Coop Inspiration — Coopacabana
By David Sinclair (yellowcottagehomestead.com/category/chickens) – 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.
Pulleys and ropes open the windows.