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I created free plans to a similar, smaller coop and a detailed video of how to create it.
The plans: https://www.flickr.com/photos/coopinstructions/
The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz9HJl7pMf4
In this video I will take you on a tour of my easy maintenance chicken coop. Please give it a thumbs up if it was helpful! I will try to answer any questions if you have them. Thanks!
1) How much did this cost to build?
*****Total, i would say we put close to 1000 into the coop, but that includes things like the watering buckets, PVC pipe, and the feed dispenser. Construction stuff has gotten so stinkin expensive! Part of the issue was the size i chose for the coop (5 X 6) which meant a significant amount of waste (plywood sheets are 4X8. If you would do a 4X4 coop, you could probably cut that number in half. Get your hinges at harbor freight and see if you can find a cheap window at a shed supply place. Also, the black wire i used for the run was quite a bit more than economy stuff but i liked it more.
2) Would I change anything about the way this was built?
***** In hindsight, yes, I would. a) After I created this video I had to relocate the water bucket because the chickens got too tall to use it. If the coop had been 2 or 3 inches higher off the ground it woulda worked out okay. b) Also, I am 6'5" tall, and I wish the run were at least that tall. It makes for some back breaking work to walk around in there as it is now. c) I know many people say ya don't need to heat a coop, but this one is very big for the number of birds that I have so their body heat alone is not able to keep it humanely warm on these cold nights. (I'd add more chickens but the run is the right size for this number of birds). All that to say, I wish I had done one of two things...insulated the coop with some foam or designed it so that I could put a temporary winter wall in the inside (reducing the size of their sleeping area and making it easier for them to keep it warmer with their body heat alone). Did that make any sense??
3) Why the sand?
*****I realize sand isn't as nice for the chickens as grass, but the grass was gone about two days after putting the chickens in the run...and then I had mud (which, in this part of Pennsylvania is slow draining). I felt like like sand would at least cut down on the mud and help keep their feet a little dryer. The sand is probably 2 or 3 inches deep, and they seem to churn it up enough that smell hasn't been a real issue. I did dig out and replace all the sand once in the last 8 months.
4) Do I have blueprints of what I did here?
*****No, I kinda had a vague idea of what I wanted to do and made it up as I went. But enough people have asked me for them that I am trying to get those together for you all by spring. Subscribe and stay tuned and you will be the first to see them when they are done!
5) How many eggs do you get?
*****These are golden comet chickens, and I am BLOWN AWAY by the number of eggs they have been producing. I have 7 chickens and I VERY rarely have a day when we don't get 7 eggs. I expect that they have got to slow down for the winter (I live in Pennsylvania), but I've been saying that for a number of weeks now!? It's now January 7th.
6) How easy is it to care for chickens?
***In the spring, summer, and fall caring for the chickens was a lot easier than I expected it would be. In the winter there is an added challenge if you live somewhere its cold, because you gotta make sure the water doesn't freeze. I have my hose put away for the winter so i gotta walk the water out there.
I now have bins under the roosts where I collect their droppings and that cuts down on how often I need to clean out all the bedding. You'll probably want to empty those bins once a week and clean out the whole coop once a month or so. Other than that, collect the eggs, give them food and fresh water. With this setup, and an additional water bucket I can go away for 5 days at a time without worrying too much about them. I just arrange for neighbors to pick up the eggs (which they don't seem to mind if it means free eggs)
If you start trying to pack too many birds into a small coop/ run, that's where you might run into more problems with the birds not getting along well. This could mean isolating birds and treating sores; I avoided all that by giving them plenty of space.
Thanks for the thumbs up everyone! If this was helpful and you haven't given it a thumbs up yet I would appreciate it.