We’re thinking about applying to be on a Denver chicken coop tour. There’s an actual application and you have to submit photos. Is our coop cool enough for that? I think it’s pretty awesome, but I don’t really know how it stacks up with other area coops.
If you like our coop and you’d like to make one like it, I’ll ask Ben to provide details. He designed and built the whole thing. My involvement was limited to picking out the paint colors (the walls are Behr Refreshing Pool and the trim and door are Behr Grand Hotel Geranium Pink — oh, and the trim on the top and bottom are whatever random gray color we used to paint our kitchen cabinets), ordering some awesome shed windows from Amazon, and being the resident expert on chickens and what they need in their housing accommodations.
Just in case you’re into that sort of thing, I’ll post pictures of the construction process soon. I don’t want you to miss out on the linoleum floor or anything.
Welcome to our chicken coop!
The coop and run are on the side edge of our back yard. Believe it or not, it didn’t feel like we lost that much space.
This is the back/side of the coop, which faces our fence. We don’t really see this side. It has a window and a vent.
There are vents like this on the front and back of the coop. I learned from backyardchickens.com that when designing your coop, you should provide adequate ventilation. Then you should add more. These are awesome because the front vent operates as a window through which you can see the ladies roosting at night. We might cover these in the winter if it’s too drafty inside (although it’s important to remember that you need good ventilation in the winter, too).
It’s a good idea to keep the nest boxes blocked off until your chickens are reliably roosting. You don’t want them to roost in the nest boxes.
The nest box side of the coop is really close to our garage, which is cool because it’s kind of sheltered back there.
I am a big fan of locks on chicken coops. Especially if you have kids, locks on the chicken coop are a good idea. Trust me. (I know not from personal experience but from reading a horrific tale on Facebook about a kid accidentally leaving a coop open and then the dog got involved and it was a bad scene for all involved.)
The windows are shed/playhouse windows. The windows and vents are lined with hardware cloth. Long story short, you need hardware cloth or a solid surface like wood between your chickens and the outside world on all sides, even under the ground of your chicken run. Do not rely on screens or chicken wire (chicken wire is only good for keeping chickens in, not keeping anybody else out).
Again, I’m a fan of locks. The extension cord is used to open and close the chicken door (it’s stronger than whatever random rope/string we had around) although at least while it’s nice out we don’t close the chicken door. That way, the ladies can come out whenever they want in the morning. This is safe to do as long as you have a predator-proof chicken run attached to the coop.
The chicken run is right next to our garden — or, well, part of our garden. The run is 6′ tall, which means I can stand up in it and Ben can almost stand up in it. We briefly considered making it shorter to save $$, but that would’ve been no fun for anybody.
Here’s the chicken ladder for the ladies to get into and out of the coop. The doorway is pretty low and they can get in without it, but it’s pretty cute.
We opened the nest boxes yesterday!