The chicken coop that we've been building for the past three weeks is done at last. It started out being a weekend project that grew to take almost a full month when you add the planning of it. Just another lesson to consider when taking on new projects, always plan for it to take longer than you had expected.
We built the coop five feet off the ground do to the amount of snow we get here in the winter. I knew for sure that I didn't want to be out this winter in subzero temperatures trying to dig out the chicken coop in order to give them food and water. Due to this realization a lot of thought went into the planning stages of the design. I wanted to be able to collect the eggs from our farm road and not have to go into the pen itself to do so, also making it easier on me in the winter.
The coop had to be sectioned into two sides because we are raising two different breeds: White Rocks in one side, Silkie Bantams in the other. There runs are both separate as well. On each side of the Coop there are two large doors that swing down flat so as to be completely out of the way for cleaning purposes. The Chickens have entry by a ramp and sliding door on the side of the coop. The sliding door is attached to a thin 15 foot chain that is attached by eye hooks toward the front of the coop. We did this so that I could pull the chain from outside the fence and let the birds out without having to go into the chicken yard. As you can see convenience was key.
Each breed of chicken has a grassy area about 40 feet by 50 feet wide in which to roam during the day and they can go under the coop for shade and safety from air born predators. They have access to come and go from the coop at there discretion, and have many roosts made from closet dowels in the coop. All in all it was quite an undertaking. The coop itself 8 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 4 feet tall with the roof. A mansion for my 30 birds. Hopefully they'll be productive and double their numbers by the time it's time to stock the freezer. Anyway, Snowbound Farms officially has chickens. The first step on a long ladder to becoming a truly self sufficient farm. For anyone interested in detailed plans of our coop, I will be making them available for purchase through our site by mid summer. They will include detailed drawings, step by step instructions, and a material list with pictures. I hope you check out the pictures of our finished creation on our photo's page.