Posts tagged with ‘Wood’

 

Make It Your Own: Michael’s Seattle Garden Coop with Cedar Siding and Windows

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Chicken coop with cedar siding and shortened run

Michael and family in Seattle built a modified version of the The Garden Coop to fit their backyard and needs. I particularly like the woodwork on this coop, like the tapers he cut into the ends of the purlins, the alternating corners on the siding, and the added depth and angle on the rafter tails. Michael sent us some great notes and several photos of their handiwork. Here they are:  (more…)

Make It Your Own: Clay’s Striped Garden Coop, Austin, Texas

Monday, January 20th, 2014


Chicken coop with log roosts in run area.
Clay from Austin, Texas sent us a note and pictures of the chicken coop he built using the The Garden Coop plans. The striped stained-wood siding on the henhouse and extra external nesting boxes look fantastic. The rest of the post is from Clay. . . .

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Make It Your Own: Ying’s Chicago Backyard Coop

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Ying made a wonderful addition to her Chicago backyard using the Garden Coop chicken coop plans, modifying the design to have a peaked roof. The rest of the post comes from her. . . . 

Wood frame of backyard chicken coop in Chicago

Building my chicken coop

I bought your plans back in the second week of June and started working on it right away. I finished in early August and wanted to share with you the fruits of my labor!

It was very daunting to see some 30+ pages after I purchased your coop plans and downloaded it, but I was determined to see it through. I thought if other women could do it, why not me?

I deviated from the plan and added my own alterations, but I used the main frame which gave me a fantastic foundation.  (more…)

Make It Your Own: Nick’s Iowa Garden Ark with External Nesting Boxes

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Blue and white chicken tractor with outboard nesting boxes

Nick shared pictures of his blue and white chicken tractor that he built using The Garden Ark plans. The outboard nesting boxes look great, and the hinged window is a nice touch. Here are his comments. . .  (more…)

Make It Your Own: Steve’s Backyard Garden Coop, Queensland, Australia

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Garden Coop built on a slope.

Steve used The Garden Coop plans to build this secure walk-in coop at the edge of his orchard on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. He sent us a nice note and pictures to share.  (more…)

Make It Your Own: The Swifts’ North Carolina Garden Coop

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

North Carolina chicken coop

Caity and family used The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop plans to build and customize the perfect coop for their North Carolina home. Take a look at the details they added, including the painted chicken art, and read on for her notes on all they did to make the coop their own. The rest of this post comes straight from her. . . .  (more…)

Make It Your Own: Megan’s Nashville Garden Coop

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Recycled barn wood creates a rustic look on this backyard chicken coop.

As an early and active participant in Urban Chicken Advocates of Nashville, artist Megan Lightell helped with the push to make backyard chickens legal in Tennessee’s capital. And when the ordinance finally passed in early 2012, she celebrated right away by building her dream coop. The rest of this post comes directly from her. . . .  (more…)

Make It Your Own: Abby and John’s Garden Coop (Lafayette, California)

Friday, March 16th, 2012

California backyard chicken coop built with The Garden Coop chicken coop plans

Abby and John used The Garden Coop chicken coop plans to build this gorgeous coop for their California backyard. It’s a wonderful example of how something as functional as a chicken coop, when done right, can add beauty to an already beautiful outdoor garden space.

I’ve actually been meaning to post this coop profile for some time, so without further delay. . . (more…)

Discount code for non-toxic wood treatment and stains from Timber Pro UV

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

For visitors to TheGardenCoop.com, I’ve arranged a discount from Portland’s own Timber Pro UV on their non-toxic wood treatments and stains.

In particular, their Internal Wood Stabilizer product is ideally suited for chicken coops like The Garden Coop and The Garden Ark, safely protecting exposed exterior softwoods from rot and moisture damage in a way that stain or paint alone cannot.

Learn more and get the Timber Pro UV discount code here.

Make It Your Own: Richard and Ellen’s “Secret Layer,” Vista, California

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

This spacious California chicken coop was built using The Garden Coop walk-in coop plans.

Richard and Ellen shared several pictures of their Garden Coop build along with notes about how they customized it for their California backyard. The rest of the post comes from them. . . (more…)

How to build external nest boxes for your chicken coop

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Instructions to add external nesting boxes to your chicken coopWhether you’re building The Garden Coop, The Garden Ark, The Basic Coop, or pretty much any other chicken coop, the instructions that follow will show you in detail how to add external nesting boxes to your coop.

First, a little background. I designed The Garden Coop, The Garden Ark, and The Basic Coop to make efficient use of space, be easy to build, and to have everything under one roof — including the nesting boxes. Personally, I prefer the simplicity of having the boxes in the henhouse, and it has worked well for us and many others for years.

So if you’re new to chicken keeping or coop building, please do not feel as though you have to add exterior nest boxes to your coop.

That said, there’s something about external nesting boxes that just captures the fancy of backyard chicken keepers. . . . (more…)

Make It Your Own: Lila K.’s Texas Garden Coop

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Texas Chicken House Built With The Garden Coop Plans

Lila K. and her husband live on the Gulf Coastal Plain of Texas. This is their chicken coop, built using The Garden Coop chicken coop design plans. It’s remarkable, not only for what you can see, but also for what you can’t. At least, not unless you’re looking for it.

Lila used 4x4 posts for additional anchoring for the chicken coop frame

The Garden Coop chicken coop design plan calls for a pier-on-grade foundation that works well just about anywhere. But if you need to adapt the design to suit local building codes or seasonal weather events, it’s quite flexible. Lila chose to modify the design by setting 4×4 posts at each corner of the coop and securing the frame to those.

Her primary reason for adapting the design was to give even more stability to their chicken coop, anchoring it firmly should it be buffeted by treacherous Gulf Coast weather. Aesthetically, Lila also liked the beefier look the posts gave to the frame.

She paid great attention to other details as well. She added a small window on the front, and she painted the trim, door stops, and roof structure a light green color that stands out against the natural wood tone of the frame. By doing this, she created really nice outlines that give her chicken coop a smart, finished look.

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To paint or not to paint? That is, the henhouse floor.

Monday, August 9th, 2010

A glimpse of the painted hen house floor of The Garden Ark chicken coop, B.C. (before chickens).

You know you need to protect your chicken coop from the elements outside. Wind and sun, rain and snow take their toll on your poultry pen over time, and a good wood sealer or exterior paint on the outside of the hen house goes a long way toward preventing this damage.

But what about protection from the “elements” inside the henhouse? Face it, a lot more comes out of a hen’s vent than just fresh eggs. And depending on the design of your henhouse — whether you have a special poop tray, a slotted floor, or a bare floor covered in bedding — you have to consider whether you want to paint the hen house walls and floor to make cleaning up their droppings easier. Listen in and/or read on for our thoughts. . .

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Should you paint the floor of your hen house?

The Garden Coop and Garden Ark chicken coop plans call for a simple henhouse floor. That is, there’s no poop tray or slotted floor in these designs, though you could certainly add them. What you have, then, is a basic plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) floor. Both of these are bare wood products, which means that if they get wet, they will begin to absorb moisture.

+ Read more about the henhouse design in The Garden Coop and The Garden Ark chicken coop plans.

+ Read more about choosing the right kind of sheet wood for a chicken coop.

Painting the floor will protect it from moisture and everything that can come with it — rot, mold, mildew. Even just the swollen and raised fibers of the wood can make brushing out debris go less smoothly. Seal the surface well, and any soiled bedding should brush right out.

That said, painting the henhouse floor is not a must. Your choice may come down to cost. If you have the right paint handy, by all means use it. But if you’re trying to save on the cost of building a chicken coop, a quart or gallon of quality paint may cost more than the piece of wood you’re trying to protect.

Whether you decide to paint or not, what is a must is that you maintain a layer of carbonaceous bedding (straw, pine shavings, shredded paper, dried leaves, etc.) to collect the chickens’ droppings. This is important for both absorbing moisture and keeping odors down. As the chicken manure collects in the bedding, the mixture of the two is a lot easier to remove and add to the compost.

Painted vs. unpainted

We have a coop in which we painted the floor and another in which we left the hen house floor unfinished. We keep a layer of fresh bedding in both, and since the hens’ droppings fall onto this bedding, the moisture doesn’t readily soak into the plywood. (A bit of chicken trivia, not that you asked for it: A chicken’s urine comes out the vent with its feces. It’s the whitish stuff mixed in with the droppings.)

Here are a couple pictures of those hen house floors. The first is of the unfinished floor. The second is of the painted one.

This floor is OSB and has never been painted. Ive brushed away some of the bedding to reveal the surface. The dust is a mixture of diatomaceous earth, straw, and dried droppings.
The floor of the raised hen house on this Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop is made of OSB, is a couple years old, and has never been sealed or painted. I brushed away some of the straw bedding to reveal the surface. The gray dust you see is a mixture of diatomaceous earth, straw, and dried droppings.

The inside floor of this Garden Ark mobile chicken coop is painted with white exterior latex paint. Ive brushed back the bedding to show the floor. Notice it looks about the same as the unfinished henhouse floor pictured above. But I could wipe this one down to its original smooth condition. (If I wanted to.)

The hen house floor of this Garden Ark mobile chicken coop is painted with white exterior latex paint. I've brushed back the bedding to show the floor. Notice it looks about the same as the unfinished henhouse floor pictured above. But I could wipe this one down to its original pristine condition (if I ever wanted to.) The smoothness of the painted floor does make it a little easier to sweep out the soiled bedding.

Now, while the floors in both these coops are holding up quite well, we do find that the painted floor is easier to clean. It’s definitely easier to tell when it’s clean, and my guess is that the painted surface will outlast the unpainted one.

Painting the henhouse floor

To paint the floor of your chicken coop, simply apply two coats (or more) of a durable exterior latex paint. The coop should be so well ventilated that any gradual off-gassing from your paint won’t harm the chickens, but you may still prefer to use a low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint, especially if you’re painting the floor piece indoors. If you have a primer, applying that first will improve the adhesion and coverage of the paint.

Hens like to go barefoot and rarely trim their nails, so plan to use a paint that’s tough enough to hold up to the constant scratching. As for color, white or a pale shade is best, as it will make it more obvious when the chicken coop floor needs to be cleaned.

What about the hen house walls?

Since the interior walls don’t get soiled like the floor, we’ve left them bare on all of our family’s coops. But if you have the paint or a durable flooring material like vinyl or linoleum and the time, you might cover them anyway just to brighten things up.

Some final tips on painting the inside of your chicken coop:

  • Your choice may come down to cost. If you have the materials and the time, you might as well paint or cover the floor of the henhouse.
  • Make sure you apply any paint or floor covering to the henhouse floor before the chickens move in.
  • Also, paint the floor and walls at the right time in the construction process. If you’re using our chicken coop construction plans, we note in there when it’s a good time to paint. If you’re building without a plan, keep in mind that it may be easier to paint the floor or wall sections before you install them.
  • Let the paint dry or cure well — and then some — before inviting the girls in. They’ll tear it up without a second thought (without a first thought, actually). Refer to your product’s literature for proper drying times.
  • Our coop designs call for raised henhouses. If the floor in your coop design will be subject to both human and chicken foot traffic, consider the most durable hen house flooring option first, then work back based on what you can afford.

Let us know what has worked for you. Did you paint your henhouse floor or not? Any particular paints or sealers work well on your chicken coop floor? Leave your comment below!

Guest article at The Urban Garden Project

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I’ve got a guest article up at The Urban Garden Project offering seven tips for building a garden-friendly backyard chicken coop. Check it out, then click around The Urban Garden Project site for more tips on backyard gardening, square foot gardening, chickens, and more.

Thanks, Ben, for inviting me to post!

The importance of sanding when building a chicken coop

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Sanding mill glaze off chicken coop lumberThere’s something about sandpaper. In the excitement of building the ideal chicken coop, DIY coop builders often either don’t realize or underestimate the role of sandpaper in building a coop that lasts. But if you’re planning to apply a preservative, stain, paint, or other sealer to your chicken coop lumber, sanding it first is a must. Especially if the wood you’re working with is new and smooth.

I should mention first that most plywood should be ready to go as is. What I’m talking about here is dimensional lumber (2x2s, 2x4s, etc., called “timber” outside of the U.S.). The reason that lumber needs to be sanded first has to do with how it is milled and something called “mill glaze.” (more…)