We have been experiencing some very heavy rain and wind lately, normal for a New Zealand winter, however it seems a little more intense this year. As a result the current chicken coop is getting damp. So moving the chicken coop is required. We are building a chicken coop!
The current coop is made from the old trampoline frame, corflute real estate signs, clear light, wind cloth, tarpaulin, zip ties and duct tape it has been doing the job for the last two years. The pictures below show the coop, only difference from then to now is that the front from the horizontal trellising is extended right to the top providing full protection from wind and rain.
While this coop was doing the job, it is on the lowest point of the section and with all the wild weather we have experienced there has been an abnormal amount of water flowing down towards the coop.
This is a very big issue because Damp = Disease when it comes to poultry, so things need to change sooner rather than later.
Know what I’m doing? Nope!! Typical becs style just winging it with no plan. It’s organic building at its best! At least I’m using proper fixings this time and not relying on zip ties and duct tape. The current coop is too big to move, so we will be building new!
Things to Consider When Building a Chicken Coop
On such a small section I am really limited to where I can move things. My chickens and ducks free range, which means that their housing can be tucked away in low use areas. Only problem is that the low use areas are also the lowest points on the section, and the end point for all waterflow.
Earlier this year I constructed a raised platform for the saffron crocus’s, made out of some cinder blocks and a plastic pallet. The area was off the end of the path, and along the garden fence where the raspberries had made themselves at home.
I decided that this would be an appropriate area for a new chicken coop because it was already being used, meaning I wasn’t going to be sacrificing a free area, and the saffron tubs could be relocated easily to other parts of the garden.
To get started I had to trim back the raspberries canes so I wouldn’t get attacked while trying to work. Then had to move the saffron tubs.
After cutting back canes and moving the tubs I started on clearing the ground so I could level it off. The saffron platform was not level – it didn’t need to be, but it does for a the new coop.
The chickens and ducks were particularly interested in what was being done, so they needed to be locked out.
I decided to try and recycle as much as I could from around the section. But this time instead of using the trampoline frame I purchased some 2.4m rough sawn fence railings so I could make something a little smaller because we only have 3 bantam chickens at the moment and they do not need a lot of space to sleep.
Here is what I collected to make the coop:
- 75mm x 50m fence railings
- timber screws of various lengths
- recycled plastic pallet
- wooden pallet
- clearlight roofing
- timber trellising
- windbreak material
- cut up feed bags
- plywood cut to size
I ran out of daylight to get the project finished, hopefully we have some breaks in the weather over the next couple of days so I can finish it off. What I have left to do is:
- Finish the framing. The framing will be identical on both sides and will leave one end open and under an awning
- Use clearlight to construct the roof which will also overhang the ends making an awning (turquoise in the pic)
- Using clearlight fill in the top parts of the walls, have inserted one bit so you can see where I am going with this (also shown in grey)
- Using old feed bags staple to the inside of the walls, this will create a weather barrier
- Insert the roosts (in red in the pic)
- Under the roost install a droppings board Insert the nesting box under at the open end of coop but still under the awning
The location of the new coop will have drier ground in bad weather and that will eliminate the dampness that we are currently experiencing in the current coop.
Being close to the house will provide additional sheltering from rain and wind in that direction, and when additional awning is constructed all the birds will have an area where they can sit and not get wet….. whether they use it or not is another story.
15 June 2022 Update – here’s the finished product. it looks a little different to the drawing above.
Additional Reading: Best solar powered fan for chicken coop
Building a coop with recycled materials that you find around your section or in the community is a nice cheap and easy way to get going. But there are plenty of other options for coops all that will provide the necessary needs for your flock.