Chicken coop (almost) finished, blog up and running. The coop is made from all reclaimed materials by my friend Hen3ry Q. Vines (hopefully there’ll be many more of his custom works around Austin soon). No chickens yet – what breeds should I start with?
My guiding concerns for the coop were using materials I believed in, making the chickens happy, and keeping cost down. This design started with old pallets that came from freecycle. The A-frame was obvious once it became clear that breaking down the pallets to individual boards wasn’t gonna work. LH and I sanded and primed before she applied the red paint.
The red paint was a leftover from painting our house’s interior. We knew from experience that it needed primer while the blue paint (obtained free from the city of Austin) didn’t. She also decided to add a layer of outdoor sealant (from TreeHouse, the eco-alternative to Home Depot).
The section with the front door includes a built-out double nesting box and is totally dry inside due to the blue slats. The back section and top allow more air flow and light. There are 3 cross-beams inside for the chickens to get up off the ground (which will soon be covered with straw – I’m told they’ll essentially mix it all up into a composty stew that won’t need much cleaning). Hopefully we’ll be able to let the birds out to roam in the yard most days and just close them in the coop overnight. Not looking forward to clipping wings, but as you can see there aren’t tall fences around the yard.
The roof is reused plastic, angled to catch rainwater. It can be easily removed and each module of the coop can be separately moved to a new location. Alternately we could add more framing and wheels, but I don’t think that’d be worth it bearing in mind the considerable weight. Stationary for now, but able to move to a new house when we do.
Due to our delay in painting and unseasonably wet weather, Hen3ry worked about 4 different shifts over the course of almost a month to get everything designed and built, as well as providing much reclaimed scrap wood that he’d cut to size at his house (the ones that aren’t painted yet).