It has taken me a long time to come back and finish this series, but here it is! Part 4 will include what finishes we added to the coop and what we learned. Since we have recently moved and are designing/building a new coop we have a lot to look back on.
We added a door to the chicken run for us to use (which helped Ryan so he didn’t have to crawl through the 12″x12″ chicken door to shovel. It was a simple project using welded wire and 1x4s. You can see the tutorial here.
We installed vinyl siding to the coop that matches the garage and house. In this case, we wanted the coop to be multi-functional in case someone without chickens buys our house. It can easily be used as a garden shed or as a dog run. We had extra siding anyways and it matches really nicely.
We also matched the roofing to our garage and house. Black shingles are always a safe bet, but are a bit expensive. Again, we wanted this to be a nice shed that added value to our property so we went with higher quality materials.
What We Learned:
Our biggest mistake was only putting hardware cloth a few feet up on the run. We get so much snow, that a weasel was able to make it into our run through the welded wire a few feet up. We were lucky that we only lost one chicken and were able to trap the weasel quickly.
We spent a lot of money on this coop. In total, it was over $1,000 to complete it. While I think it will add a lot of value to our home and lot, we won’t spend that much next time. Overall, it was totally worth it. There really is nothing quite like fresh eggs.
The nest boxes work great. We added curtains to them and the hinged top was awesome. On our next coop, we will install these same nest boxes to the outside so we do not have to enter the coop to collect eggs. Again, we wanted this to be a possible shed, so we didn’t want to have holes in the exterior for nest boxes. We were able to easily remove them and take them with us.
My biggest piece of advice: always build a bigger coop than you need. The chickens will love the extra space and you will more than likely end up with more chickens than you plan on anyways.
I hope you enjoyed this series! Thank you for reading! We will soon have more updates on our new coops, including our duck coop plans. Check back soon!