We started off a little late, as far as coop building goes. As my chicks grew, and grew, and grew, getting smellier and louder every day, my father realized that it was time for them to leave the nest. Halfway through building my permanent coop, he threw together an A-Frame that they could stay in over the summer. It took him a day and a half to construct, and it worked quite nicely! If anyone wants more details, I’ll gladly post them (upon request).
One side of the roof swings open, and is propped up with two 2X4s. The bottom is covered in hardware cloth and rests on the grass. They can access it by a ramp, which may be released or closed with a pulley from the outside. It could comfortably fit 3 normal sized chickens, and a feeder. The main issue I had with it was the lack of an accessible roost. It was too close to the ceiling, so as they grew in size they were unable to sit on it.
This is the permanent coop, called The Crowley House (It’s a Dowton Abbey reference… check it out!). He laid the foundation first, added a frame for the walls, and the beginnings of a roof. Then the siding, and the floors. Finally, he cut out the windows and threw on some trim, constructed a door, and shingled the roof. I helped with the painting, but I’m afraid I was quite useless as far as the building went. I hammered in a few nails, but he wouldn’t let be near the saw…
Some aspects of the Crowley House
The coop is “walk-in”, and I can comfortable stand in most parts of it. Half of it is a storage area where I keep a trash can full of feed, oyster shells, grit, pine shavings, and other supplies. We can access the nesting boxes from this area as well. Separated by a wall of chicken wire and a door is the chicken living space. It has two levels, the second only a small platform that they fly on to get to the roost and nesting boxes. From this platform they can look out the two windows.
Out back is a access door and ramp leading into a run completely fenced in hardware cloth. We extended it over the summer with a simple garden wire fence roofed in netting. Overall, it works well for us!