|Discount Bin Lumber|
Although this particular visit resulted in a great score, other visits were not so fruitful. I realized quickly that at this rate, it would take me forever to source all the material to build the coop. I had to figure something else out.
K called several local lumberyards and discovered that the prices on regular 2x4s and plywood were lower than the big box stores (regular prices, not discount bin prices). Still, when it was all added it all up it was quite expensive. I decided to modify my design from a 4x8 walk in shed to a shorter 4x8 design raised up several feet above the ground. This will not only save on lumber cost, but also provide a shaded and sheltered area under the coop for the chickens during the day. Since I won't be able to walk into the coop to clean. There will be a door at each 4-foot end. Cleaning will be at waist level allowing the bedding to be swept into a wheelbarrow from doors at each end.
|Revised Coop Idea (subject to change)|
Most coop designs show the nesting boxes bumping out of the main structure with a hinged lid to access the eggs. I was concerned that these would be cold in the winter and didn't trust that we could make them leak proof. So I decided to keep the nesting boxes inside. A small door similar to what is shown here will allow us access to the eggs from the outside.
From my research, sand is a great option for the floor of the coop because it dries quickly and is easy to scoop clean much like a kitty litter box. However, I worry that it will be too chilly for the floor during the cold months. I will try it in the poop deck and see how it goes. A lot of members of the backyardchickens.com forum swear by Sweet PDZ. Sweet PDZ is a stall freshener for horses that is an all-natural, non-hazardous and non-toxic mineral that captures, neutralizes and eliminates harmful levels of ammonia and odors.
With the new design in place, we have begun gathering the lumber, fencing, and hardware cloth needed to build the coop. Sourcing windows will take more effort. I've been checking Craigslist and will visit our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore this week to see what they have. I may go with one window on the south side of the coop door to let in light and hardware screened windows for ventilation on the sides like this.
Hopefully we will begin building this weekend.