Our Cozy Chicken Coop

The Chicken Coop (or Chicken Condo) is finally finished! As soon as we saw this property, I saw this empty space and immediately saw the vision for a beautiful garden area with a giant chicken coop and pretty laying hens, so when we got around to starting on this baby, I was so excited. Because we started in January, daylight savings + short sunlight hours, and my sweet hubby’s work schedule, we really only worked on this coop during the weekends up until about March, so it took us about 5 months to completely finish. Keep in mind we did everything with our own hands, but hired out some help for the concrete slab, and the metal installation of roof, so it was totally expected to take up some time.

Be sure to follow along on my Instagram: @theroostingplace for real-time updates and project progress!

For several months we spent all our free time building up this beautiful coop- and let me tell you, every second was worth it. There are more updates and additions to come over time, but for now, I am so happy to have this to a beautiful, functional “stopping” point. Through all the sweat, frustrations, learning curves, and time away from friends, my dream coop was born-and it brings tears to my eyes every time I look at it during the golden hours of evening. I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for a willing husband, and father in law, who were willing to help bring my dream to life. The memories made while building this coop are some that I will surely cherish forever.

For more updates and projects, follow my Instagram: @theroostingplace

We based all our designs off of Twelve on Main’s Coop Plans. Sarah has a gorgeous coop and several other adorable farm building plans, so we bought her plans then tweaked them to fit our needs. Some big differences we made were our concrete slab (highly reccomended for easy cleaning purposes), dimensions of the coop and run, and our choice of roofing material. While we did most of the coop based off our own intiution, it was great to have these plans on hand for reference when we got “stuck”! So lets take a look, shall we!

Click HERE to for FAQ’s regarding the coop build (paint + stain choices, building +roofing materials, etc.)

The Coop

Our coop is a 10’x10′ building and is split into two sections: a front storage area and the actual coop for the hens. The two are seperated by a interior wall lined with chicken wire and an old refurbished screen door that was gifted by my mother in law.

In the front half, we installed some cabinets for storage, a feed bin, (we will probably buy another one for the pine shavings), and hooks that hold the cleaning shovels. There are also doors that swing open for access to the nesting boxes, secured by cabinet “roller clips”.

Our enclosed coop has 2 functioning windows, 1 unfunctional (for now) window, 6 nesting boxes, a roosting ladder, and perches made from sturdy limbs collected from around the property. (Of course, the chickens much prefer to roost in the rafters)

Did you know that chickens poop where they roost??? For this reason, I also included a chicken “litter box” underneath all the perching zones which is filled with sand to hopefully make the cleaning process simpler. Will keep you updated on this endeavor, right now the sand makes the coop extra dusty, as they love to dust bathe in the sandy areas.

***EDIT: The chickens ended up spreading the sand everywhere, so removed the sand barrier and now leave a layer of sand on the whole floor, then cover with pine shavings.***

The Run

Our run is approximately 8’x12′. We opted not to allow our hens to free-range, as we have several predators like hawks, bobcats, and coyotes that frequently pass through our property. To accommodate, we created a completely enclosed run, which shares a roofline with the coop. We lined the bottom of the run with chicken wire, then covered it with mulch. This way, the hens can roam inside and out of the coop freely, all while minimizing the risk of predator attacks.

Inside the coop are several chicken-friendly herbs and plants, which are separate from my herb garden, meaning the chickens are free to peck and eat these to their heart’s desire, all while providing nutrition and protection. If these ever get too picked over, it will be easy to place a cloche over these plants until they have recovered and can be consumed again. To read more about chicken-friendly foliage and some benefits, click here!

***EDIT: to read some an updates and adjustments we have made to our coop and run since the initial build, please click here.

We also built the chickens a roosting tree out of sturdy branches found on the property, as well as made a chicken swing to keep the ladies entertained!

For those of you wondering, yes, there is a door to the run from the coop. We ordered an automatic door from Omlet, and at the time of publishing this post, the door has not arrived yet. It will be placed approximately in the center of the run to the left of the roosting tree. This battery-powered door will allow the chickens to enter the run at a set time, and then safely enclose them inside the coop in the evening at another set time. I’m very excited about this feature and cannot wait to share more with you about this automatic chicken door.

***EDIT: The run door did come in, and is an AMAZING addition to the coop. To read a little more about the updates we have made to the coop, please click here.

Over time I aim to add several more fun details to this adorable coop (think chandeliers and fun signs)! We also plan to hire an electrician to wire this baby up, but for now, we are packing up the tools and are ready to move on to the next project! We have so many more garden area projects in store: new fencing, more garden boxes, a greenhouse, and ground covering/pathways, I wonder what we will tackle next?

Be sure to follow along on my Instagram: @theroostingplace for real-time updates and project progress!

Talk soon.

xx, Lanna

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