After about a year of Denis researching and planning how he wanted to build our chicken coop, we got a phone call tip from my coworker who's an organic farmer and lover of chickens. She had seen a ready-made coop on the sales lot of a local company that makes backyard sheds. So we went to check it out one Sunday when we could snoop around without getting a lot of sales man pressure. The coop was very sturdily made, seemed to be pretty raccoon-proof, etc. Denis predicted it would be priced at $1200. The following day, I went to get the price. Surprisingly enough, they only wanted $800 for the finished, painted coop! Denis honestly didn't think he could do as good a job for as cheaply, so we decided to go ahead and purchase. It was delivered on Friday.
We had our custom made with just a couple of minor adjustments - our chicken door and ladder are on a different wall than the original and we had the latch changed so that it can be locked. After AM's horror encounter with a raccoon, we are particularly concerned that our coop be raccoon proof.
Here is the backside. All openings are lockable with a padlock except the ventilation window on the front. It has a sliding latch, but there is strong mesh covering the opening, so we don't think a raccoon would be able to pull it off. Still to do:
- paint the exterior to match our house. We have left-over yellow paint to match. We'll need to get more green made up.
- paint the interior for easier maintenance.
- install the roost where our gals will relax. The original had a mesh roost which is not the style recommended in our chicken books.
- Denis has to build a chicken run, fully enclosed so that they are protected from dogs and such during the day when we are not there.
- in the future, he will put a fence around a larger area so that they can be let out to forage - better eggs.
Denis also wants to lay VCT flooring which will make it easier to clean. Don't you think the hens will appreciate the stylish black and white flooring?