Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Building a Chicken Coop - Part 2

Chickens will need a few basic things to prosper: shelter, roost, food, water, and a nesting area.  Any good setup will provide these and hopefully good foraging space.  The coop is the natural place to provide shelter, a roost, and the nesting box.  I plan on running five chickens so the coop will need to accommodate at least that number.  Suitable roosting space should be provided while two nests should suffice.

The first thing to do is cut the bottom out of the box and replace it with wire.  This allows the poop to go through to the ground and minimize any cleaning that will need to be done.  In this photo you can also see the bottom wire and the foundation that is being put into place for the nesting box (red boards).

Next is building a nesting box.  I chose to go a really simple route and built a box with a divider in the middle.  This will give two nesting areas, which should suffice for five chickens.  Behind the box I cut out the board and then replaced it by attaching it with hinges.  There is a sliding lock on the outside.  This way we can remove eggs without taking off the lid of the coop.
The final piece to put in place was the roost.  This was attached from the side all the way across in front of the nesting area.  I like to use a tree limb for the roost.  I also put in a lower one in case they needed more room.  You can see the roost in the picture of the coop being painted.  I wanted to make it look like an old barn so we went with red paint with white trim.  The girls are expert painters.

In the next post I'll show the final product with the lid and how it's placed inside the foraging area.

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