Here’s what I am looking for in a coop:
- Small – I only want 3-4 hens
- Portable – we’ll be renting a house and I can’t dedicate a set area for a coop and run and I don’t want to destroy the grass in any part of the yard. The coop will need to be moved every couple of days or so.
- Secure but still easily accessible for cleaning, food and water changing, and egg gathering.
- Stylish – although last, this definitely isn’t least. I don’t want to create an eyesore that neighbors might hate to look at. I want something I can be proud of!
There were several types of coops that I fell in love with but the chicken ark was the design that met these requirements the best. I looked around online for some plans to build my own chicken ark but I couldn’t find anything that matched the size I wanted or the style I wanted. Then I found THE coop for sale at: http://handcraftedcoops.com/small-portable-chicken-coop
Unfortunately, I don’t have the $400 + shipping to spend on this beautiful coop. My husband is already unsure of the cost-effectiveness of owning chickens for the eggs. Honey, think of them more as pets . . . with benefits. So I knew that I needed to try to build my own. Therefore, I have sketched a design based on (okay, okay exactly like) this lovely abode.
Luckily, a large part of an interior design degree consists of learning how to make technical drawings. And I’m just old enough that we still were doing a bit of hand-drafting as CAD was just becoming more and more a part of the curriculum the last two years. Couple this with a weekend with plenty of downtime in the camper at the Grand Canyon last weekend and I’ve got a very VERY preliminary set of sketches for this chicken ark. I hope to do some CAD plans up once I have mine built and I know exactly what materials I use and cut lists and so forth.
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
There are many details that are yet to be filled in but I’m a creative sort so I’ll probably wing it a little and hope for the best and see what comes out! One thing that I worry about are predators. I’ve heard that if you put a hardware cloth “skirt” around the bottom outer edges of the coop it deters predators from digging to go underneath. The skirt lays parallel to the ground for 6″-12″ since predators tend to dig right next to the walls and if they can’t get through there – they (supposedly) give up. Have any of you tried this?
Do you have any thoughts or tips for me? Although my mom raised chickens, I consider myself a newbie in this venture. Let me know what has worked for you and your girls!