Our first big project our first year here was our chicken coop. Primarily, this is for composting material in the form of nitrogen from the chicken droppings to get the wood chips that are already here on the property on their way breaking down into nutrient dense compost. The added benefit is obvious, eggs! We won't be slaughtering chickens for meat on our farm, so our customers can enjoy eggs totally guilt free. When the hens age, and stop laying, they still serve their primary purpose, pooping fertilizer. Our outside dimensions are 8' x 16', total square feed inside is 117. They recommend each chicken have 2 sq. ft. witch would make our capacity almost 60 hens, we have only 30. This not only helps eliminate most risk of disease, but increase cleanliness, and most of all general happiness and comfort of our hens. When we as humans use animals for our benefit or enjoyment we owe it to them to ensure they're treated humanely. This means they should be treated in such a way to promote their general well being, and whether chickens have feelings or not, it sure makes a huge difference to treat them like they do regardless. We designed and built our first coop with this in mind.
We decided to build off the back of a small sturdy stucco building that was here when we moved in. It used to be a small casita loft. The tree is directly west of the site and created a noticeable cool micro climate as it blocks the afternoon sun.
We went with a post hole platform foundation. Everything we did was a first for me, and most for dad too, we learned as we went. These first materials we rented a van to load it in so we could get started.
Dad snagged a shed building book, Carpentry for Dummies, and a framing book from the library. He studied ever step we were on and literally did it "by the book".
Then we sheathed her up, wrapped her in plastic and popped in the storm doors (we should have gotten one with a doggy door here to modify for chickens). This side opens to the chicken run, witch is fenced, and will contain our compost and food scrap piles.
The next step was our paneling, and paint... Stay tuned for the completion of the coop, and first days with our chicks!