I have mentioned more than once I want to incorporate chickens into my garden work. I’ve collected materials for the coop construction – cedar posts, scrap tin roof material, etc. – in an effort to use as little new material as possible. After all, one aim in doing this is to be as resourceful as possible in reusing materials. And to keep costs down.
But there are probably still a few costs associated with starting up a flock – hardware cloth for the coop, miscellaneous construction supplies, watering accessories, feed, and, well, birds.
So, I submitted a Kickstarter project:
Hopefully it’ll get approved. I would like to get a coop built this Winter in time for the Funky Coop Tour in Spring.
I’ve poked around for coop plans, and have a few saved. I also have sketched my own basic plans that would incorporate some of the materials I’ve saved.
I’ve brainstormed… wrote some notes in my moleskin at the time I drew the plans:
I want to build a coop, mostly out of reclaimed materials. (I’m okay buying some framing lumber if I can’t get it for free.) I’ve been sitting here with graph paper, and beyond basic dimensions, can’t seem to draw anything useful. Still working on it, though.
I have four 6-foot raw cedar tree posts to use for the corners.
I have a couple more that could be used decoratively, or across top of framing in front. Or for legs to the inside nest box.
I want it to be roughly 8 feet wide, Six feet tall in front, 5 feet tall in back, and 6 feet deep. (Slanted roof).
I have enough corrugated tin roofing material for the top.
It could look roughly like this:
I do not have a screen door, plywood, or hardware cloth, but can possibly scrounge some stuff up.
I do not mind using treated wood, as I hear it doesn’t pose problems. If not using treated wood, I have enough bricks to keep the wood off the ground.
The inside of that inner area has a few nest boxes (usually 3) that the chickens lay the eggs in. Seems they will use a wide variety of box sizes, but they need to be divided a little, and be big enough to hold straw. I saw one coop that used milk crates as nest boxes.
The nest boxes need easy access via a hatch-style door on he outside so you can grab the eggs.
The chickens use a ramp to get into the nest box area.
Some sort of ventilation at the top of the nest box area would be great.
In general it has to be predator proof… snakes, possums, raccoons, cats, dogs… etc. So hardware cloth that’s strong and has smaller holes.
More what I need is a 24″ screen door that can be cut down to roughly 5.5 feet, or any rolls of hardware cloth that can be reclaimed.
So, we’ll see. If I can’t raise some funds in the next month, maybe I’ll just try to put something together anyway.