This post has been a long time coming. We’ve wanted chickens in the garden for a good while, but a lot of things have got in the way of getting around to it, not least the fact that we didn’t have a coop to keep the chickens in!
That’s the big thing too – you hear a lot of people tell you that chickens are great because it’s free eggs, but no one ever factors in the cost of the coop itself! After looking online, estimates ranged from £100 to £300+ Obviously, the only way forward was to build it myself!
I got my idea from the Tangled Nest blog, and copied the outside very closely. I found the plans for the inside a bit lacking, so did a bit of reading up and made sure the roosting area and nest boxes were the right dimensions. In the end, I went with one nesting box (should be OK for four chickens), 30cm wide, 30cm deep and 24cm high.
I created a roosting ladder in the coop, which was the opposite corner to the nesting box. This was 30cm deep made from 2×4 timber, plenty of footing for the chickens. In line with the plans on the website above, I also installed a trap door for a ramp underneath the coop, and added two windows for some natural light.
For materials, I was fortunate enough to pick up a load of plywood from the local wood recycling store down the road, along with a stack of 2×4 timber. Additionally, my neighbour had her roof re-tiled the week I started building the coop, so I got 4 nearly-new pallets from her skip which I dismantled and used to create the roosting bar.
After a weekend of decent weather, I was able to put the coop together. I’m just waiting for my wife to pick the colour before we add the finishing touches such as windows, and hinges for the door. Then we can go ahead with getting chickens!
A couple of points:
For the windows I ordered A4 acrylic to match the plywood thickness. Ordering in A4 sizes was cheaper than specifying a size, so I cut the windows to match.
The roosting bar and nesting box dimension recommendations were gathered from a bit of googling. There are lots of points of varying positions, so I’m going to see how these work and can change them accordingly in the future.
Finally, I had a bit of tanking left over from a wet-room project before, and I heard that it would be good to tank the inside of the coop, making it moisture resistant, so that’s what the light blue is in the photos of the inside of the coop. I’m hoping it should make cleaning easier, we shall see!
I’ll post more photos when it’s up and running!