It was for my birthday in January this year that my husband John said he would build me a chicken coop. John is very creative and handy, and I expected this project to be banged out in a weekend or so.
But first it required me to do a bit of research on how the chicken coop should look. So, I looked through my back issues of Backyard Poultry magazine to see any designs or ads for designs. The Eglu looked interesting, akin to IKEA's answer to a chicken coop, and it comes in colors, but it only held 2 chickens. John's comment? "I'm not having any plastic chicken coop!"
The Henspa seemed to be the Cadillac of chicken coops (movable on wheels, slanted nest boxes so the eggs roll back for easy collection), but starting at $1200 plus freight, it seemed a bit pricey. Plus John was eager to take on the challenge: "Pshaw! I'm not buying a chicken coop!"
A British company, Greenhill Joinery, had some interesting coops also (run area sized for a human to walk in, elevated roost area to keep predators out), but seemed heavy on the joinery. John's response: "I'm not shipping a chicken coop from England!"
We discussed the merits of all the coop examples we saw. John started drawing and planning, and soon he was buying wood. The project was most definitely not banged out in a few weekends, what with our barn project also taking priority this spring. But the coop was mostly finished by the time the chickens arrived last month, and was rolled out of the barn and housed the chickens during the daylight hours of the barn party.
So, here it is...the new coop painted Childlife swing set green: (really it is for chickens. Just ignore the human in there.)
With a human door in the front and windows in the side of the roost to check out what's happening in there.
Removable nest boxes.
Several perches and a chicken ladder for the ladies to access their evening roost.
And wheels on a scissors jack to help move it around, which you can't see very well in these photos.