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One ginormous chicken coop post | Speedkin

One ginormous chicken coop post

We’ve been building a new chicken coop this spring, as you may have noticed in the background of certain pics.  I decided to wait until it was all/mostly done and post all of the pics together.  Here we go!

**Disclaimer:  When I use the word “we” in this post, you can be fairly certain that I mean Steve and the kids building while Josie and I “supervised”.  We are very good supervisors.  ;-)

The chicks were born mid-March and we bought them at three weeks of age.  They lived in a pen in the greenhouse until the coop was done enough to be safe & secure.  30 straight run, some Barred Rocks, some Rhode Island Reds, and a couple of Easter Eggers.

The concrete pad was poured in the, fittingly, pouring rain so the finished surface was not so great.  We later covered it with cheap vinyl flooring (and wood shavings/chips on top of that) which makes cleaning a breeze.  The pad is 10′ x 15′.

Everyone getting in on the prep for pouring.

The framing and roof is up.  Insulation and walls going up.  Hardware cloth covers ventilation gaps along the two long sides.  The wall on your right shows framing for two additional small bird doors that are sheeted over for now.  We will cut those out once the rest of the run is completed.

Here, you can better see the vinyl-covered floor as well as the ventilation gaps running under the roof.  There is one large, hardware cloth-covered window on each wall.

Interior sheeting starting to go up.  You can see the framing for the large bird door here that will lead into the small, covered run that will be completed first.

The interior is divided:  10′ x 10′ for the birds and 10′ x 5′ for storage.  Here, Steve is making the interior door.  You can also see the kick board along the bottom of where the divider wall will go.  That keeps the litter (wood shavings/chips) from getting kicked all over.  In fact, all of the various entrances & exits are raised for this purpose.

The interior wall and door completed.

And the gang finally moved into their new home.

A good view of the storage area before the exterior wall goes up.

The large bird door is sheeted over here, awaiting completion of the covered run.  The framing is just started for that, on the right side.

Framing going up for the final exterior wall and a salvage door from a coffee shop in town.

More progress on the exterior wall.  You can see square tubing sticking out over the window.  Each window will have a hinged cover that can close in cold weather — with a cable attached, running through the tubing, to the interior of the coop so we can open and close them all from inside.

A feeder Steve made from scrap metal.  It easily holds a 50# bag of feed.

With the lid off, you can see the baffles.

A quickie flower bed and some trim done on the front of the building.

The small, covered run will be Fort Knox, like the coop.  I-beam is buried to keep out digging predators.  (The I-beam does have holes for drainage.)

Poles welded to both the roof and buried I-beam form the framework.

Sheet metal along the bottom and chicken wire along the top means nothing is getting in — once we replace the chicken wire with welded wire when it’s in the budget.  We had the chicken wire on hand already, though, so that’s what went up for now.

The gang checking out the run after the door sheeting was cut out.  (No, the fan doesn’t stay.)

A roost made from a 2×4, coated in linseed oil, atop a wide, vinyl-covered board.  Why?  Because they poop a lot when they roost at night.  (During the day, they’re usually out in the run.)  The droppings board collects most of the poop (easily scraped off of the vinyl with a plastic spackle knife) and the floor litter stays dry and sweet for a very long time.

An exterior gate for the run that Steve made and added, making it easy to toss in kitchen slop and garden weedings.

The big bird door Steve made, here opened to let the birds come and go between coop and run at will.

And closed to secure them in the coop.  Like the windows, this door will have a solid covering for winter.

It’s not near done yet.  Lots of little fidgety stuff to do but it’s a good, working coop & run for now.  We’ll be making nest boxes soon as it won’t be much longer before the hens start laying.  And the the rest of the run.  It will continue on from the external run gate, into a 4-foot wide “moat” of sorts, and go all of the way around the kitchen garden.  The birds will be able to catch bad bugs we toss in from the garden as well as eat and scratch into oblivion all of the stinking Bermuda grass that is eternally creeping in to try and take over the garden.  Building it will take some time so Steve will do it in sections as he has the time and patience.  That’s what one of the small, sheeted-over bird doors is for that I mentioned above — entrance into the other side of the moat run.  The other small bird door will open directly into the garden itself so we can turn them loose to scratch, eat, and compost-in-place the kitchen garden during winter, giving the moat a chance to rest & recover.

95% of the coop and run was built from free/scrap/salvage.  Cool, huh?

(It’s after midnight and it’s taken me forever to type all of this out one-handed.  My brain went to sleep hours ago.  Holler if something didn’t make sense.  And I’m going to be really ticked off if I dreamed all of this and have to do it again tomorrow.)

3 Responses to “One ginormous chicken coop post”

  1. agscheidle October 13, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    That’s got to be one of the most elaborate chicken coop designs/builds I have ever seen! Very nice work!

  2. Diane October 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Thanks! Hubby did a great job on it. I should take some new, updated pics, complete with nestboxes and poop galore. :-p

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  1. How long has it been? | Speedkin - July 29, 2012

    […] We hatched out a lot this year and lost most of them.  Remember the Ft. Knox of chicken houses we built in Oklahoma?  We expected heavy predator pressure there and built appropriately.  We never guessed that the […]

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