Dad’s Chicken Coop

For the last couple of years, my Dad and I have been talking about all this “eco-friendly stuff”. He’s been interested in trying to get a little bit more back to the land, maybe start doing some sort of home-based business that focuses on recycling or raising plants or animals.

Not long ago, he started talking about having chickens. Now, when I was a kid, we did have chickens. Big mean ones that were taller than me. Meat chickens. Headless in the fall with a hatchet in the back yard chickens. Yes, I’m emotionally scarred, and ate WAY too much chicken as a kid, but that’s what we had.

These chickens are NOT going to be that again. Instead, they are little baby hens, that we have to raise to maturity, and take good care of. In return, they’ll give us eggs.

A couple weeks ago, my Dad picked up the dozen mixed variety lot at the feed store. Cute little puffy bits of brown and yellow fuzz. We took my 18-month-old daughter over to visit the chicks. She immediately started calling them “Baby Peeps”, which was both descriptive, and fit within her vocabulary. So, while the little chicks are temporarily living in the garage, it’s time to build a real chicken coop for them.

My father is a remodeler by trade, so if the coop looks in any way overbuilt, too cutesy, or a bit fancier than you might make it, blame it on that. He also pretty much cleaned out all his old material to build the coop from. I suppose that if you did up a bill of materials on this project using all NEW materials, it might get expensive. The windows on this project are particularly interesting. The main window is worth about $800. It was a $800 mistake that the lumberyard made when they mis-measured a window to be replaced. Few chickens are lucky enough to have such a nice window. Likewise, the small end window is kind of fun too. It’s a window sample. While fully functional, it’s too small for any legitimate use. It’s actually a SAMPLE window – one that a window salesman would carry around to show to a homeowner. And it’s just PERFECT for chickens!

Other interesting features of the coop are the stilts and trap door. Since the area is uneven, the 4×4 post legs lift the coop off the ground, but that not only deals with the slope, it also allows for chicken ingress/egress AND provides a shaded area under the coop for the chickens to hang out under!

When finished, the coop will have chicken wire around the sides and back of the coop. The wire will extend out the front to create a fenced-in chicken run that the birds can easily come and go from.

Still to be completed is the built-in feeder, and the nesting boxes. I’ll make sure to get some photos of those as the construction progresses.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 PC July 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm

On a smaller scale, if the stilts are tall enough, a wheelbarrow can be left under the flooring (directly under the roost) for a hands-off litter keeper, reducing grunt-work when cleaning. Just a thought.

2 JAMES R. December 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Thank you Sir for sharing this story. I really enjoyed reading it.
I have chickens myself as well as ducks & guinea birds.
In my experience, Hardware cloth is better suited for protecting chickens from predators than hexagonal wire fabric. The reason being, is that Hardware Fabric is much heavier & harder(if not impossible) for predators to get through. It is also just as easy to work with…The down side is, it is more expensive.
If you have possums, raccoons, mink, or any other type of predators in your area, I would suggest using hardware fabric.

3 astral mage instrucbles October 3, 2013 at 9:52 am

shouldve put in a remote camera to c wat the chickens are up to

4 Ben N October 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I joked about adding a web-cam.
That way, everyone on the internet could watch the chickens.

5 Gary Ronan July 9, 2014 at 1:21 am

Have you put curtains on the windows yet? I bet the girl’s would love that!
My father and his family raised chicken’s commercially in Warroad MN. Before WW2.
I didn’t get in on that, 10 plus years before I arrived.

Gary in Stacy.

6 admin July 10, 2014 at 8:23 am

Nope, no curtains, but the big window in the chicken coop is actually a very expensive high-end low-e glass window! It was a window custom ordered for a lake house that the lumber yard messed up the order, and had to eat the charge. It was custom, so it couldn’t be returned. That meant that this really nice window was just kicking around for a while, not doing anyone any good. My Dad basically built the coop around this window. Man, these chickens have it good….

7 Lee June 3, 2015 at 8:37 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. I love the design specially the window. For more tips in building your chicken coop Click here.

8 Harry Welch March 28, 2016 at 5:18 am

Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading this and it is very interesting. Just like my father, your father can create from a “scrap” to create a wonderful project. Yes, from the scrap material like chicken coop kits, you can create another thing and you don’t have to spend large amount of money.

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