Coop Evolution

The never-ending coop has been a constantly evolving project.

We saw an A-frame coop on You Tube and adapted it with our own modifications. We wanted something we could stand upright in, and, we liked the idea of limited measuring and cutting. Each leg of each triangle was an 8-foot 2×4 piece of plywood straight from the store. The roof ridge was also an 8-foot 2×4. The pieces were attached with brackets and screws. Half of the structure would be the coop, half would be the run.

As soon as we got the frame for the coop and run together, we realized the run would not be big enough. At the time, though, I thought this was a week-end project (two at most), so it would be big enough for the chicks for their first six weeks.

We added additional supports and soon realized this monstrosity was going to be two heavy to move from the driveway to it’s permanent place. As this was in the middle of lockdown (June) it wasn’t like we could call a bunch of friends over for a good ol’ Amish Barn Moving. So, we rolled it. It had to look funny …. lift, walk your hands down the edge, thunk. Repeat. Almost all the way to the other side of the property. I like to think God was entertained that evening.

Once in place, we put hardware cloth underneath for predator protection and attached 4×8′ OSB boards to the sides (no cutting!). The back required two simple cuts of another OSB board to cover the bottom. We put hardware cloth on the top to ensure adequate ventilation. The front was a little trickier, especially the door, but it finally got done.

Until we realized we wouldn’t be able to open it once chicken wire was put on the run. Regroup, rethink. Okay, cut the door in half and put hardware cloth at the top. Not the perfect option: do you know how many times we’ve banged our heads on the crossbeam going into the coop?

The big day finally came and the chicks were moved to the coop.

They especially loved the run and all that scrumptious grass.

It didn’t last long though. All that grass was gone within two weeks! Well, I knew I would need to build an extended run but now my chicken budget was used up and I was out of money. Regroup, rethink. Hmm, let’s try putting them in the dog yard for an hour before bedtime. There was plenty of grass there and it needed to be removed. It seemed like a win-win solution.

Nope. At six weeks old, they immediately figured out they can jump over the 2 foot fence that kept Timmy in for all these years.



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