July 8, 2012
It’s all about timing… The Chicken coop was started before we got the chicks. The first home for the chicks was a plastic storage container that became their brooder. We soon realized after the second week they were growing as we watched. So I had to put the main chicken coop on hold for a day and build what we called the coop-et (a bigger brooder) to move the chicks into until the chicken coop was ready. I basically built a big crate that was approximately 24” x 24” X 40”. Size was determined by using one sheet of plywood.
I framed the sides with boards I ripped down to 1 5/8” wide. If you use power tools always follow all safety instructions.
Corners were joined using corrugated fasteners, I used ¼” plywood for the panels. I used white glue and number 2 common nails to attach to the frame. Always square up the frame before attaching the panel. White or carpenter glue makes a stronger panel.
I used 1 5/8” zip screws to assemble the ends and sides plus the bottom. I used screws in case I wanted to disassemble. Tip- I drilled small pilot holes to keep the wood from splitting and used a beveled counter sink it in order to keep the screw heads flush.
The topside was an open frame.
I attached chicken wire to the top with heavy-duty stables and added ¼” plywood gussets on the corners to add strength and keep the top square.
Two recycled hinges were used to attach the top to the base to allow easy opening.
For the perches, I cut out two ¾” plywood boards and notched out a slot for a ¾” wooden dowel. They were attached on both sides of the sides.
The chicks went into the coop-et at around 2 weeks. . We used wood shavings from a local carpenter mill shop for the bottom. Also added was a little log so they could play on it.
As they continued to grow, their poop grew in size. So cleaning out was more frequent.