I’m almost done! Well, almost done enough to move the chick-lets into their new home – I have a feeling that I’ll be playing with (ie. decorating and upgrading this) for some time. The future outdoor run and any decor and fancy accessories will come later. This is really coming together well! I’ve learned so much, and by using reclaimed materials where possible, I’ve saved a ton of money as well. The total cost of this (including new and specialty gear) is more or less $800 (including the run, not yet built). That might even be including the price of the chicks. I may try to dig up all the receipts (not sure if it’s possible!) and verify. The important thing is, I’ve had so much fun with this! I may actually get to painting today!
This is the view of the coop from the house. The theme is ‘beach shack’ and I have some grey-ish blue paint that I plan on lightening with white paint, and thinning with water, to make a nice grey-wash. It should cover and protect the wood a bit, but keep some of the unique textures of the various old planks.
This will be the front of the coop, from the chicken’s view, ie. this is the side where the run will attach.
Feeder access door – (kid shown for scale only, not part of coop ;) ) I’ve installed latches on this door now, as well as all other doors. We have raccoons… and foxes… and hawks…
This is a view of the cleaning access door and the water tank tower. I have a bad back, so having a large door, up off the ground, should really help out when it comes to cleaning, etc. The tank (cooler) will provide water to both the coop and to the run (two fountains inside, three outside). Having it elevated like this gives it good water pressure.
This back window leaked a bit in heavy rains, and the nest box, hinge area, also leaked. I figured that a decorative overhang should help prevent this. These shelves were also made from scraps, including the scroll work. My dad passed away 12 years ago, but he left these practice (his throw away) scrollwork braces behind. I kept them, assuming I might find a use for them. I did! I’ll need to caulk the planks I used to make these, to help direct water away from the coop, but I was out there in the last heavy rain and they already make a huge difference!
Also, I found these awesome little solar lights at Target on sale – $13! So kitschy! Perfect for a beach shack. Also, by hanging them near the back window, away from the run, I’m hoping that the little bit of light that goes into the coop from this side, will light up the interior of the coop, just a little, which should entice the chickens to leave the run as it gets dark at night and head into the (comparitively) brighter coop. I probably should have waited until AFTER I painted to staple these up, but I was eager to put them into action.
Inside the coop, we have a feeder (I’ll probably add a second one just like this, they will have caps – keep birds, poop, mice, etc out), roosts (I need to make a few more, probably long poles), nest boxes (two at 12”x12” and one at 12”x24”), and the auto-waterer cups. Everything is made with an eye toward being able to remove it and clean it. Even the partitions for the nest boxes and the privacy curtains.
I still have a few things to do. I need to make a couple more roosts. I need to caulk the places where the roof panels meet (I used 4 metal sheets from Lowes – 8’x2.3’ – perfect fit! About $13 each). I need to tie down the PVC pipes on the plumbing with strapping to prevent movement. And I need to set up a way to open and close the run door from outside of the main access door. I also need to install wire mesh around the three sides of the coop away from the run. I intend for them to be able to play under there, for shade and shelter, once the run is attached, but I want to do the nailing of that bit before they are in the coop. That might be scary. And I need to paint.
The chicks are likely to be out there by this weekend :) Now that the storm that was threatening has skipped over us, I may actually meet this goal sooner than later! And good thing too. We have mostly bantam (small sized) chicks – only three are normal sized birds – and they are growing. So totally spoiled too!
This is the largest of the birds, a Speckled Sussex.
-- "My plate is full, I can't possibly take on anything more... Oh, look! A project!"