Weirdest pandemic purchase? 3 egg laying chickens to try to become more self sustaining. That was the easy part- 3 for $10 at Ace. The time consuming part was choosing and building the coop. Here she is all finished!
My inspiration was this coop. I spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at coop designs. I learned that people spent a crazy amount of money building fancy coops or craft them from recycled materials inexpensively.
This William Sonoma coop is designed for 4 chickens so it’s the right size for us. We have 3 and I honestly don’t plan to ever have more than 3-4. Each chicken lays one egg per day so in a week we have 21 eggs coming our way which is perfect.
I wanted a design that wouldn’t be an eye sore in the backyard but $2,000 (before taxes and a $150 surcharge) isn’t happening.
I was over the moon to find an Ana White Chicken Coop plan at https://www.ana-white.com/woodworking-projects/small-chicken-coop-planter-clean-out-tray-and-nesting-box.
Found a blog from http://www.ladygoats.com/2016/07/building-chicken-house.html. Her blog is very informative and it gave me 2 sources to follow the same plan. Bingo!!!
This is very similar to the William Sonoma and met our criteria. I felt more comfortable with more than one resource for the same coop and now here is another one!
I printed off the Ana White plans and made notations from Lady Goats blog.
I went online and ordered all the supplies to be delivered from Lowe’s. Delivery day was exciting!
Sorted the lumber/supplies and labeled them with a sharpie on painters tape. Lowe’s did a great job and I got everything I ordered.
I also ordered a fresh blade for my miter saw. It was dull and starting to burn wood as I tried cutting our planter boxes recently.
Now with a new blade in place I could start on the cut list.
I put the plans on a clipboard to check off. Just went down the cut list and again labeled everything on painters tape.
I kept everything in sections- base, coop, tray etc to keep me super organized. Made me feel better about so many parts.
I didn’t have a circular saw so I used clamps and a wood strip as a guide for the jig saw. My husband held on to pieces for some of this tactic then said “buy a circular saw”.
Turns out you can buy a circular saw for about $60 that will do everything we needed.
The plans take you step by step.
Built the base for the run in the garage.
I attached hardware cloth to the inside of the run instead of chicken wire. It is said to be more predator proof.
Painted the base and doors white. We decided to carry it down into the backyard before attaching the doors so we had places to hold on to it.
This will be the final resting place because it’s HEAVY. I attached the hinges, handles and latch for the run before building the top of the coop.
Cutting the sides was the most intimidating part of the project. No spare sheets of wood so no room for error!!! I checked my measurements repeatedly before cutting.
In progress- it’s taking shape now. All assembly was done in the yard.
The girls were too young at that point but enjoyed safe, secure field trips in their run as I built. They made good company out there!
Next step was to attach the plywood main roof, nesting box roof and wall in between.
After the plywood I added sheets of roofing paper and metal ridged roofing with self sealing roofing screws. So fun when it rains!
I slapped white paint on between each step mainly because I was soooo excited to get to the cosmetics. Trimmed it out with 1×3’s and used 8 total. You can see me standing by it for scale- it’s not a small coop!
A few shots of the garden bed….I used random scraps and secured them to the 2×2 frame.
I covered the wood with extra roofing paper and drilled drainage holes. It may rot or be a disaster I just don’t know. Had to buy a whole roll of roofing paper which irked me and I didn’t want to buy landscaping stuff too. Ended up buying a roll at Aldi for under $5 so I have it if I have to redo it.
It took 2 bags of soil to fill the bed.
I planted herbs that are edible for the chickens plus marigolds and lavender should help with smell.
Painted all the trim white and made little shutters for the windows with scrap wood.
I put the nesting box door on and decided to paint it buffalo check.
Here you can see the finished nesting box door, shutters and garden.
I used contact paper on the walls inside for easy cleaning. You can get it at the dollar store but I spent $6 at Lowe’s. Still better than $40 for peel and stick wall paper.
I also made curtains for the nesting box using fabric twice as wide as the coop so it’s full. Sewed a pocket at the top for a tension rod to run through and cut 4 slits. Used some jute to tie sections open. Apparently they like their privacy while laying eggs!
The main floor of the coop pulls out for cleaning. I used scrap peel and stick tile on the bottom to make cleaning easier too.
Hung a little swing for them. It’s just a hunk of scrap wood with 4 holes and clothesline.
Made them a chick-nic table too! I put treats on it or food just for fun.
The last thing I added was lattice on the outside of 3 sides. My dogs wore out the grass circling the coop. I figured it may give the ladies a little more privacy and security from the dogs and predators.
Last night they moved out for good! We plan to let them free range when we can supervise on nice days for a few hours. Chickens eat fleas, ticks and mosquitos so it benefits us too. Now we just enjoy the ladies and wait for fresh eggs.
If you decided to tackle this coop I hope this is helpful. I am very happy with the design of it.
Wish us luck on raising the chickens now that they have fancy digs ~ Kristen