Sometime in January, Kristin approached me with the idea that we should try raising a few chickens in our backyard. During one of the cold days we spent inside, she happened across an article about the joys and benefits of raising your own chickens.
We talked it over and she convinced me to help her plan and build our own chicken coop a.k.a. The Chicken Palace. We did some sketching on napkins at a few of our favorite restaurants and tap rooms, and i revised them at home with my pencils and markers. Once we had decided on a plan, I modeled the coop design to scale in SketchUp. Using the SketchUp model I created a materials list for the lumber and other supplies.
Our first step was to prepare the chicken palace build site by tearing down an old wooden play set in the back corner of our yard. I used some of the 4×4 posts from the play set supported by patio brick footings for a foundation. Once the foundation was finished we were ready to frame up the walls.
When the walls were framed and attached to the foundation, we plumbed them up and braced the structure. I cut and fit the rafters then used 8 foot tin roof panels screwed into furring strips for the roof. After that it was time to start the south wing with sleeping and nesting areas.
Kristin started staining the structure, while I cut walls, windows and doors. I framed up the doors and windows and then we nailed on the walls and added hinges.
The last wall we added has the sliding coop entrance door that we can open and close from outside.
Before the last wall went on we glued and stapled linoleum to the floor and added our roost with removable bars. Then it was time to introduce the pullets to there new home.