Dreams Coming True
Today I wanted to share how we built our dream chicken coop! In my last post I shared with y’all 9 reasons to get backyard chickens and the why, where & how we got our 9 chickie babies! Since then, we did get 2 more chickies for a total of 11 now, y’all in the chicken world know how that chicken math works?!!! The chicks up until they grow their adult feathers, that help maintain their body heat, must live in a brooder (small pen), that is heated until that time comes, about 6-8 weeks. So they have been in a kiddie play pool in our sunroom until we build them a proper coop to move into.
My husband and I had to make a decision whether to buy a cheap pre-made coop, which can be small, hard to clean, and only last a couple years. But would be easy and a cheaper option.
Building our dream chicken coop and putting in the time and effort to make it last, easy to clean, and of course pretty! We went with the latter!
I am a Pinterest Princess, and go there daily for inspiration, projects, DIY, and recipes, so I went there first to find coops I loved! If you want to check out my Pinterest Board, click here! Lots of goodies on there and don’t forget to follow! So I narrowed it down to a handful of coops I loved, and sort of meshed them all together to make my ultimate dream chicken coop! I had one favorite coop, The Chez Poulet Chicken Coop, that is a popular coop to build. I ordered her plans to give us an idea of where to start, then added our changes to it.
Then we had to figure out sizing. Chickens need about 2-3 sq ft per hen inside the coop, and 8 sq ft in an outdoor run. Also, half our hens are a smaller breed so they actually need less space than that. With that in mind, the spot we picked in the yard has 4 cement footings from a previous water tower that was destroyed in a hurricane. We wanted to use them/hide them, so we chose to build over them. The final coop size perimeter we decided on is 8.5′ x 12′. The coop itself is 8.5′ x 4′ which is 34 sq ft, then giving each hen the max space of 3 sq ft, we could get 11 large hens! The chicken run is 8.5′ x 8′ which is 68 sq ft, giving us room for about 8.5 larger hens. However, we also have the goat pen area and our main backyard that we will let the hens out into for awhile every day when we let the goats graze. So that run size didn’t concern us as much, and it should still be plenty of space for the hens!
To the Drawing Board
I drew up my version of our chicken coop, and all the measurements of each stud, walls, doors, windows, roof, etc. Ended up being like 20 hand drawn pages, I impressed myself! And then my husband brought it all to life! Please note that we are novices at building, the only other building my husband has built is our goat barn out of free palette wood. If you would like to check out our goat barn, click here. We learned a lot from building the goat barn, and tried to implement what we learned when building this coop. We still have a lot more to learn for sure, so please don’t judge if we didn’t do something perfectly! But I am damn sure impressed with my husband at what he has built, it is beautiful!
So here is what we have finished so far in order of how we built it. Up until the last picture we were about half way done, so you will just have to check back when we are all finished to see Part 2!
Thanks for checking out how we built our dream chicken coop!
Here are some items we used in our build:
We used the Rubr Coat #57 for the floor of the chicken coop so it gives a barrier between the wood and be waterproof, we could even hose it down if we need to! We also decided to go with the more expensive hardware cloth for the run, the black color, because it is like a window or porch screen, it is more see-through than a metal version. Also, it will not rust and have to be replaced in a couple years because it is protectively painted, it should last forever. Lastly, my husband said he had to wear his cowboy hat, put him in the mood to build! LOL!