I was using a rabbit hutch I'd orginally built for our old rabbit (surprisingly) which I'd converted into a tempory chicken coops for no other reason that it was a good size for 5 chickens (going on the dimentions I'd researched on the net) and it would see them through the winter until I'd build them a more purpose built home although they was nothing wrong with the hutch conversion and I will use it again when I get more chickens (After I've persuaded the wife).
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Step 1: Determining Suitable Dimentions and Getting the Materials.
I researched chicken coop sizes and also the ideal amount of space for each chicken although I've since found that no matter how much room they have; they will always snuggle up together and hence half the space is redundant.
I also checked the local timber merchant to see what dimentions their wood came in so that my plans would also match not only the wood in width but also in lengths that the wood was availible in so to reduce waste.
I went for mostly planned timbre and also a medium thickness of shiplate.
Step 2: Building the Frame for the Gable Ends
Once I had all the timbre and brass screws. I went about building the basic frame work. Starting with the gable ends first, One would have the enterance and other end would have the nesting boxes.
The main consideration here is to make sure both ends are exactly the same size and I used a bevel to ensure the angle remained the same.
Step 3: Completing the Gable Ends
Once the frames were ready for the gable ends I then covered them in shiplatt, taking into account the door on one end and the space for the nesting box on the other end.
Again I spent alot of time ensuring that I used as much of the wood as possible with little wastage.
Step 4: Building the Floor
Building the floor meant joining the two gables together and here is when it started to look like a chicken coop.
I should add that at every step I was painting the wood even not visiable to the elements in a high quality wood preserver.
I used a thick external shuttering plywood sheet for the floor which I varnished the inside of so it would be easy to clean once the girls moved in.
Step 5: Shiplating the Side and Building a Side Door
The one side that would be permenently closed I covered in shiplate and the other side I only added shiplate to the bottom and top then build a side door that I could remove to clean the coop. This would be secured by gravity and after almost 1 year I have had no issues with it even on very windy days.
Step 6: Adding the Top to the Roof.
Once the sides were on I added a thick peice of timble to the top and routered it around, as well as sealing with mastic.
I tested the roof with a jet cleaner before the chickens moved in and also for a few weeks after it was completed when we had bad snow and nothing got inside.
Step 7: Door and Platform
The door and platform were made from the same timbers as the rest of the coops and were relatively quick to complete.
So rails were added for the door to slide in without falling off and also only allowing the door to go so far up and down.
I added the pulley after so they could be quickly opens in the morning and closed at night.
Step 8: Nesting Box
I build the nesting box from the same timber as the frame then covered in plywood and shiplate, devided into two so two birds can nest at one time and added a door at the back so that the eggs can be easily retreived.
The inside I pained in varnish.
Made the roof water proof with a rubber matting sheet I already had for a building project and which I had already used on the rabbit hutch conversion.
Step 9: Painted and Ready to Dry Out
I painted three coats of high quality wood perserver on the outside and also on the bottom. Inside I painted twice then varnished for easy cleaning.
As I wrote earlier I tested the coop fully first before I let the girls move in and this time also allowed for any chemical smell to go too.
Step 10: Perch Stand
I build three perches within the coop but after they moved in I found they were either too high or they just didnt like them so I have since build a stand that the girls perch on and as this is removable it allows me to clean the coop without issue. As can be seen they have been living in here now for many months :)