The Coop (Part One)

Everybody seems very worried about this chicken coop, so--to keep fretting to a minimum--I'm posting our progress so far.  Honestly, I wasn't all that fussed about it until this morning when I opened the brooder (which now has a mesh lid) and 'Lani flew up and landed on my shoulder....the wee ladies may just be ready to go out a little sooner than I thought!

When I was looking for chicken coop plans a few months ago, I kept getting frustrated by the lack of specificity I found.  Lots of "You'll have to adjust the measurements to fit your site," and "Just measure your space out, and go from there."  I wanted exact lists of materials and cuts to make.  I promised myself that--once our coop was built--I'd make a really, really specific plan for others to use later.

And then we got started, and I realized that if anyone else tried to make my specific coop they would most certainly have to "adjust the measurements to fit their site" and "just measure the space out, and go from there."  Because a lot of the choices we made only make sense because of the space we were working with.

With that being said, our coop was basically built like this one.  We've spent about $80 so far, and here is a list of the wood we used to make the frame:

  • 1--12 foot 2x4 (cut in half by hardware store to fit in car)
  • 3--10 foot 2x4 (cut in half by hardware store to fit in car)
  • 8--8 foot 2x4
  • 1--4 foot x 4 foot piece of 1/2 inch thick plywood

We started at about 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, and were done with this part (including the trip to buy wood and a second trip to buy more screws and get frosty drinks) by about 7 p.m.

Here are some pictures of our assembly process:

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These are the 8 foot boards cut (basically) in half to make a square.

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The 4X4 piece of plywood attached to the top of the square.

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The legs for the platform.  The taller side has two 6 foot legs (from the 12 foot board).  The shorter side has two 5 foot legs.
 
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The platform standing up.

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Roof support pieces are added.  (This is also a good time to move the coop pretty close to where you want it to end up, if you aren't already there!)

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The legs of the other side of the coop are more 5 foot boards.

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We added two boards around the bottom to help make it more stable.

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The finished frame.  From back here you can see we also went ahead and added the frame for the nesting boxes (on the left side).  Next up, siding and fencing....