Hi there chicken gurus!
I have been planning the addition of chickens to our garden for about 12 months now, and it's time to stop procrastinating and get cracking!
I have been considering purchasing a coop, and have a timber one in particular in mind which will cost about $400 and measures about 1.8 long and 1.2 wide and high, which I can get at a local nursery.
However, we have this cubby house in our back yard and the kids have never really taken to it the way we thought they would so I am now wondering if we should convert it? and if you think this is a good idea, I would love some tips, as the last time I picked up a hammer was in wood work about 15 years ago!
This cubby measures about 1.8 x 1.8 internally, plus the the little 'verandah'. It hasn't got a door or floor, and has two side windows.
It's not extremely solid, but it's stable on a level surface.
I was thinking of turning one of the windows into a collection box, and running a shelf along the corresponding internal side for them to nest on, and running a ramp up to it. Somewhere else inside I would put a natural wood branch for a perch. I would probably put a welded mesh on the base and then pavers on top of that to give a smoother surface for them (and for ease of cleaning, and straw on top of that.
I suspect I would need to put a corrugated roof on top (it's just canvas), a door, enclose the other window (shade cloth and mesh?)
The idea I had for the two relatively open gables was to put slats of timber with gaps in between for ventilation, and welded mesh over that for enhanced protection?
I have looked at the Better Homes and Gardens tips for How to build a chicken coop and think that it's more complicated than I need. BH&G How to build a chicken coop
This is a picture of where I would probably locate it, at the top flatter bit with an enclosed run down the slight slope as there's not much for them to destroy there!
If it matters to the discussion, I am currently contemplating wyandotte bantams.
Obviously if the cost of materials and equipment is going to come close to purchasing a new coop, then I would prefer to know that now... but don't really know the value of the materials I need... nor where to start, really!
I would really really appreciate any advice you have to get me started and keep me motivated to do this myself!!
(PS - yay, I worked out the BYP photo system!)