This video goes over our chicken coop design - pros and cons. There are some cool features that we included based on some of our previous experiences with laying hens, and a few things that we might change if we were to build it again. We have been using this coop for about a year and a half now and are pretty happy with it!
Most of the lumber used to build this coop was procured at an auction, so we were able to make it quite aesthetically pleasing without breaking the budget! This coop was also built to handle a heavy snow load, so it is pretty stout! Although we probably wouldn't build another coop as nice as this one, we could easily incorporate many of the ideas into a cheaper shell if we were going to start from scratch again.
A couple things that we didn't mention in the video; 1) ventilation and 2) space under the coop.
We did design ventilation into the coop, and we were prepared to add wall vents if necessary, but the original design has worked quite well, so we didn't make any additional mods. The only time ventilation would be a problem would be in the winter when the "drawer" is in and filled with straw. Since the main floor is chicken wire and open to outside air, we made the drawer 1.5" shorter in length than the floor, which allows air to flow up through the floor at one end (behind the nest boxes). The ceiling of the coop is open to the corrugated roofing. We did not seal the corrugations, so this allows for a natural convection action. As the warm air rises and escapes through the roof corrugations, it draws in fresh air from the gap left in the floor and along the underside of the sloped roof. The key is to keep the chickens warm but still allow for some air flow. Our system seems to work very well - better than expected! We have had 0 degree days and lots of humidity, and the chickens have stayed warm enough, and we have had no moisture or condensation at all.
The space under the coop has been great for snow, poor weather and shade. It gives the chickens a place to hang out and scratch around when there is snow on the ground or when it is raining. It is also a nice shady spot when the temps get hot!
Thanks for watching! Let us know if you have any questions!
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