Chicken coop: center door, roosts, light

The new chicken coop is almost complete!

There are a few things to finish off: some latches and such for the windows and doors, the custom waterer & feeder, the pop door controller, and the nesting boxes. But those can wait; it is now finished enough for the chicks to move in, at last. Probably tomorrow.

By popular request (i.e. Jenn said she preferred it), I’m going to go back to captions above the photos in the blog. Sorry for any confusion.

Here’s the center door under construction: hardware cloth sandwiched between two 1×4 boards:

And finished:

The center doors installed. It’s a split door, so I could have the bottom half closed and the top open, if desired. The two halves will have a slide bolt tying them together:

View of the door from the coop side:

Finishing the hardware cloth on the wall, plus a temporary barrier below. The nesting boxes will go there, so will have a solid wall where the temporary one is (they won’t need nesting boxes for a few months, so no need to add them yet):

Roosting bars installed, and a temporary poop tray below. I’ll later build a frame with fencing wire on top to keep the chickens off the poop tray:

A closer look at one end of the roost bars. They are removable for cleaning:

A temporary latch for the center door, until I get a chance to go to Home Depot for a nicer one:

Electrical cord and timer for the light:

Why settle for a boring light when the chickies can have a chandelier?! A multi-color one in keeping with the Caribbean-inspired paint colors of the exterior:

Chicken coop: vents & windows

Over the last couple of days, when not doing paid work, I mounted the vent doors, added pulleys for the windows, installed door & window stops, and added hardware cloth on the windows and part of the center wall.

Vent doors on the south side.

I’ve currently added a hook & eye to hold one of the vents open (or closed) as an experiment. But once again, I’ve decided to use a slide bolt instead. The hook & eye just doesn’t feel as secure. So this will change.

Added a pulley & rope to open (and hold open) the window. It doesn’t feel as secure with only one, and the window can twist a bit, so I plan to add a second pulley & rope.

Rope cleat.


Open. A nice thing about using a rope is that I can open the window to whatever angle is desired. 

Some deer wandering past while I work.

Added door & window stops.

The pop door controller window on the left (the controller will be mounted on that green backing, which is a door), and one of the vents with a hardware cloth screen.

Hardware cloth on the north window.

Hardware cloth on part of the center wall.

The view out the north window.


Chicks released from the crate

The chicks are still upstairs, though will be moving into their new coop in a few days. Each morning I let them out of their crate for half an hour or so, while I spend time with them and change their food & water. There’s always an explosion of activity when I open the door.


Chicken coop: north doors & window

I finally got around to mounting the front window and doors today.

Mounting the door latch.

The front window, egg doors, and person door.


Even closer. I added a wedge of wood to mount the bottom of the handle, as it had to be a certain distance from the edge of the door, for the latch arm. The bottom isn’t attached yet, so Jenn could paint the wood without having to mask it.

Inside view of the latch. It can be opened from the inside.

Another view of the inside of the door. The gaps around the sides will be covered by door stop boards.

Chicken coop: painting siding & installing windows

As mentioned yesterday, Jenn started painting the siding while I was doing irrigation stuff. Today, she continued, while I did some changes to the poop door, and mounted the two end windows. Read on for more.

Cutting in the paint on the siding.

West and south walls painted (barring touch-ups).

The large piles of door & window hardware to be installed.

I replaced and moved the handle on the poop door (see original), and replaced the hook & eye latches with gate latches, which work much better.

Hard to see, but there’s another gate latch to hold the door open, too.

East & north walls painted, and east window installed.

West window installed. Again I used a hook & eye latch, but am not pleased with how well it holds the window closed, so will probably replace it with a slide bolt or something. Hey, I need to go back to Home Depot anyway — my table saw died, so I’ll take it in for repair (fortunately I don’t really need it anymore for this project).

Extending irrigation to new trees

Much as I’d like to be working on the coop, to get it ready for occupation, it’s a hot day with no sign of rain for a while, so I thought I’d better add irrigation for some new trees around the property. Meanwhile, Jenn started painting the siding; more on that probably tomorrow.

Irrigation pipe inside PVC pipe as conduit under the path.

The “dessert” apple trees (as opposed to cider apples); the one in the foreground is a McIntosh variety that was planted earlier this year, now with irrigation.

Two dogwood trees and dogwood shrubs around the pool area, now irrigated.

Irrigation for a couple of the new cider apple trees.

And a couple more.

A branch off the row of apple trees out to the new oak tree in the field, again buried in conduit. Nothing like digging a ditch in 90°F heat.

Irrigation for the oak tree.

Chicken coop: finished siding

Today I finished installing the siding on the chicken coop.

Working on the west wall.

West wall done.


Working on the north wall.

North wall done, and working on the east wall.

All walls finished.

West and south again.

North and west again.

Chicken coop: siding underway

It’s finally time for the siding. I’m installing HardiPlank lap siding, to match that used on the old coop and the house (or part of it). 

The first board in place. 

One wall done. (Other than painting.)

Fiddly bits around the pop door. 

Starting the east wall. 

Current progress.