Cindy in Rhode Island sent us this picture of her Garden Coop build, all decked out for the holidays. The rest of this post comes directly from her:
The “Hen Hilton”
I purchased your chicken coop plans last summer and completed the coop and pen in early fall with help from a friend who is a retired carpenter. We adapted the plans in several ways to suit my needs and the limitations set by the location I selected in my back yard.
This spot is one of the few level areas on my hillside property. Because it is under an upper deck, it is well protected against the elements, including snow. Facing southeast it gets plenty of sunshine during the day, with some solar gain through the window which warms up the coop toward nightfall. The location also complies with my town’s chicken-coop setback requirements which are fairly restrictive (40-feet from all property lines).
Here are some of the modifications we made:
- Attached hardware cloth on the inside of the back wall because we were backed up against the garage. Replacing the hardware cloth, if ever necessary, will be a lot easier this way.
- Poured concrete footings in lieu of cinder blocks for additional stability. We sometimes get high winds here on my hillside.
- Mixed and poured concrete around the buried hardware cloth for extra predator proofing. Several local people have lost flocks to fisher cats, and I am admittedly paranoid about predators.
- Moved hen door to right wall for more floor space.
- Installed vinyl flooring on the floor and up the wall one foot inside the hen house. I “scoop poop” every morning — absolutely no big deal to do from the cleanout door.
- Enlarged the egg door so I can clean the nesting boxes or add shavings/straw from outside the coop.
- I’m now working on building some “chicken tunnels” so that in the spring I can let the girls out into a protected area of my backyard garden with aviary netting. That’s a work in progress so I won’t have photos for a while.
By the way, I was able to find a nontoxic sealer at my local Benjamin Moore paint store. Thanks again for the great plans. I spent months and countless hours searching for a coop and kept coming back to your design. Thanks for all the thought that went into it. My chickens are content — and safe — in their new home.
Thanks, Cindy, for the photo and your great feedback. If you like Cindy’s coop or have found her advice helpful, please let her know with a quick comment below.