April 21, 2014

Chicken Coop Countdown Checklist

We're getting to that point in this project where Dan is anxious to be finished and move on to something else! We've gotten a few more things accomplished since my last update, and have a few more to go.

Done:
  • Nest boxes


  • Door between the storage area and coop area.

The bottom door swings into the storage room.
The top of the door swings into the coop. Slats
allow  for light,  visibility, and air circulation. 

Close-up. 

I really like the dutch door in the goat shed, so Dan also made one for the coop. The bottom door swings out, the top swings in. The thing we learned from the goat shed is that it's difficult to swing the bottom half in, when the floor is covered with deep litter! The top is slatted so I can see in, plus allows better ventilation and light. Best of all, it's wide enough for a wheelbarrow!

Still to do:
  • Exterior door 

Dan's looking into a sliding barn door

  • Coop entry door for chickens
  • Finish painting exterior


  • Cover openings between storage and coop with hardware cloth
  • Paint interior


  • Gutter and rain catchment

We will probably use one of those 275 gallon totes like we did for the
rainwater catchment system on the house. It will fit under the overhang.

  • Extend chicken yard (a fencing project)

Green shows the proposed expansion of the chicken yard.
Stars indicate separate chicken gates which could control
(theoretically) which pasture the chickens have access to.

Expanding the chicken yard will give them more room when they aren't free ranging. There's also a nice little thicket there, a perfect hidey spot from hawks. The yard will border both front and back pastures. With a second chicken gate into the front pasture, we can direct where they graze.

So much to do and never enough time! Such is the plight of every homesteader. The key is to find contentment in the work itself, not in the expectation of the work finished.

Next → "Chicken Door for the Chicken Coop."


19 comments:

Lynda D said...

Totally Awesome Chook shed. I cant imagine ever being finished so im hanging my hat on your last sentence.

Dawn McHugh said...

Thats a great Chicken House, I fancy moving into it myself whithout chickens of course, I was drawing up a sketch for hubby the other day on how I would like the new house to be and it had a stable door on it with storage underneath, I was thinking of a shed, as if we ever get moved we wont be able to take the one we have and need something very quick to put together.

Leigh said...

Lynda, that's the eternal challenge!

Dawn, thanks! In hindsight we should have made both halves of the stable door open the same way. It would have been easier for the chickens's door, but for some reason I got it in my head that I wanted the top to open in!

Nina said...

It's a wonderful design and lovely that it's almost finished. I love that brightness of it and how a new building like that feels so fresh. We have 4 nesting boxing for our girls and it's hilarious to see them pile in beside one another because they all want to lay in the same box!

Izzy said...

I can hardly wait to see the final coop! Nice project, that I'm sure your girls will love!

12Paws said...

Your last sentence is a true gem! A lifetime mission statement! Thanks for sharing your life.

Mama Pea said...

Yep, it's the journey, not the destination. I think I need that tattooed on my forehead for when we're in the middle of a not-so-fun project!

Your new chicken house is looking fabulous! If we could just convince the chickens to keep up with their housekeeping duties (!) and insure it looks as nice always as when they first move in!

In our last "walk-in" chicken house, we built the floor of the chickens' part a step down so that the door could open (in) even though the litter got built up at times. We just have a very small house for our small number of chickens now but if we ever build another bigger house, I think we'll use that idea again.

Felecia Cofield said...

Hi Leigh! That is one nice coop! I'll be so glad when we can do something like that! And yes, I love what you said in the last sentence! I needed to read that today! Hope ya'll had a nice Easter! Blessings from Bama!

Debby Riddle said...

This is wonderful! I love the Dutch door with the slats.

Lynda said...

My chickens are jealous! When I first came to the ranch I had a big awesome walk-in chicken coop and I just loved it...a section for feed, another for the layers, an area for the brooders and another section for the broilers. When I went back to work my husband turned it into a storage shed...now that I'm back home "farming" I'd love that shed back...At the moment my girls' are in a raised coop...nice, but nothing fancy and not big enough for a real "chicken operation"...your coop would be just perfect!

Michelle said...

I love, Love, LOVE it! Your girls will be so happy with their new home!

A Joyful Chaos said...

It's looking very nice!

Blessings~

Mark said...

The coop looks great! Your Dan is a far better craftsman than I. I'm just starting to build my own laying boxes and will be taking a close look at your pictures! I'm very excited for you and am looking forward to seeing the finished project.

I also very much agree with your final comment. Finding contentment in the work is one key to a healthy perspective on what really matters.

Leigh said...

Nina, thanks! It will be even brighter once I get done on the inside. And isn't it funny how hens just have to have the occupied nest?

Izzy, thanks! I hope they appreciate it, lol.

12Paws, thank you! I have to keep reminding myself.....

Mama Pea, that's a good idea about the step down floor. Ours is a little that way, but I've had so much trouble with the goat shed door that we decided to have it open the other way. You make a good point, experience is a valuable teacher.

Felecia, thanks! I hope your chicken coop building is soon. :)

Debby, I'm very fortunate Dan can accommodate my whims!

Lynda, well, I tried to plan for all that but now think we should have placed the chicken door more in the middle. I reserved a corner for a brooding area and hoped to give little chicks better access to the chicken yard once Mama is ready. This door is farther than I originally wanted, but why didn't I catch it earlier!?!?!?!

Michelle, we'll see, lol

A Joyful Chaos, thank you and welcome!

Mark, thanks! Dan doesn't think he's all that great but he certainly does an excellent job in my book. Still, it's rewarding to build you own, don't you think?

Sandy said...

Leigh,

Beautiful coop!!!! I think I've found a second home, lol
Maybe I can put up some curtains, what do you think???

Teasing!!!!

You and Dan do excellent work :-)

Jody said...

You guys are inspiring!

Jayne Hill said...

That is a seriously "5 star" chicken shed :} Well done to you both.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hi Leigh, Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog! I checked out your book from the library and even though I don't have animals (wish I could have chickens) I enjoyed it! Nancy

Chris said...

A bit late to reply on this one, but just had to say how great the coop is looking. I can see a lot of thought has gone into it, and hopefully you'll reap the rewards with happy and productive hens. :)