The Chicken Coop

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Blog entry by mervillehomesteader posted 01-14-2014 02:07 PM 2665 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

About a year ago I moved onto 5 acres full of nice size fir and cedar trees a lot of trees. We cut down about a half acre for garden and chicken space. From the trees we cut down we got 5000 board feet of one inch and two inch fir timbers (mostly 10inch wide by 10 to 20ft long) and a tonne of one inch cedar planking (averaging about 14inches wide). That’s a lot of wood for one lowly carpenter but I think I will manage. Well first things first. Dig a garden and get the chickens out of the back yard. These go hand in hand because the garden is all rock and I needed a foundation for the coop. So I took some 3/4 ply and built a 2ft high by 1ft wide form with a 1ft drop some where around 5ft from the back and filled it with stones and stucco mortar. Worked like a hot damn. Looks pretty cool too. Embedded some pressure treated 2×4 for nailing the walls and started ripping studs.

The wood after the man with the sawmill went home. Just one of the piles

With Canada’s newer more relaxed child labor laws, finding reliable help is no longer an issue!

Did I mention we dug up every rock from our garden.

I ripped the studs at 3inches. They were a full 2inch thick so I figured that would be plenty strong. The rafters are 4inch by 2 inch longest span is around 8ft with an 8/12 slope. The cupola was a lot of fun will do it better next time though. Its 14ft x10ft and a 4ft deck on the front with a salt box tin roof. Board and batten siding, well board. Most of the batten didn’t make it on before something more important to do came along(same as the railing on the deck). And every bit of it came from the back yard except the nails and screws of course and the tin, and the glass. I sure did a lot of things the hard way looking back now. But I pretty much erected the whole damn thing myself, and well, just worked it out so I could. Made the walls in manageable sections so I could carry them to the site. Not a single bit of flat ground to prefab a wall anywhere and to stubborn or lazy to build a table. The 20 foot ridge board was near murder even with a young feller from work giving me a hand. Couldn’t properly frame up the end walls because I had not yet procured the glass for the windows, and had no idea what the sizes would end up being so just the frame no studs.

A real old timey foundation, takes a feller back to the old country

Naked framing doesn’t look like much here.

The front before the deck rafters and ridge board in place. Blue thing in the back is temporary chicken coop made from hardware cloth, electrical conduit and tarps. Note the edge slabs and big stumps.

Behold a deck, siding and windows. It begins to look like something.

Nice shot of the rock work. I think it turned out pretty good. Plus little chicken doors galore.

So my sister and nephew come for a visit and I put him to work slapping tin on. Got her done up in a day, put the ridge cap and cupola up over the next couple days and it was waterproof. Then I made up the barn doors for on the side and the Dutch door for the front. Made them from 3inch wide cedar ripped to about 1/2 inchish thick. Turned out pretty good. Next door I do and I have more time, I will shiplap or tongue and grove the panel boards so when they shrink there wont be daylight shining through them. I just lapped the door stiles and rails and used a galvanized ardox nail to hold them together. Braced of course with the hinge side carrying the weight. Did a real nice latch set up on the barn doors should take some close up photos some day. The board and batten is just the 1 inch fir lumber ripped 5 or so inches wide for the board and 1 1/2×3/8 cedar strips for the batten. Held on with mostly 2 1/2 inch galvies and 2 1/2 inch galvie finishing nails. ( galvies means galvanized) Put an egg box at the front with a door outside so we don’t have to go in to gather eggs and hinged roost that lifts for cleaning.( pics to follow some day) Must say chickens are quite happy with their new digs and they haven’t complained about the unfinished deck once.

A salt box tin roof.

My first cupola. No it is not hipped… but it is pretty.

Barn doors and first snow of the season.

Second snow and nice pic. A might bit inviting till yah step in the poop!

Just a neat pic.

Well, that’s about that. The spec sheet is as follows….
project- chicken coop
total cost- didn’t keep receipts
total time- started mid may, put a roof on mid fall, chickens were in before first snow, will most likely be ongoing for a few generations at least.

I must say working full time, putting in a garden, fencing in a field for pigs, building a chicken coop, clearing land, and looking after two toddlers was pretty much pure hell for the wife and I but we did it, and still are doing it. The rain is coming down hard but the chickens are dry and so am I. Life is good on the farm.

-- Perfectly Imperfect. Thats my style!

11 comments so far

View 489tad's profile


3687 posts in 3578 days

#1 posted 01-14-2014 02:26 PM

Spoiled chickens do lay better eggs.
Man, you did a excellent job. The foundation looks fantastic, heck the whole coop looks fantastic. Well done.
Welcome to LJ’s

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 2839 days

#2 posted 01-14-2014 03:27 PM

That is a VERY nice Coop.

Mom and Dad raised 6 of us kids and we always had a good sized flock of chickens.
I love eggs, any way you fix ‘em.
I love chicken, Fried, Baked, Roasted, Grilled, and yes, Fijitas and Wings. Biscuts and Gravey and in Soup.
I’m not a Chicken Plucker, nor a Chicken Plucker’s son,
but I can Pluck a Chicken, till a Chicken Plucker comes. ;-)
[...try sayin’ that twice, real fast.]

You have a wonderful Home there.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3433 days

#3 posted 01-14-2014 03:35 PM

You did a great job on this. It’s nice and very attractive.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View mervillehomesteader's profile


31 posts in 2164 days

#4 posted 01-14-2014 03:36 PM

Thanks, glad to be here. Hoping to get the deck rails and finishing touches done in the spring. Plan on building an out house the same way.

-- Perfectly Imperfect. Thats my style!

View sgmdwk's profile


308 posts in 2439 days

#5 posted 01-14-2014 03:55 PM

Wow, that is a nice chicken coop. Lucky chickens. I’d be interested in some views of the completed interior.

-- Dave K.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3257 days

#6 posted 01-15-2014 01:45 AM

A most excellent chicken abode. And made from lumber milled off your own place! Now that’s an accomplishment!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 3191 days

#7 posted 01-15-2014 02:39 PM

Quite an achievement. Very interesting blog. Looking forward to more updates.
Good luck with it.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View mervillehomesteader's profile


31 posts in 2164 days

#8 posted 01-16-2014 03:53 PM

Thanks for the good words everyone. It makes me glad I picked LJ to show off my work. Not only that, but I have picked up some great tips and inspirations in the last few days. There is a lot of talent out there. I just love being able to use local wood and not relying on boxstores for everything. Built those big things for ten years straight and slowly grew to dislike them and their big business tactics more and more and more. To much money and to much pressure and to many yes men willing to do what it takes to get an extra buck. They are evil in every scense of the word. Walked away a year ago from a job I was told would be mine till the day I died. (It was killing me)Now I am a free man, I do just enough to survive one job at a time. Living the good life down here on the farm.

-- Perfectly Imperfect. Thats my style!

View january's profile


23 posts in 2161 days

#9 posted 01-17-2014 04:28 AM

Wow, Merville. That’s amazing. I started scanning the pictures before I read, and I thought, “Wow, that’s a great looking cabin.” DAMN, those chickens are living in style! I got a chicken coop to build either this winter or next. This is great inspiration!

-- Heh heh, you said "wood"

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

358 posts in 2197 days

#10 posted 02-16-2014 01:02 PM

That’s nicer than the house I was raised in!

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

View JustSomeGuy83's profile


15 posts in 2085 days

#11 posted 04-02-2014 07:24 PM

This is crazy awesome, nice work!

-- -Excuse my work, it's my first day.

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