Sunday, May 20, 2012

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As our chickens have been growing quickly over the past few weeks, so has their backyard home. We showed you the original concept for the chicken coop several posts ago, but now we can show you the real thing!

First we chose the spot where we wanted to place the chicken coop. We took some time to level out the soil and placed some landscaping pavers under our floor sections. Leveling the soil helps the rest of the coop stand up straight, and the pavers should keep the wood from being in direct contact with the soil, which would cause it to rot.


The wall pieces were actually assembled in our basement over the winter, so that step went pretty quickly.  We just laid out the walls, stood them up, and fastened them together. We're glad we took the time to build these last winter, because it was a big time-saver during construction.


After the walls were standing, we raised the roof! Both literally and figuratively. This step was a little tricky just because the roof was a large, heavy piece that we needed to lift 8 feet off the ground. That required two people, each with their own ladder, to lift the roof and climb the ladders in synchronization.


Things really started to look like a chicken coop after we attached the sheathing, windows, and door. That's the same charming, used door that we picked up at the ReStore several months ago. It looked much better after a fresh coat of paint. The sheathing is just several sheets of OSB (oriented strand board) that we cut to the proper size for each wall.  We installed the windows backwards, so that we can open them from the outside. This allows us to get some air flow through the coop to provide ventilation and keep the temperature down in the summer.


It's important to keep the chicken coop dry, so we took lots of care to seal up the roof using roofing caulk. We even laid down tar paper and asphalt shingles. We hadn't shingled anything before, but luckily the internet can teach you to do anything! This handy YouTube video was a great resource for us. The coop has been through a couple of rain storms already and we haven't seen any signs of a leak.


It required a lot of discussion at the hardware store, but we finally settled on the perfect shade of blue to paint the outside walls of the coop. The color pairs nicely with our bright compost bin, and has just the right amount of country charm with a little seaside flair mixed in.


The outdoor run is covered with 1/2" hardware cloth (wire mesh) to keep the chickens in and most importantly to keep predators out. You might think that we don't have to worry about predators in our urban neighborhood, but that's not the case. Cities have lots of animals that can harm chickens, including raccoons, foxes, hawks, and domestic dogs. We haven't finished this yet, but we'll bury the hardware cloth around the perimeter of the run to keep animals from digging under it.


Now that they are fully feathered (about 4-5 weeks) the ladies (plus Frenchie) have moved out into their new home. They were a little nervous about it at first, but now they seem to be settled in nicely. As far as we can tell, they like their new coop better than their old cardboard box.


This chicken coop was a lot of work, but we are thrilled with how it's turned out. The two of us didn't really have much carpentry experience, but by taking it one step at a time, we've built an attractive coop that will keep our backyard flock healthy and safe for many years.
This post has been shared at Simple Lives Thursday.

2 comments:

  1. I absolutely LOVE your coop!!! Great job! :O)

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  2. really neat! Love it!

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