To design this coop I bought “Chicken Coops for Dummies” and did some research for ideas on the internet. The main coop is built on top of a 4×8 sheet of plywood (sitting on piers) with standard 2×4 stud walls. I used plywood for the walls but sheathed this in cedar fencing to blend into our yard. The main roost and nests are in the top right with exterior doors to allow access and wire vents for cooling. The bottom right is storage for food, treats and cleaning supplies. The left side is basically a covered porch and contains the ramp into the roost, the feeder and some perching rails. The main door has plastic panels that can be added for winter and removed for summer. A small gate leads into the fully enclosed chicken run. Inside the chicken run we keep a deck box for extra straw as well as watering stations. There are perching rails out here as well as some swings.
We picked up our pullets in Half Moon Bay at the age of 3 months and we have now had them for 9 months. The 7 hens are named Etta, Foo, Yung, Muffie, Sou, Bennie, and Flo in honor of various egg dishes. The breeds are Buff Orpington, Wellsummer, Black Sex Link, Ameraucana, Brahma, and either two Rhode Island Reds or two Red Sex Links (we were supposed to get one of each but they are identical). Dried meal worms and leftover vegetable and fruit bits/peelings are their favored treats. We get around 5 eggs a day although it can vary between 2 and 7. Heat spells seem to really slow down production. It is easy to find folks that want any excess eggs.
We’ll provide Arnold Palmer’s and snacks.