New coop

The 3 new girls, Snowball, Pearl and Nugget are getting so big. It is time for them to go outside.

They need a coop and they need it fast!

 We need to get it built asap! I mean ASAP! This will not be my DREAM COOP. This will be my HURRY UP AND THROW SOMETHING TOGETHER COOP.

Sorry. I hope that doesn’t disappoint you. I’m not a carpenter by a long shot and neither is my spouse/helper. Plus I am a bit dyslexic which rules out trying to follow any plans. So I am ‘winging it’!

My original plan was to build the new coop out of pallets. Free pallets are always available on Craigslist. It would make me feel good because I would be recycling too. Everyone on Pinterest is always building something out of pallets.

Easy- peasey!         Right?

Ya sure.


Where I got the idea for the adorable cookie cups that you can fill with pudding and fruit – the ones that turned into crumbs immediately after baking. Or like the 2 ingredient lemon bars that would be to die for. (Yuck) I could go on but I’m sure you get my drift. I am a Pinterest failure!

Ever try to bust down a pallet? Those suckers aint budging!

I have some scrap 2 by 4 ‘s in 4 ft. lengths that I will try to use, as well as some flat boards. Hopefully I can do a bit of recycling and keep costs down.

The saga of my new coop:

Day one:

I decided to build the new coop attached to the old coop, the Cluck Inn, sort of kitty corner – like a coop townhouse project. Whoops! Too hard, too many gaps, hard to get leveled. Decided to unattach it. I will just build a rectangle that will be part secure run and part coop. No problem! Let’s put it by the fence. OK no, too visible from the street, put it at an angle next to the Cluck Inn. Tried to use the 4 foot 2 by 4’s we had but it is a ton of trouble getting everything attached and square. Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhh! (I told you I wasn’t a carpenter) I finally threw in the towel and went to the home improvement store where I spent 6 bucks for 2 8 foot 2 by 4’s.

Made a rectangle.

It looks good but it’s 45 degrees outside and I have to work at 3pm so I am calling it a day. I accomplished a 8 x 4 foot rectangle. Took 1 and a half hours.


Day two:

A trip to the home improvement store for lumber because there will be no breaking of pallets.  I have crossed that job off my list – FOREVER!   80 bucks later and a very squished ride home in the Durango we are ready to get to work.  There is frost on the ground (why do I live in the Midwest?) but work schedules and other commitments mean I have to get something done today.

Oh, and I changed my mind again and went back to putting it by the fence.  (did I mention that I have trouble making decisions?)

I decided to put the rectangle we made the other day, up on pressure treated 4 x 4’s.  My reasons for this are:

1.) Every few inches your coop is elevated saves wear and tear on your  back when cleaning it out.

2.) The wood around the perimeter helps protect the girls from winter winds and snow.

3.) Having the pressure treated wood against the ground will protect the structure from rot.

coop 001

So we made a second rectangle and attached the two rectangles together.  Next we put the vertical studs on.  I do know enough to use a level to  make sure they are straight.  We cut down 10 ft. 2×4’s and made the studs 5 ft. in the front and  4 ft. 8 inches in the back to allow the roof to have a bit of a slope so rain would run off toward the back. It is FREEZING outside so that is it for today.  Once my fingers thaw out I may get started on the nest box and doors which I can at least do in the garage.

coop 005

Day 3:

I work every third weekend and I work from 7 am til 7 pm which means I am pretty much gone.  Which also means my husband and son are left on their own.  Mostly they like to be couch potatoes and watch TV but I guess the allure of an unfinished coop was more than they could resist!

Now unlike us, my son can pretty much build, fix or dismantle anything.  He probably gave a little chuckle when he saw our 2 days of efforts.  OK, I’m being nice, he most likely laughed out loud.  When he’d finished laughing and wiping tears from his eyes he took his truck to the lumber store, came back and built the coop to end all coops.  Or at least the bare bones of one.  Being a male, he figured BIGGER is better so my new coop is 7 and a half feet tall.  It has  three stories!  It will survive a Cat. 5 tornado.  I love my coop, what a sweet surprise!

new coup 001

Right now it is a big sturdy rectangle.  It is up to me to decide where to put the hardware cloth, where to put the roosts, nest boxes, doors, walls, and windows. What kind of roof?  Should it overhang? Do we want a porch?  How should I landscape it? What type of siding?  Paint it or let it age naturally?  Endless possibilities! (And blogging opportunities!)

Please comment with your suggestions!  I’m also trying to think of a name for my new and improved coop, just in case you are feeling creative!


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. azkricket
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 14:46:57

    Your post makes me realize how lucky I am to have my son-in-law here to do all the “heavy” work. Hopefully by the end of the day there will be a rn for my 3little ones.
    The big coop is still a picture in my head.
    Thanks for the smiles! Looking forward to seeing photos!



  2. nzajicek
    Apr 13, 2014 @ 22:49:42

    I want a picture..hope you are keeping a picture diary!



  3. slcriger
    Apr 13, 2014 @ 22:28:23

    the coop will be great when its done…ask the girls to be patient…in the end they will have the best house on the block!!!!!!!!!!



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