Our New Coop

Reader Contribution by Brenda Arthur
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My dream coop is done! At least enough for the chickens to move in!

I have waited several months for John to build our new chicken coop, and it is nearly complete (just decorative touches needed)! It is a triple coop that will house the meat/broiler chickens. One section will house the breeding hens and their rooster, the middle will be used for new hatchlings (if I don’t have a broody hen at the time and need to incubate the eggs), equipment and supplies, and the last section for the roosters to grow a bit before being moved to the chicken tractor in the pasture.

The coop is 8 by 24 feet. The interior is sectioned into three separate areas. The interior walls really aren’t walls but are chicken wire with a screen door to each area. This will help with heating and ventilation and also allow the older chickens to see and get used to the chicks before they are moved from the chick section. There are two chicken doors – one for each end section to let the chickens out to yet-to-be-built covered runs when they can’t be let out to free-range on pasture. We covered the outside in pre-primed osb instead of the usual T111 siding. Not as heavy, but it is fairly well protected from the weather and will be much easier to paint!

We started to paint the floor with marine paint so we could easily hose it down to clean – but after putting down a coat on one end, we decided against the paint. We will likely cover the entire floor with vinyl, as I had originally wanted. There is a very slight slope toward the back to allow for drainage so hosing it out periodically shouldn’t be a problem. No reason not to have a clean coop now!

The eves were left open for ventilation and will be covered with 1/2-inch hardware cloth as will the windows. Got to keep predators and other critters out! When it gets really cold out, I generally stuff straw in the eves to keep some of the cold at bay without sacrificing too much of the ventilation. We installed the windows backwards, at first on accident – silly me didn’t pay attention to the way I stuck it in the hole until it was screwed in place. Instead of taking it out and turning it around, we got to thinking that maybe that would be best anyway – I can open and close them without having to go into the coops now! A genius accident!

The plan is to add insulation to the walls and underneath the metal roof before winter. If we insulate the walls, we will cover them in shower board to make it easy to keep clean. Thinking of hosing it down when I do the floors! If we don’t get to the insulation before winter, we will stack straw bales along the walls as we have in the past.

A few final touches that we will add are old barn wood trim around the windows, a few tin farm signs and a coat of paint.

Would love flower boxes but the cows would knock them off. As it is, the cows see their reflections in the windows and moo at themselves. Guess they think there is a new cow in the lot they haven’t met yet! Hoping they don’t break out the windows!

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