Friday, December 16, 2011

The chicken coop

A few years ago, I was walking in our neighborhood with my husband and daugther and came across a neighbor who had chicken.  After chatting for a while with her, I became more and more interested in that venture.  My daughter was certainly one of the best motivators.  She could not wait to see the neighbor's chicken every time we would pass by.  I thought to myself that this is something I could do...A few classes and books later, I decided it was time.  For my birthday last March, I asked for chicks and the supplies needed to start.  Here are the chicks: Gossie (black sexlink), Rosie (braham), Sweeney (speckled sussex) and Paulette (Partridge Plymouth Rock).
The next step was to build a coop!  I had about 6 weeks to get this accomplished and get the chicks out of the house.  I decided to go big!  I build a 4x8 coop with a 8x8 covered run.  Although I started with 4 chicks, my intent was to be able to accommodate more over time.  In my city, I can have as many chicks as my coop can accommodate! 
Here is the coop:

 I buried cinder block all throughout the perimeter of the coop and run with chicken wire under.
I used sticky vinyl tiles for the flooring for easy clean up. 
I put 3 windows total in the coop to give plenty of light for the girls but to also be able to see them.
 Here is the covered run.

Here is the finished coop. I reinforced the perimeter of the run with an additional 2 feet high hardware cloth (we have lots of raccoons in our area).
The goal of the coop was also to allow me to get in it.  I use a deep litter method which turns out to be really easy to maintain.


  1. I just discovered your blog. Very nice! I do like your coop design. Could you post some pictures of the interior? It would be nice to better see your girls' digs. In one of your more recent posts, you mentioned that the roosts are higher than the nests, to keep the chickens from sleeping in the nests. Is that right? Interesting. I didn't consider that when I built my hen house. Yes, some of the girls sleep in the nests, but most of them sleep on the roost just in front of the nest. My only regret is in putting the roost too close to the nest: Butts overhang the nest and too often poop there. Now I have to clean the bedding there often. When the weather improves enough, I plan on making modifications.

    I wish you continued success with your chickens, neighbor! BTW, are you aware of the Seattle Urban Farm Co-op (aka Seattle Farm Co-op)? Awesome resource & great way to get good prices on organic chicken feed and other goodies.

    --Dave Eriksen
    (also in Shoreline!)

    1. Thanks Dave. I am actually in the process of expanding the coop. I added another 2 feet to make it 6x8 instead. I am now able to have a space to keep the feed and I am hoping to create a separation to add my new four chicks!
      I did lower the nesting boxes and added more roost bars and this seemed to do the trick. No more messy nesting boxes. I will get a post soon (I hope) on the newly remodeled coop with pics of the inside.

      Thanks for the info on the Seattle Farm Co-op, I have seen them online but never actually went there...I am always looking at good prices on chicken feed, I will have to make a trip over there.

      By the way, nice to meet you!

  2. Your coop looks amazing, here is another great build your own coop