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Monday, June 8, 2009

Building a Coop

Chicken Coop Construction
Coop with both doors open

There is a lot of information online about housing your backyard chickens, but for me the important aspects were keeping the costs down and having a balance between not taking up too much space and big enough to clean easily. I think simple is good! Mine is obviously not the prettiest coop, but it is very functional and didn't cost very much to make.

The size was dictated by the materials in the end and we began with a square base which suited some sheets of aluminum we wanted to use for the sides. A sheet of perspex lets in light from the back and the roof has a shallow slope to shed water. To allow summer ventillation we have left a 2 inch gap between the walls and the roof. For ease of cleaning we decided to have two doors instead of one so that the whole front opens up.

Once constructed the entire coop was painted with outdoor paint inside and out which we also had left over. The legs were painted with cold galvanising compount which is intended to stop rust on metal. The only things we needed to buy were some bolts for the legs!

The pen itself was an existing structure which was constructed several years ago to keep a mischevious puppy contained when noone was home to supervise. It had walls and a gate so I purchased 12 metres of chicken wire to create a roof so that the hens would be completely contained and safe. This was the most expensive part at around $60, though the pen initially had cost several hundred due to the strength of the wire initially used.

More construction photos are available in the Photo Gallery

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