Coop Inspiration — Coopacabana

Coop Inspiration — Coopacabana

By David Sinclair ( – My wife and I inherited a chicken coop when we bought our homestead and have had chickens now for a few years. But as any chicken-keeper knows, what you need when you have chickens is more of them! So I decided to build a second coop to accommodate more chickens and incorporate some useful features I’ve seen in Backyard Poultry magazine and elsewhere. I started sketching designs on my iPad Pro using an Apple Pencil, drawing in the excellent Linea Sketch app. My designs quickly grew from something small to a large 12′ x 8′ coop that includes a storage area, feeder and water tubes, roll-out nesting boxes, a poop tray under the roosts, an automatic pop door, and, of course, a chandelier.

This was my first building project of any significance, so I studied construction techniques, purchased more power tools and dove in. The plywood floor sits on treated 2 x 6 joists, resting on concrete pier footings. The walls are framed with 2 x 4’s, sheathed in OSB sheeting, wrapped in Tyvek moisture wrap, and clad in HardiPlank siding. The roof is made of 2 x 6 joists, sheathed in OSB, with tar paper underlayment, and roofing shingles, with a peak vent, plus enclosed eaves with more ventilation. The trim is 1 x 4 and 1 x 6. I also made custom doors and windows, using trim boards, plywood, and clear Lexan for the windows, plus various hardware. I built the entire thing myself over several months, and my wife painted it in bright Caribbean-inspired colors.

The coop includes feeder and water tubes that are supplied by inverted three-gallon jugs in the storage area. There is also a dispenser for oyster shell and grit. A set of roll-out nesting boxes are enclosed with neat curtains inside the coop. Extra roosting bars can be accessed from outside the coop via double doors, to make it easy to collect the eggs. Chickens poop a lot at night, so there is a large tray under the main roosting bars, enclosed inside a wire frame. The tray can be pulled out via a hatch in the wall for easy cleaning. A pop door lets the chickens out into the run, with an automatic light-sensitive opener to open the door in the morning and close it at night. As another fun touch, a brightly colored chandelier provides daytime illumination; this is also on a timer, to let the chickens keep to their natural rhythms.

Outside, the chickens have a large fenced run, that includes roof netting to keep out predators. It features more roosting bars, swings, and logs for perching. There are painted tires for dust baths and there is a large grazing box that provides grass to nibble on (without letting them mow it to the ground), and a xylophone to peck. There are also planter boxes under the end windows, which contain herbs that naturally keep away flies.

Sketch of the floor plan, when designing the coop.
Sketch of the back wall, that includes large vents that can be opened in hot weather.
Sketch of the west wall, with a large openable window.
Sketch of the east wall, which also has a poop tray hatch.
Sketch of the wall between the coop and storage area.
Sketch of the roll-out nesting boxes.
Starting construction, with the floor and first wall.
The first two walls are up!
Me standing in the framing.
The roof joists are added.
Wrapped the wall sheathing in Tyvek for waterproofing.
Starting roofing.
Roofing underlayment.
Roofing shingles, with a makeshift safety platform.
Custom-made doors and windows.
Adding trim.
Enclosed eaves with ventilation slots that lead into the coop.
Planter box under an end window, that later includes herbs to keep away flies.
Painting the trim in bright colors.
The painting completed.
The painting completed, along with a weathervane.
Every elegant chicken coop needs a colorful chandelier!
The split door between the storage area and coop.
Water and food jugs in the storage area.
Water drinker cups and feeder tube.

Pulleys and ropes open the windows.

The east wall showing the open window, planter box and poop tray hatch.
The automatic pop door opener and a close-up on the vents.
Roll-out nesting boxes with curtains and a roost above (with its own poop tray).
A poop tray under the roosts, as two nested trays, the inner one to collect poop, the outer one with wire to keep the chickens from walking in it.
An oyster shell and grit dispenser.
A high view of the fully-enclosed chicken run.
Outdoor roosts for daytime sunning.
Swings and logs as more roosting opportunities.
A xylophone to peck at for fun entertainment.
The front of the completed coop.
The front of the completed coop.
A Coopacabana est. 2017 sign hangs above the door.
An image combining several views.

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