The Chicken Coop

We designed our chicken coop over the course of several grueling minutes, making an intricate sketch on the cleaner side of a lightly-used napkin.  Any details not included in this initial sketch, things like materials and dimensions, were made up as we scavenged and built.  Needless to say, we don't have any blueprints to share.

We used recycled 2X4s for the framing, a salvaged window for ventilation and second hand burlap coffee bags for insulation.  The siding is 2'' strips of cedar lathe, which somebody ripped out of an old wall and put on craigslist for us to come pick up, and, with the help of our friend James, pull out every nail and cut to size.  It was a tedious process, but the effect is lovely.

There is a 1' X 1' door for in the front for the chickens, and a large door on the side for cleaning.  The interior floor is lined with roofing paper and scrap linoleum, to prevent molding and rot from various chicken byproducts.  There are two roosts shared between our eight chickens.  Each of the four nesting boxes is delineated by cut up burlap sacks, and the roof above them opens up for easy egg collecting from outside of the run.

The attached run is about 20' long, with chicken wire extending 8' tall, and 1' below the ground to discourage industrious, digging raccoons.  The door to the coop is made of junk we found in a garage.  It has been described as "whimsical".  In response to one chicken fatality by bald eagle attack, a web of bungee cords has been strung up above the run.

Since the coop sits about 3 feet above the ground on four posts, the dry area underneath doubles as chicken food storage and the ever-important dust bath area.

The corrugated metal roof faces south, deflecting the hot summer sun.  There are two slender windows underneath the overhang to let in ambient light, and the salvaged window on the east side of the coop can be opened from inside the garden to help with ventilation.