Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How to Build a Portable Chicken Coop: Time-lapse version for the direction-following challenged. Part 1

So, we find ourselves in need of a coop--SOON--for these sweet little chickerses....rather than BUYING or even paying for PLANS(have I mentioned that I do not read directions well?), we decided to MAKE OUR OWN. Haha. English degree NOT necessary for this(though maybe the insanity helps); here goes!

First, decide how large you want your coop to be. This is our "run", and it will be 7ftx4ft. We built a frame this size from pressure-treated 2x4s, joined with drywall screws. (Favorite fasteners! lol!)

Next, we cut 6 uprights to support the screening and the upper frame. Ours are three feet tall, but you could do two feet easily enough and still have plenty of flippity-flap-and-flutter room. Attach the supports to the base frame with plenty of drywall screws again, in the four corners and somewhere NEAR the middle.(English majors don't measure more than they  absolutely MUST.)

Cut pieces for the top frame the same lengths as the bottom frame and attach them to the uprights. We did this one board at a time, starting on the short ends. It really helps to have two holders and one driller for this step. Mark your lines to get the alignment right on the board by holding it at the BOTTOM, then move it up in place, line them up, and DRILL IT! 1,2,3,4 sides. Hmm. Not bad!

Cut pieces of 2x4 to fill in the gap of the frame on the upright supports so the wire will lay flush.  Attach them in place.

Be sure to do the corners as well.

Wrap and staple your hardware cloth to the three sides that will be closed. Our run will butt right into the coop/box at one end(where the Redhead is standing), so we left it open. Till we get that part built, the babies are held in by a baby gate. We also stapled an old bedsheet over the top to shade them until the top gets put on.
They immediately set to enjoying their new space, but won't be allowed to enjoy it unattended until the whole unit is complete.

Check back later for part two!

Linking to Domestically Divine at Far Above Rubies. :)


Betty @ Little Farm in the Big City said...

Looks like a very nice run for your girls. By the way, you're going to need a roof. Right now, those little pullets can't get to the top, but it won't be long until those sides are easily navigated.

What kind of chickens do you have?

April said...

hi Betty,
we will be adding a top NEXT. :) this is a work-in-progress. thanks for asking!

Liz said...

Fun! Will you keep them or do what some folks do ... er... not keep them... if you know what I mean....


April said...

Liz, we are hoping for egg-producers! lol. I'm not "that far" down the food producing road yet. . .by any means!(My grandparents would be SO ashamed to know I said that! lol!)

Lynn said...

Oh, April! Excellent job! If that is your yard, I love the flowers -- the bed in the background! The fence, the gate... So pretty. You know I now must have chickens by way of your blog, right? :)

Your blog is true to its name: Lovely.


April said...

Thank you, Lynn! You can share my chickens ANYTIME. :)