Friday, March 18, 2011

Backyard Chicken Coop

How many of you remember your grandparents or maybe even your parents keeping chickens for eggs and maybe even meat. I used to go out and gather fresh eggs from the nest for my grandmothers. I can remember my grandmothers going out to butcher chickens on Saturday to fix for Sunday lunch after church. Yeah I know that was a long, long time ago in a land far away. Well believe it or not keeping chickens for eggs and even meat is again becoming the in thing all over the country. Many towns and municipalities are passing laws and ordinances to allow the keeping of small chicken flocks. In our area you can have up to five laying hens but no roosters to wake the neighbors up at 4:30 in the morning. Many families have gone to keeping chickens so that they can have eggs and meat without all the drugs and chemicals that are in many of the commercial eggs supplied today. My wife and I have talked about getting chickens several times but never really decided to really do so until just the other day.

I spent more days than I thought it would take digging up old fence posts in concrete and tearing down a falling down twenty year old privacy fence. Without the help of my wife I would still be out there working on that blasted old fence. We have a lot of sore muscles and two destroyed come-alongs to prove our labors. Anyway the new fence is up and looks pretty good, if I say so myself. We had planned on saving the old fence pickets to put on a wall in a room in a barn or house we plan to build in the future. Upon examination the pickets were to far gone to use much but about the four foot in the middle out of them. Thus the home built chicken coop was devised.

I wanted an Amish Style Saltbox Chicken Coop but did not want to spend between $1,000 and $2,000.00 on a pre-built coop. I also knew I could not have something real large in my backyard so I started looking for some plans to build a small one. I needed it to be portable and small enough that I would not need a building permit nor did I want it to stick up over the privacy fence to bother my neighbors. Not that I would mind bothering my neighbors I just wanted to stay out of trouble. I could not find any plans but decided to go ahead and build one out of the pickets from the old fence along with the cut off pieces from the new privacy fence I had just finished building. This is what I ended up with from the pictures I had seen and the plans I had in my mind.

The fact that none of the leftover lumber was over 50 inches long pretty much dictated the size it would be. It is constructed of about 75% old fence pickets and left over cut offs from the new fence rails. I did have to buy 4 new cedar pickets to finish the door as I ran out of old pickets with 48 inches of usable wood. Since I did not have any more long pickets to do the roof I just put corrugated metal on it. Not being a carpenter and only working on it part time it took me a while to build. Since I don't have any plans or drawings I am posting a build along of the coop in pictures. Hopefully the chickens will like it. Wild Ed

A Screech Owl box made from fence scraps



That's a right nice coop you got there, Ed. My neighbors have city chickens, and have a similar storebought but not near as nice as yours coop.

My family, up until my parent's generation, always had chickens for eggs and for meat. Lots of chickens. I spent lots of time tending my Granny's chickens when visiting her place growing up.

If she were still with us and saw that coop, she would think that your coop was mighty fine and might want me build her one.

I'm about to do my fence, and you've inspired me to think of some uses for the good wood left on my cedar fence planks. The metal roof looks nice.

Your chickens got a cool new crib. The Chicken Crib.

WildFisherWoman said...

That's a great coop! Like your blog too! Im gonna have to bleach my moose skull I found like you do yours from a post way back when.

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