Thank you for the requests for more details of the new coop. I snapped some photos this evening, and hope you find the details helpful, or at least enjoyable. Chicken coops are such a fun project since you can keep things simple, or make them as fancy as you'd like. I know basic carpentry (thanks, Dad!), but am not really much of a "finishing" carpenter when it comes to chicken coop details. I do like to keep things pretty simple and functional, but things might be a little rough around the edges. Chickens don't seem to mind, and neither do I. *grin*
We have a larger coop on the farm as well. If you would like to see our other coop, enjoy a scroll through the Chicken Coop category. You'll first find posts about this coop, and as you scroll through the posts you'll see the other coop as well.
Because it gets so *freaky* hot here, I like to have big screen doors for lots of breeze. I made two hardwire screen doors so that I can have either one, or both of the big front doors completely open, and still have the coop screened in. The screen doors are mounted to the door frame just inside the main solid doors.
In the summer I like to be able to keep the solid doors open, so the screen doors need lots of stability to keep out any coyote, etc. The door on the left has a long bolt that drops down through the floor and eventually rests on a structure beam beneath the floor. When I could, I used things we already had on the farm. I found this big rusty bolt in the dirt by the barn. No telling how many years it's been there, and finally got kicked to the surface!
The left door also has a bolt latch that secures it to the top of the door frame. The hole you see in the frame is for the top bolt on the solid door. It slides up into that hole to secure the top of the door when closed.
The right screendoor is secured to the left screendoor with two sliding bolts, one at the top and one at the bottom of the door.
I hung the screendoors so that they opened straight out. By placing the hinges on the front of the doors (instead of on the edges of the doors like you'd hang a regular door) I was able to set the screendoors farther back in the door frame. This allows enough room between the screendoors and the solid doors so that the door handle on the solid door has room to function, even when the screen doors are bolted in place. Having the doors open wide will make for quick and easy cleaning.
The red can in the background is feed storage. We ended up moving in some older nest boxes for the girls to use. To dress them up a bit, I added some flowery curtains in front of the openings. The curtains are strung up using clothesline tied between two screws, and cup hooks at the points between nest boxes to provide support to the line. They can hang straight...
On the back wall of the coop is a window. I built a hardwire screen for the window and hung it on hinges like a door, so that I can swing it open and still open and close the window when needed. The screen is held closed at the top and bottom using hook & eye latches. Right now, they're just regular hook & eye latches, but will be changed out for safety hook & eye latches after I buy some.
There are two perches in the coop, both 8' in length. Below each perch is a poop tray, so that as the chickens are roosting at night, their droppings fall onto the tray rather than down onto the floor. Since the coop is small, I wanted to be able to keep the floor of the coop as clean as possible and provide the girls with a bigger, cleaner space. For now, we have some old plastic roofing that's been rattling around in the barn for ages tacked up to see how the idea works. If it works well, I can either leave them in place, or replace them with wood.
They're doing a great job of catching the droppings and keeping the floor cleaner, but I'm not too thrilled with the curve (sag) in them. I think legths of plywood will work a bit better. Which is just fine .... we have a couple other projects to work on around the farm, and with those will come some scraps that will work perfectly to replace these two sheets of roofing. But for now, they're just dandy.
In the front corner of the coop opposite the nest boxes I have a small lamp fitted with a small florescent bulb. The lamp is secured in place, so if a bird knocks into the lamp, it won't fall. The young birds in the coop don't need a lamp for heat any longer, but having a bit of light for them to see at night helps keep them calm. Especially the young geese. The battery operated clock on the wall is for my benefit, not so much the chickens. Haa!
Outside the coop there have been some updates as well. Their yard is a 10x30 covered run. Under the sun shades the roof is lined with 1" chicken wire. There are two gates on the yard -- one next to the coop, and one at the far end near our larger coop.
The large old dog house in the far corner will eventually be where the geese hang out at night. As they get bigger they won't want to sleep in the coop at night. Having a place they can go that's on ground level and a little safe haven is important.
There are also two chick brooders in the yard. I like having brooders in the coop yards for various things... sometimes they're used as chick brooders, but usually as TLC wards. Right now I have one gal in the closest brooder who has a bit of an attitude problem. So, she gets to hang out in the brooder for a few days, observing the others as they mill around. In the other brooder, during the day I keep a teeny tiny young hen that's so small yet that she can fit through the chain link fence. So, until she grows big enough that she can't wiggle out of the yard, she chills out in the brooder with a friend or two. At night, her and her daily buddy go into the coop with the others to sleep.
There are also feed stations and water stations in the yard, at various levels. The big straw bale gives the girls something to climb on and tear apart, and the old wood fence post laying up next to the fence gives the girls a low to the ground place to perch. What you can't see, because they're out of frame to the left, are perches I have in the back corner of the yard in the opposite corner from the door. There are two 2x2s spaced about 1' from the ground, and 3' from the ground, to give the birds a place to roost during the day. The lower perch is for the frizzle and silkies, who can't fly up to a higher perch on their own.
In the side of the coop I cut the chicken door. I finally got the trim made, and now it just needs to be painted! I made the ladder out of an old 2x10 piece of lumber we had left over from when we built the raised garden beds. I added steps to the top, spaced just right for short bantam legs.
So, that's the little red barn coop in detail... When we change out the poop catchers to wood, I'll post an update.