Chicken Coop Building: Days 1 and 2

We are taking the plunge!  We’ll be getting a couple of chicks the last week of April (after our road trip to Cali) and we decided that we better think about a coop for them to live in before we get too far into things.  I thought and thought about what our coop should look like, where it should go, how much room the chickens would need, etc.  I read books about keeping chickens and building chicken coops.  Then I drew up a plan of the hen house.  It was pretty rough.  This is an updated, revised version.  The run is not included here as I have not completely figured out how I want it to work yet.
PhotobucketOn Saturday, we took some old fencing from our neighbor’s back yard (with permission) and did some demolition on it during naptime.  Adam says that demolition always takes longer than you think.  That was true in this case.  It took all of nap time.  We also went to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and bought 2×4’s, hinges, nails,  and door pulls all for under $15.  We also went to Home Depot and got some clear plexiglas type stuff for roofing, some cedar fencing for walls, and some metal posts for the run.  That was $40.  I also need to buy some fencing wire for the run, but I haven’t decided what I want yet, so I’ll get back to you on that.  

On Sunday, after Easter egg hunting (thanks, Erin and Terry!), Clara passed out in a sugar coma and we went to work on the frame of the hen house.  We measured twice (or three times) and luckily only had to cut once except on one angled piece.  Its official, though.  I am really good at stripping bits in the drill while screwing in screws.  Clara woke up an hour later and we weren’t finished, so after she went to bed, we spent an hour and finished up, brushing up on our Pythagorean theorem along the way.  Here is our finished frame!!!  Its not perfect, but I’m not going to live in it, so who cares.  We left some “legs”  on it for leveling purposes later.  Thank goodness I have a husband who knows how to build things.  I never thought all those tools he collected in high school would really get used as much as they have.  Or by me for that matter.  More on finishing the hen house later!
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14 Responses to “Chicken Coop Building: Days 1 and 2”


  1. 1 Travis April 13, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Danette, You are so much butcher than I will ever be. While we’re on the cusp of home ownership and I’m acclimating myself to the idea of home repair, this level (design, wood sizing, etc.) is something I’m sure I’ll never reach. We’re still not sure what Wooster’s zoning laws are re. chickens, but if they’re allowed I imagine we’ll be purchasing a kit.

    • 2 mysillylittlelife April 13, 2009 at 1:42 pm

      It’s all Adam, to tell you the truth! I drew the design (that was easy), but I have no idea how to run a saw. Maybe we’ll have to visit and help you put a coop together.

  2. 3 Rick April 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    You’re a ways along but I’ll make this suggestion anyway. Hinge the roof so you can lift it up to gain access and for cleaning.
    Pythagorean theorem for carpenters is easy: can you remember 3,4,5? Or any multiple of that 9,12,15; 30,40,50.

    • 4 mysillylittlelife April 13, 2009 at 7:25 pm

      I was thinking the same thing, but I actually think I’ll hinge one of the walls so that I can just sweep everything right out. Trying to get it out from the top sounds impossible.

      • 5 Rick April 13, 2009 at 8:40 pm

        Looking at your plans I’m assuming you’re talking of one of the 4 foot sides. Remember the chickens will not be laying eggs exactly where you want and easy access will help.

      • 6 mysillylittlelife April 14, 2009 at 7:50 am

        Well, maybe the back two foot section. The four foot sections are under the roof, which might be a problem for opening and closing clearance. So, I may get rid of the egg access door and make it just one big door.

      • 7 Rick April 14, 2009 at 11:29 am

        I assume you’re using plywood. Cut a 3 or 4 inch piece to attach directly under the roof overhang and make the rest a door. This also gives you a place to anchor a latch.

  3. 8 Kristen April 13, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    OH my goodness, you are getting pets again! I will be expecting eggs when I visit you, you know how I love brown eggs. Remember mom used to bring them home from work sometimes.. . . .I don’t know who she got them from, but I think brown eggs are better.

  4. 10 Rick April 13, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    It’s not the color of the eggs that is better, it’s the feed and freshness. The eggs are brighter yellow and tastier.
    Tom & Sheila across from us at the lake are selling eggs from their “girls” and they’re great.

  5. 11 Karen April 13, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Wow I’m impressed Adam, and Danette good job. I have always tried to get home eggs, ever since Grandma introduced me to them in my 2o’s. So you girls had them alot of years of your life.
    Clara will most likely like them too, cooked like daddy does, Danette you ate scrambled eggs all the time at 2 yrs, until we moved to Bend. They were your favorite finger food and Kristen’s too.

    • 12 Becky April 13, 2009 at 8:25 pm

      Danette used to like eggs?!?!?!?!

      • 13 mysillylittlelife April 14, 2009 at 7:41 am

        It’s true. I had a traumatic egg experience involving my bike, a robin’s egg, and an almost fully formed embryo. Since then eating just an egg has seemed awful… at least when I can see it. If its in something (especially cookies and brownies), then I’m okay. Maybe I’ll get over it. It has been like twenty years…

  6. 14 Moon Over Martinborough May 14, 2009 at 3:29 am

    I hate the waiting for eggs part! Brown eggs are good but I say go for blue!


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