Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chicken Coop Is Finished

This movable chicken coop is designed for 4-6 laying hens, functional  in a small footprint.
Raising your own backyard chickens for fresh eggs is one of the hottest trends around.  Bryan worked an hour or two at a time through the winter building this chicken coop to house 4-6 laying hens.  Shed lot prices for a coop like this start at $1,000; we saved $800 building it ourselves and used recycled materials where possible.  

It's portable using 9-inch lawnmower wheels and can be wheeled around the yard almost as easily as pushing a wheel barrow; we will move the "chicken tractor" every couple of days to protect the lawn.  It's compact, but not too confining, as the bottomless downstairs allows chickens to scratch the ground and forage for food.  It's a snap to maintain with access panels on three sides for gathering eggs and cleaning, and the multilevel design allows for flow-through ventilation keeping chickens healthy.  

When planned well, chickens can fertilize the vegetable garden, providing nutrients and organic matter that are used up by the cultivation process.  As we have time, future blog posts this year will feature the raising of our first flock of Rhode Island Reds; day-old chicks are expected in March!

The frame takes shape inside the barn.

Side walls with access panels and a clestory window.

Ramp on floor to the left, roost (in back), and nesting boxes are installed.
Main coop is nearly finished with a metal roof
to keep chickens snug and dry.
The coop will sit on this "tractor" with wheels. 

Finally finished and waiting for our chickens.

1 comment:

  1. This is really nice. Way too cool that they get to pick and scratch too. I love it.


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Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (www.farmersalmanac.com).