Make It Your Own: Joy’s Maryland Garden Coop

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Joy built this backyard coop herself following chicken coop plans from TheGardenCoop.com

Joy used The Garden Coop plans to build a backyard chicken coop at her Maryland home. She adapted the design by moving the henhouse to the right, moving the ladder entry to the side of the henhouse, adding insulated external nest boxes, and using foam closure strips with the polycarbonate roofing panels (these strips also come in wood). Below are a few of the pictures Joy sent in, along with her notes on how the construction went. The rest of this post comes from her. . .

I’m very happy with the way the coop turned out. It’s the first big thing that I’ve ever built, but I was able to do it pretty much by myself — my son helped with some of the heavy lifting and digging.

Joy added external nesting boxes to her Garden Coop chicken coop.The plans were easy to follow. The only times I had any problem were when I deviated from them, like with the exterior nest boxes. With those I ended up building a box with OSB (oriented strand board), inserting it in the space I framed out, then adding furring strips and siding on the outside.

The walls of the nest box are lined with insulation to keep the hens warm in winter.I also cut rigid insulation to fit between the layers. The lid is plywood covered with a strip of roof shingle we had hanging around, and I used a piece of bicycle tire inner tube under the hinges to help keep water out.

My site was more sloped than I thought, so I did need to use larger blocks for the piers on the low end. Unfortunately that also meant extra digging! But I feel like the design is very secure.

Joy's chickens enjoy an amazing view from their coop.We have a lot of foxes, raccoons, and hawks where we live, and the neighbors’ dogs have already attempted to break in. We’ve gotten rather attached to the girls and would hate to see anything happen to them!

The foam closure strips (roofing) were easy to work with. They were a little slippery, and I had to keep pushing them back into place as I went along the purlin. I used roofing nails with neoprene washers instead of screws.

Thanks to Joy for sharing her pictures and thoughts. Like what you see? Let her know in the comments below.
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One Response to “Make It Your Own: Joy’s Maryland Garden Coop”

  1. LeAnn Johnson says:

    Don’t know if you have heard about it, but great ideas like this one are going to be talked about at the Mid-Atlantic Small Flock Poultry Expo on Saturday, February 4, 2012, in Carrol County, Maryland. All the info on seminars etc. is available at http://carroll.umd.edu/ag/poultry.cfm. It sounds like a great resource, and I plan to attend.

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