wrong way? Expect a visit from a code enforcement officer, sir. After all, it is for your own good, sir. We don’t need anarchy, sir. If people follow your exxample society is sure to collapse, sir. LOL! In all seriousness, nice job, sir!!!

  7. Very nice coop, I started out with an 6×8 garden shed that I put a window in on each of the 6′ sides with areas to roost. On the 8′ back wall is the nesting boxes. And under one of the windows is their door and ramp.
    I really like the way you worked the run. I may need to add that for my girls.

  8. JP in MT says:

    Nice. We don’t have the space for one yet, so I’m always interested in what works and what doesn’t.

  9. TrailGuide says:

    Thanks for the pictures and update. DH & I are almost one year into our chicken adventure. We have 10 barred rocks and 3 of my co-workers now anxiously waiting for their dozen eggs each week. We have worked out a silent barter agreement since I refuse to put a $ on them. I meant really – what would I do with 10 eggs x 7 days x 4 weeks = 52 weeks x 7 = more eggs than I can find recipes for :)
    So far I’ve gotten some very excellent venison hamburger, venison jerky, crappie, bass filets, a box of mixed fresh fruit and one ‘customer’ puts $3 in the return carton (my only request).
    One family ask Dad if he had put food coloring in the scrambled eggs because the were almost orange. Only complaint is now his kids won’t egg ‘yucky, runny, tasteless’ store bought eggs. He’s now looking into raising his own hens.
    TG ~..~
    I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. Douglas Adams

  10. patientmomma says:

    Very nicely done! Thanks MD for the step by step instructions. Just what we need!

  11. Anothermom says:

    Nice. We say ours is the playhouse the kids never got when they were little.

  12. Chuck Findlay says:

    I haven’t gotten into chickens yet. Not sure if I will or not.

    Just wondering: How do you feed chickens in a grid-down or an economic down turn that effectively could price feed out of reach? I try hard to plan ahead and this is one area (animal feed) that I don’t know too much about.

    • Chuck,
      Chickens will eat anything they can catch: bugs, frogs, snakes, etc… They also like weeds and if they can get into your garden they can and will damage some of it. In the magazine Mother Earth News I seen where a man built a worm bin in the ground under his greenhouse and would give the chickens some earthworms during the winter months.

  13. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Nice job. A modification I would consider adding is a shaded roof panel for the birds to get out of full sun and still get air flow. Down here in south Texas, the sun is brutal and we’ve lost a bird or two over the years. We have a A-frame chicken tractor and we lost a bird or two before we thought to add this. During the height of summer day, we even give the birds a refrigerated drink of water to help them keep cool (wife is teacher and on summer vacation). This seems to help keep egg production going.

    Again – nice job!

  14. MD,
    Thanks for the ideas. We are planning to redo our coop and were looking for ideas. This helps!

  15. hiplains says:

    Lovely MD!! Love the way you left the tree inside the run. I’m chicken-less right now and boy, I do miss my flock.

  16. Woody from Ohio says:

    Nice, MD!

    we cobbled together a “basic” coop, building one side adjacent to an already heated fairly spacious garage. we opacked the other sides with some straw bales to keep out the wind. our chickens are doing very well, thank-you-very-much, with Ohio’s recent “old-fashioned” winter.

    translate…we’ve had nights with howling winds and actual air temps of -15*F. the wind chills are brutal.

    the girls are doing fine!

  17. rjarena says:

    Very nice, extra shade is always good, you can add a auto water system, I built a coop on a side hill, it would drain down to my compost area. A nice next addition would be rabbits.
    When I built mine in Fla., I used Hardy panels(cement -fiber ) as siding, so I did not have to worry about weathering.

  18. Tactical G-Ma says:

    M.D.,
    Absolutely, love it! Whose plans did you use? That is exactly what we need for the brood that just hatched!

    • Tactical G-Ma,

      No real plans – but I’ve build others before and kept chickens for the most part of the last 25 years, so I already had a building plan in my head…

  19. We have a chicken coop on the property which was fenced in for our dogs, both of which are now gone; so, we’re turning it back into a chicken coop. The run area (more like a paddock) is about 20×25, with the fence buried 1 foot into the ground (to keep the dogs from diggin out) and about 4 feet above ground.
    Question for MD. Is your run completely covered (I can’t really tell from the photos).
    If so, I have a question for everyone. How important is a covered run area?
    This spring will be our first jump into chicken since my DD was a little girl.

    • OhioPrepper,

      Yes it is completely covered.

    • Encourager says:

      OP, I think it is very important t have the run covered. It amazed me how raccoons, possums, weasels and even cats can climb the chicken wire sides. Also the top will keep out most wild birds and hawks. Less wild birds, less bird disease.

      OP, you could use chicken wire and divide the large coop into sections, so that the grass/weeds can grow back between rotations.

  20. rjarena says:

    Covering it is very important unless you like feeding the local wildlife chickens! I also covered my for shade.

  21. srascoe says:

    MD. I like very much your chicken house. I have a comment. I have raised chickens myself, parents raised chickens and my grandparents also. I wanted to make a suggestion about your arrangement. I have always been told not to make the hen house any bigger than you want to clean. LOL I was always told by the “old folks” that the roost should be on one side with a walk/run way on the wall beside it around to the nests. Also to keep the odor and cleaning to a minimum Put clean hay on the floor under the roost and hen nests. If you have a way behind the nests to put openings to the outside to remove the eggs and clean the nests. That keeps the disturbing down to the hens and you will have better layers. Make openings around the bottom edge of the building to rake out the old hay. Thank you again

  22. thanks for sharing and great job MD. sure gives alot of idea’s and a good way to build as i have never built one before.

  23. Chuck Findlay says:

    Another question from the inexperienced animal guy.

    Can you paint a chicken coop or will they eat / peal then eat the paint and have problems.

    If they do chew on the wood, I would guess that Thompson’s water seal is out of the question as i’m sure it has some bad things in it. Even more so the kind I use.

    .

  24. Chuck Findlay says:

    Another question

    MD do you ever go on trips that keeps you away from home for several days to a week? And if so how do you feed animals during these times?

    I would be less then happy to let others have free access to my home, inside or outside as I keep valuable things outside the house.

    I must have 200 feet of 1/2 and 3/4 copper pipe awaiting a project. I would imagine most homesteaders have things laying about that others could walk off with.

    Anyone else, how do you take trips if you have animals?

    I’m self employed, with a cell phone I can be anyplace and still book jobs so I don’t really loose work if I take off for a 4-day camping trip. All I do is schedule them for the next week and most customers don’r even know I’m out of town. But with animals it seems you are tied to the homestead.

    .

    • Chuck Findlay,

      Yes and when I do, I have someone that comes up everyday and checks on them and takes care of what is needed…

    • Chuck,
      Here we have various neighbors who have horses, cows, etc. and we essentially barter time, although no one really keeps track. When they are gone, we do their chores and vice versa. Generally all out of doors, but in one case, we do access the house as do they for our indoor cats.
      You need to cultivate good neighbor relations if possible.

  25. chet "catman" travirca says:

    I dont see anything wrong with it that a sawsall wont fix.
    Its been 30 years since I raised pecker heads…they have heads and peck with um, what can I say…and you are going to have some SERIOUS ventilation issues, especial this August when the mercury. Even if you think youll have time to clean and bleach daily…you wont, besides,who needs to be that tied down?
    Vents are really cheap so you can afford to put several on all sides along the rafters
    and save the cut out for covers (hinge the back on so you can close in winter.
    One thing I REALLY LIKE is that its elevated. My old one was on the ground and a nightmare to clean…think shoveling pure methane. You really need to make two changes to roost are. First, remove the roosting cross bars and cut out the floor under it and replace the wood with a sheet of hard wire. Then put hard wire on the bracing before you replace the roosting cross pieces…you must also wire off the ends to keep them from getting under the roosting chickens or else you will have ppop heads instesd of pecker heads. Properly spaced, they will remain clean and all that great poop will fall through to the plywood floor that you removed and placed under the coop…shoveling is a snap and beats being inside that toxic coop doing it.
    Dont vent it and you see what i mean soon enough.
    On the othrr hand , if you havent tested your gas mask….
    Good luck.
    Catman

  26. Nice job, looks good!

  27. Nice job on the Coop. I have never raised chicken’s but thinking of raising them when I move to Tenn. Thanks for the pictures.

  28. Ginger Mccarty says:

    I would add one suggestion…add a good used piece of linoleum (I got my piece from a ‘curb alert’ on craigslist) to the floor…much easier clean-up + it will add to the longevity of the floor…I did this, as well as leaving a decent slope to the floor (eyeballed it). At the lowest point of the slope I drilled several 1″ holes all in a row so that on occaision I can also clean the floor with a mild bleach solution (capful to 5gal water swished around with an old broom) & hose the floor down after scooping the droppings out.

  29. This may be a silly question, but,what to do with the bird droppings ? Wife and I are about to embark on our 2 acre home place and are thinking about chickens. Love the coop and want to do it right and of course be successful,do you keep rooster(s)? I have many questions, maybe I’m over thinking it.

    • RW,

      I put down about 6 inches of straw inside the coop, then clean it out every few months, adding it to my compost pile, then come fall I add it all to the garden and till it in for the winter…