For a long time now I’ve been thinking about getting a few chickens and I’ve been slowly building the coop, Coopertino, where they will live. I was going to hold off on posting about it until it was complete so I could write it all up in one go but its taking a little longer than I expected and maybe, for the reader, isn’t all THAT exciting.
I had this old lean-to built off the side of my shed where I kept a small amount of junk. I decided it was ugly and rotten though some of the wood could be saved and used for a coop. So I tore it down.
The first thing I wanted to do was prepare the site. So I build this mini-deck and an enclosed space behind it where the chickens could get to the ground. The whole thing is 10ft by 5ft, split approximately down the middle so there’s a 5×5 deck and a 5×5 earthen area. The deck will hold the coop and the area behind will be enclosed with wire fencing so the chickens can safely play outside during the day without the threat of hawks or dogs or any other predators.
Here’s the completed deck. Aside from the construction of the coop to house the chickens, I wanted to experiment a little with building a simple deck so I could eventually tackle a larger project on the house. I also decided to frame the coop as practice for eventually framing my carport to make it an enclosed garage.
On the back I built a simple frame out of 2×4 and 2×2 to support the chicken fencing. At the based I’ve collected all the detritus from under the previous lean-to which includes old bricks, paving tiles, floor tiles, and pickaxe heads to secure the ground from digging predators. That work is still underway.
Then I banged them all together to make a 5ft by 34″ish box. Due to slight inaccuracies in my cuts one end is about a 1/2 inch skinnier than the other. Bummer. You can see the dark wood studs. That’s wood I recycled from the original lean-to.
Then I built two nest boxes like this one. I don’t like plywood but it seemed like an easy way to make the boxes. I soon regretted it because when it rained they immediately warped. I threw them out and decided no plywood, except for maybe the bottom.
I also started putting the siding on. The pine is expensive but it looks so nice. You can see the crappy nest box mounted here, shortly after the rain (the pond is flooded). I tore that off and threw it away. You can also see the 2×2 frame for the roof. More on that later.
The floor of the old lean-to was this big rectangular plywood type board with faux wood panels on the front. I decided I could cut it down, give it a light sanding, and use it as the roof of the new coop.
On the front side I created a little frame to hold the new nest boxes, which are made out of whitewood and 2x4s and are much more sturdy and better looking than the ones they replace. Each nestbox is about 12″ deep. I wanted them on the outside of the coop so that I would have easy access to the eggs.
Obviously there’s still a lot to do. The two ends have to have siding and doors added and I have to figure out something for the bottom. I’ve tried to avoid buying any more new wood but you can see, its mostly new wood. Its still cheaper than buying a pre-made coop though and I’m pretty happy with how its turned out so far. I guess it’ll be another couple of weekends before its done and painted, ready for chickens.