April 6, 2014

Chicken Coop: Walls, Windows, Floor, Roost

Progress on the chicken coop continues.

Quarter inch plywood walls

We bought the plywood at our area builders surplus store. It is kind of junky but nothing a good paint job can't hide.

Cutouts for windows and chicken door. 

The windows are different sizes because they are the old storm windows.

Good old barn paint. 

I splurged on oil based barn paint for, hopefully, better protection of the wood. I used one of those foam craft brushes to paint the bottom edge of the plywood. That edge is often overlooked but needs to be protected from rain and water too.

After the paint, windows and trim.

Windows installed and trimwork in progress

1x3s finish the corners and cover the seams between sheets of plywood. More 1x3s are nailed midway between the seams, so that they are placed every 2 feet apart. These ones are decorative but, once painted, will give the building a more finished look.

Cap block floor for the storage area of the cop

Next Dan worked on a floor for the feed storage area. We priced materials and he decided on a cap block floor, The dirt was leveled and the block dried in, i.e. there is no mortar.

Wall to partition off the feed & equipment storage area

He used scraps of leftover plywood to make the wall between feed storage and coop areas. If you look closely you will see it doesn't go all the way to the ceiling. That's partly because I didn't think it necessary for him to rip a narrow section of plywood to finish it off. Also, I wanted to leave a gap for air circulation and light. If chickens manage to escape through that(!), we'll cover it with chicken wire.

Last but not least, I'm very excited to show you the roost Dan made.

"Tree" roost, eventually replaced with a conventional roost. Details here.

He had a cedar post which was too short for a fence post, but the perfect length for a tree inspired chicken roost. The poles are indeed branches, which are anchored to both the post and the wall.

As you can see, we're almost done! Nest boxes are next, shelves for the storage area, doors, and of course I have to finish painting. I just hope the chickens are as impressed with all this as I am.

Next post, Chicken Coop Countdown Checklist.


Frenchie said...

The coop is looking great! I wanted to let you know I finished reading your book last night and I loved it. So many good tips, insights and things I didn't know about you, like I didn't know you homeschooled your kids. We are in our last year of homeschooling. Yay! My husband is building another coop for me and says it is the last one he's doing because he is too old for all of this!

jewlz said...

I love seeing the progress on the coop. In particular love the tree roost-expect I'll be adding that to the long list of ideas I borrow from you!

tpals said...

If your hens are like mine, a couple of them will decide to roost on top of the partition wall. :)

Great coop. Definitely a job you will enjoy looking back on when it's done.

Sandy Livesay said...


Okay when do I move in???
Just teasing, the coop is really nice.

How cool is the tree roost, it's just totally amazing. I love the idea of using tree's, and branches. Recycle!!!!

Unknown said...

Its going to be the Taj Mahal of chicken coops with equally as much love gone into its making. That tree is amazing Dan. A lot of thought has gone into this project and im sure you will reap the rewards for many years. Well Done You Guys!!! Cant wait for the final pictures with chooks in residence.

GrannyAnnie said...

What a WONDERFUL chicken house! I love this! I especially like that tree roost, how clever!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you guys work fast! Loving that roost.

Leigh said...

Frenchie thank you! For both the compliments on the coop and my book. I hope you will consider doing a review on Amazon. Folks really do heed those. I had to grin at what your husband says. Mine says the same thing!

JW, borrow away. It's fun to inspire others. And it's fun to be inspired by others. :)

Tpals, you're probably right about that wall becoming a roosting place, LOL.

Sandy, too late, Dan says he's moving in, ;) The tree roost was a stroke of genius, I think.

Lynda, sometimes Dan thinks he does more thinking than doing. :)

Anna, thanks!

Sue, it helped that Dan just had tree days off to work on it. And no rain! :)

Farmer Barb said...

What a fine palace! A question about the feed storage room: will it have a proper door? I found my chickens to be a very dusty bunch with all manner of weird flaky business. You may want to put some clear plastic over that hole just to keep it cleaner in the People Portion of the house. Just a thought. You can always go back, but once you have nailed something up, it's up or scarred when you take it down.

Leigh said...

Barb, I'm wanting a Dutch door for in between feed room and coop. (Outer door will be a sliding barn type). I agree chickens are a dust-kickin' lot, but for now we'll just see how bad it actually is. One thing I've learned to do is to dampen the litter just a bit in summer. Just a bit to keep the dust down. I know it isn't healthy for me to breathe, and so figure it isn't all that healthy for the chickens either!

Mamma Bear said...

Very nice bur you had better go ahead and wire that space in. That will be one of the first places they will flutter to.

Nina said...

I love the new coop. I've seen worse plywood coming from a lumber store, so if it works, there isn't a problem. The new roost is awesome. My girls are always trying to find a higher place to hang out at night. They do like to find those little openings for escaping though. Some of mine found their way out of a tiny little 6 inch gap, that none of us figured was big enough for a chicken to fit through.

Rosalyn said...

It looks awesome! I will definitely have to copy dan's amazing roost when our chickens get their future upgrade from their little blue coop. I hope they love it!

Lynda said...

Your coop is wonderful! I love the tree roost...what a clever idea. I like the floor covering choice to...that's an idea I just may use myself.

Florida Farm Girl said...

That is a fine looking chicken coop and I love that roost. Much more stylish than most chickens ever get.

Woolly Bits said...

the tree roost is great:) I am sure your chicks will approve of it - eventually:) they'll probably have to get used to it first.... when are they going to move in?:)

Renee Nefe said...

Hopefully the chickens are so impressed with the lovely roost that they leave the wall alone. ;) It looks great...can't wait to see the roosting boxes.

Bag End Gardener said...

That is a seriously impressive hen house :} Love Dan's 'tree roost'. Although I don't keep hens it makes sense to me that if you can give them a roost which emulates, as closely as possible, what their non-domesticated ancestors would have chosen then you have much happier birds.

Laura said...

It looks great! You will need to put chicken wire in the gap between the storage and coop areas. I can guarantee that they will test their boundaries...

Love the roost!

Velva said...

What a super cool fabulous new chicken coop! Very nice. You guys did a great job.


Leigh said...

Mamma Bear, I'm hoping their wing clip will last at least a few weeks more. :) That and that they'll be so dazzled by the tree roost that they won't want to go anywhere else, LOL

Nina, I reckon bad wood is why they invented paint!

Rosalyn, thanks! The roost is really cool, isn't it?

Lynda, thanks! I wouldn't have thought to use cap block but it's pretty economical compared to brick or landscaping rocks and stones. I think it looks nice and will be easy to keep fairly neat.

Sue, thanks! I just hope the chickens appreciate it. :)

Bettina, not sure of an exact move in date yet. All we really need for that is doors and to move the chicken yard fencing. The painting could be finished even after that. I plan to lure them in with treats, or so I think!

Laura, that's chickens in a nutshell, isn't it? Extremely annoying!

Velva, thank you!

Mom at home said...

I love reading your progress on your 5 acres. I always wanted to have a little place like this but due to my declining health, we chose to stay in town. I love reading about your life and updates to your home. I went back and read from the beginning and really enjoyed it. I garden and homeschool too! Thank you for sharing!

Felecia Cofield said...

Hi Leigh! What a very nice coop! I think the chicken roost is a great idea! We will keep that in mind when we build our future coop. I just love the red barn paint! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

Cassandra said...

It looks great! Hope the chickens appreciate the very artistic roost. :)

Izzy said...

I can hardly wait to see photos of the girls in their new abode!

M.E. Masterson said...

Wow that is some coop! Love it! Mtn Man looked at the screen and said is that somebody's little cabin...nope its a chicken coop....Wow!
Looks great and love the color...sure the chickens will love it!

Kev Alviti said...

Looking good! I like the roost. I made one simular years ago for my mum's aviary, the birds loved it.

Mama Pea said...

I think the overhang adds so much to the attractiveness of the new Taj MaCoop! I could be wrong, but I think you're going to find your feed/storage area will get terribly dusty/dirty with that open space at the top of the partition wall. A friend built a chicken house he thought was tight . . . a wall and door between the chickens and the feed area . . . but everything was always coated with "dust" in the feed area.

Your unique tree roost reminds me of a spiral staircase in a house!

Leigh said...

Mom at Home, thank you! It's so nice to meet someone with common interests. I'm truly sorry your health keeps you from following your dream

Felecia, thanks! I thought Dan's idea for the roost is pure genius!

Cassandra, knowing chickens, they probably won't even notice, LOL

Izzy, me too!

M.E. it almost does look like a little house, doesn't it? :)

Kev, thanks! Avairy's usually seem to have better ideas, don't they. I know the one's I've seen at zoos do.

Mama Pea, Taj MaCoop! LOL. Great name; I can't wait to tell Dan. Yes, I know all about dust in the chicken coop. I've lived with it for the past four years with our current coop and can't expect this feed area to stay terribly clean either. Not if they're in the same building anyway.

Chris said...

Very impressive, and very close to being finished. One thing I found with my coop, which is similar but not exactly the same - is not enough light or ventilation. I found all the spiders loved making their webs in the rafters and it became a hotbox in summer.

We're going to modify the coop soon, to introduce more air and light. I imagine in winter though, you would want to be able to close it all up, to retain heat. Our winters never get that cold.

Anonymous said...

It's fabulous Leigh! If those chickens aren't impressed, there is something wrong with them lol. Well done!!


Tanmoy Roy said...

Wonderful chicken coop ideas! Love all. Thank you!

Mark said...

Hi Leigh! New follower to your blog here, and probably a few weeks behind you in turning an old bus house (place for kids to wait for the school bus out of the weather) into my first chicken coop. I'll be studying your work closely and my be borrowing the roost tree idea. You have a great blog all the way around and I really glad to your coop work as mine is kicking off. If you're interested, I'm just a few days into my own homesteading blog where I'll be posting my progress, I'd love to hear your thoughts as my coop comes together. [Hoosier Country Home].

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

That is a helluvah Coop! I'm thinking close to the size of my mountain house!!

I still best the chickens though... I did not see a 42inch tv coupled to a netflix account.


Leigh said...

Chris, you're so right about light and ventilation, they are key to healthy chickens. Hopefully, we've got a good amount of both!

Stephanie, the chickens have been more impressed with the piles of dirt Dan made while laying the foundation, LOL

Tammay Roy, thank you!

Mark, hello and welcome! Thank you so much for introducing yourself. I appreciate your kind comments about my blog. What a great idea to turn that old bus house into a chicken coop. I'm on my way over to your blog right now.

Cloud, LOL. But I think your house beats our chicken coop any day. :)

Debby Riddle said...

Looks dandy!

Leigh said...

Hi Debby! Thanks!