Upgrading the Chicken Coop – Part 1

I have wanted to upgrade the chicken coop for a while now so took some time researching a number of different plans, sizes and shapes and narrowed it down to what specifications I wanted within the coop. Below is the coop that I built about two years ago from a range of leftover wood laying around, sleeping areas of a coop and a dog kennel that wasn’t being used. It has worked up until now but was hard to access for egg collection and cleaning and was starting to show some serious signs of wear and tear from the nightly visits by the possums and Freya being her usual devil self.

The specs I wanted for the new coop included:

  • Full height so I could walk into the coop without crouching over;
  • Large enough that they would be happy to stay inside all day if they have to because of weather or animals but I will still let them out to free range most of the time;
  • Easy access to nesting boxes to collect eggs;
  • Roosting poles for sleeping;
  • Dust bath;
  • Food & Water;
  • Things for them to play on such as sticks or swings.

I still had a few lengths of timber leftover from the garden bed covers as well as some wire but wanted to use some other leftover wood that we had laying around such as some pallets. I did have to purchase some structural timber (probably chose something overly sturdy though) for the frame but at least it won’t be blowing away any time soon.

Clint modelled the coop using Fusion360 and in mid-May the timber arrived allowing me to get started.

I began by creating the two side wall panels. It’s 3.6m long and 2.4m high and wide.

One of the side panels

We then prepared and leveled the area I chose to locate the chicken coop. The site has some good air flow and shade from the trees and also protection from the carport which is just to the left (out of view).

It required a fair bit of soil to level it out so luckily I was on the shovel and Clint pushed the barrow most of the time.

After that we were ready to start erecting the structure. Luckily we have a forklift, so we used that to hold up one side whilst Clint held the other and I was up the ladder attaching the wood to brace it and hold it all together. Once we had one side done it was fairly easy to get the other side connected.

At the end of day 2 we had the bulk of the structure completed. I had to sort out a few more supplies during the week, including the mdf boards for the base and side of the sleeping area and nesting boxes, plus a ramp, turf and hinges but I got those supplies together to keep going the next weekend.

The structure at the end of day 2

I’ve broken this project down into four separate smaller posts rather than one lengthy novel as it was just too big.

The project has progressed well so the next update will come out very soon.

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