Building our first chicken coop two years ago was my first venture into coop construction and I felt at the time that it would be my last. The intention was to get “a few” hens so that we could enjoy genuine free range eggs and to act upon our opposition to the inhumane use of battery cages. As any reader of this blog will know it’s become at little more involved than that now.
Shortly after getting Jessie’s our first batch of chickens I was approached by a few people who also thought it was a great idea and wanted some of their own. Why not I thought as we have enough space here to keep a “few extras” so I set about sourcing some day old chicks.
Selling them isn’t that difficult but the secret to chicken rustling is “sell em fast” as the little critters grow like mushrooms and eat like a hoard of hungry teenagers …. trust me I know! Have to keep them too long and you can kiss any profit margin good bye as chicken feed ain’t cheap.
Besides that there’s the other major issue of where to house them. Over the last couple of years I’ve improvised with covered in garden cloches and an assortment of make shift coops. None of these options worked very well and certainly weren’t ideal for keeping poultry. The time had come for me to build a second backup coop to make the task of chicken raising at little less demanding. The “in my head plan” I used was that of the first coop with a few minor improvements plus an increase in floor size. Having two, or three if one takes into account that this new one can be used as two will allow me to maintain an ongoing supply of replacement hens whilst still having space for those chickens that are for sale.
The images below show how it all came together.
Entry doors either side allows easy access if operating as two coops, for both the chickens and myself.
The sliding door makes for easy merging of flocks. When its time to clean the coop the perches can be removed by shifting the removable partition to either wall. The partition can then be taken out of the coop in one piece.
Unlike the first coop I added some simple stays to keep the dual access litter door open when cleaning. No more propping it open with the rake handle.
I made two removable nesting boxes as one would be too heavy and difficult to handle, each one has three compartments.
These side vents will allow airflow to the back of the coop during our hot summers with a weather proof sliding panel yet to be fitted.
Almost there, just some ramps and steps and it will be …. job done. Its been fun and yes I’m getting better at this, but I’m definitely not building anymore!
Our Hyline Browns settling into their new home ….. those nearest the camera are 8 weeks and the others 15 weeks.