This is our chicken coop. I designed it and we built it almost two years ago when we got our first set of 10 baby chicks! You can’t really see it in this picture but my favorite parts are the rooster weather vane on the roof, and the cute heart windows.
One of the great features of the coop is the nesting boxes. You can get the eggs without even going inside the coop. We use some organization bins filled with shavings for boxes. The mini roof of the nesting boxes is the same as the roof over the whole coop.
I designed the coop for both attractiveness and easy-cleaning. On the opposite side of the coop to the nesting boxes there are two sets of doors which open to the roosting bars. We used to use removable trays filled with shavings below the bars and we would take them out and clean them, but they were heavy and filled the compost pile with shavings so when we expanded our flock- thus adding another set of bars- we decided to change to tarp slings.
This is the inside of the coop. You can see the roosting bars and slings on the left (the doors are behind those), and the 4 nesting boxes on the right. We have 12 chickens right now, and I think 4 laying boxes is a good amount for them. The 3 windows always stay open for air except in winter or really heavy rain that might blow in.
11 of our chickens are standard size, and we have 1 buff silkie bantam. She gets along well, actually better than some of the standard chickens. She’s definitely a little intimidated by the large chickens though.
This is where our 8 baby chickens were living while we were in SE Asia in the Fall. Now we use it as a home for the chickens who are especially bullied, and when there is peace, we just remove the chicken wire door.
There is a big door and a chicken door into the coop, and a little ramp to the small door. The chickens don’t actually use it though because after some rain the little slats for traction came off and now it’s like a slippery slide to come down on. Most of the chickens just use the stairs to get up.
Before getting chickens we thought about getting nipple drinking fountains, but in the end we got this automatic waterer from the feed store for a much lower price. I clean it out every few days because the bowl gets dirty from dust, and a few times we’ve come up and seen that someone didn’t put it on well so it fell off and the chickens were parched, but overall it’s a great waterer and I would recommend it.
We keep the feed, treats, and clean shavings in galvanized trash cans outside the coop. So far we haven’t had any animals get in the cans.
I made a shoe brush outside the coop by unscrewing the handle from a push broom and attaching that to a piece of plywood that I staked into the ground.
This is Pippa our banty!
The whole coop and run is built within a dog run surrounded with chain-link fence, which keeps out the big predators (we live in the country!), and then under the coop part is a cement slab. The space under the coop is surrounded by about 1 cm2 hardware cloth, and the whole bottom of the run and bottom 2 feet of the walls of the run are covered in hardware cloth too. The hardware cloth on the bottom of the walls overlaps with normal chicken wire which covers the rest of the walls and the ceiling of the run (we have hawks too). We call it the chicken fortress! There’s a door in the back which we use to let them out into the rest of the old dog run with supervision, and then we put them back into the enclosed run. Anyway, I think it’s a pretty good design, and it’s really cute from the outside too! (because that’s what we all want in our chicken coops right?)