The chicken coop build part 2

Completed chicken coop with run

I ran out of steam on writing my last blog post on how to build a chicken coop. Mainly I ended up moving to Colorado shortly after it’s completion. Yes, I took the coop with us when we moved, the moving company was more than amicable when loading up the coop.

When I started building it I knew that we would most likely be moving. My wife was in the store manager training program and for her to get a store we would more than likely have to move to a new area. I was also out growing my shop space and it was time to search for a larger location.

With all that moving in mind I design the coop so it could be able to be disassembled and reassembled easily so it could be transported to the new location when the time came.

Chicken Nesting Box how big should it beI started out building the nesting boxes. Chickens like to have a safe place and a little privacy to lay their eggs. A good size box is about 12” wide 12” tall by 12” deep. I built this one out of plywood; the total dimensions are 36” wide by 24” tall by 12” deep, with room for 6 nesting boxes. When figuring out how many boxes you need for your flock, a good rule of thumb is one box for every 3 birds. They do share the boxes and most of the time my chickens lay in the same box.  Now I don’t think I will ever have 18 birds but you know that old saying “Bigger is always better”.

The nesting box will not be attached to the coop but sit inside against the wall. This way it is easy to slide out to be cleaned.

Preassembled wall panelTo make the coop movable I am building the walls in panels that can be lifted into place and screwed together. They can then easily be unscrewed, and the coop can be disassembled on moving day.

Painted wall panels prior to installationHere are three of the 4 walls ready to be installed. The 4th wall will be the doors to add access to the inside of the coop for cleaning.

Chicken coop baseI used 4×4 pressure treated for the legs to hold up the base.

All wall panels flown into placeAll 4 walls are screwed together and on the base.

Pre fab roof panels on pre-fabricated wall panelsOnce I shingle the roof It may be too heavy for me to lift back off. Hopefully when we move this will be the only thing I have to replace.

Roost for chickens in coopFor the roost I cut a 2×4 in half and notched the ends to fit over some plywood spacers screwed to the inside of the coop.

Chicken coop Poop board for cleaning out coopCleaning the coop was one of my major concerns. When we had a cat I hated cleaning the cat box, it was totally gross. This little feature makes cleaning really easy and the coop is a lot less gross than a cat box. I lined the coop with some sheet vinyl wrapping it up the sides about 6”. On the door end I added a hinged board wrapped in vinyl as well. When it comes time to clean out the coop I just roll up the wheel borrow, flip down the board and rake out the chicken poop and old shavings. I then flip up the board, add new fresh shavings and the coop is clean.

Vent your chicken coop to keep it smelling fresh I installed a vent to allow fresh air to circulate through the coop.  This helps keep the chicken coop smelling fresh between cleanings as well as better health for the chickens.

hardware cloth to protect from predatorsTo keep predators out of the run and coop I dug a trench about 12” deep and 12” wide and berried some wire mesh to prevent them from getting into the run. If something wants to eat my chickens it will have a lot of work to do to get in. This also helps keep mice and other rodents out so they don’t eat the chickens feed. Which is especially important if you don’t want a rodent explosion, if mice find a good food source and a place to sleep; they make babies faster than rabbits.

Completed chicken coop with runWell here is a picture of the completed chicken coop and run. It made it safely from Portland Oregon to Elbert Colorado in the middle of winter. I had a ton of fun reassembling it between snow storms. People often ask what we did with our chickens we had in Portland. The short answer is we brought them with us, our daughter would not have it any other way. The full story is they stayed with friends until I was able to finish reassembling the coop and then we had them shipped via the United States Postal Service. Yes the US Postal Service will ship full grown live birds. You have to have a special box with filters and cannot ship them over the weekend. When we had them shipped out local post office called us as soon as they arrived so we could go pick them up. This way they would not be stuck in the box any longer than they had to. All three chicken made it here in good health and where happy for some fresh scratch and for my daughter to give them all the hugs they could handle.

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