- Comfortable housing for up to 10 heavy breed chickens
- An attractive house that would look good in our garden landscape
- Minimal construction costs while still meeting other goals
Door offers convenient storage for frequently used items. Hanging bin of cracked grain for treats, hand cleanser, and a small dustbin used to keep threshhold tidy are available without entering coop.
Outside access to the egg box has been great. Our shoes stay clean and we don't track winter dirt and moisture inside the coop.
Storage shelf in the eaves is protected from roosting chickens with a screen door. Clean-up supplies (bagged pine shavings, bucket, and scrapper/brush tool) are close at hand, making this frequent chore quick and easy.
Reducing a coop's size saves in building costs. We worked for a minimum that still allowed comfortable working space for an adult. The coop can house up to 10 heavy breed chickens.
Looking down into the nest box with the hinged lid raised. The bedding and our eggs stay very clean since the hens seem to only occupy the box when laying. Our Araucana hens lay the green eggs.
Outdoor pen is 8' by 10' and 6' high and covered in 4" fencing. A 12" buried chicken wire skirt extends from the bottom rail to protect against predators. Foxes and coyotes are occasionally seen in our neighborhood!
A timer/switch combination controls the overhead light and is programmed to give the hens a 14 hour day. Laying has been steady all winter. An outlet was also installed; New England winters require an electric de-icer for the waterer.
- Floor is divided in two and screwed in place to allow for removal and cleaning
- Removable dropping board and roost
- Viewing window, another feature that saves trips inside the coop
If We Could Do It Again...
- The viewing window was centered on the wall, which limited the space for the nest box. I'd shift the window and have a bit larger nest. However, our hens seem very content with the communal arrangement, occasionally crowding in four abreast!
- $600 Coop
- $150 Pen
- $150 Wiring for Electricity
The coop was built in 2005. Hardware such as latches and hinges were surprisingly expensive. The shiplap siding was purchased directly from a local mill, and was competitive in price with other siding options.
After four months of egg production, our cost per egg is about $1.75! While this figure will be lower over time as we repay our initial construction costs, it will remain hard to justify the expense based just on eggs. We see a lot of other benefits to this project:
- The coop and the chickens add interest and life to our landscape.
- A great family project.
- A new connection with our food.
- An increased commitment to humane food production.
- Finally, the chickens are fun and make us laugh.
Printable PDF version of plans