By far, the coop is the most costly investment to adding backyard chickens to our homestead. I scoured the internet for pre-built, pre-fab, and craigslist coops. I also searched for craigslist sheds, ice shacks, and other out buildings that could be converted. I didn't find anything that was affordable or of the quality necessary to withstand our harsh winters. The only other option was building the coop. It will be a huge challenge because we have very little building tools or skills between us.
I searched the internet again for coop plans and ideas. I tried to plan sensibly and thought a shed type coop that used standard wood and plywood sizes to make things easier. Inspiration and ideas from various sources are "pinned" to my Pinterest page.
|The First Coop Idea|
I considered giving up on the whole idea thinking there was no way it was affordable. Just then, an employee at the store asked if we needed any help. K explained our goal. The employee brought us to the back of the lumber section and introduced us to the "scrap bin." The scrap bin had a bunch of 2x4s, 4x4 sheets of plywood, and other lumber at 4-foot lengths all for around 50¢ each and told us this was replenished all the time.
As we left the store, I was still uncertain about the whole coop building idea but my mind began assembling the coop with the scrap bin pieces. Not only is the price a bargain, but we will also be able to fit the smaller lumber in our SUV eliminating the need to rent or borrow a truck. I would be able to maneuver the smaller pieces much easier too and could even build the coop myself without K's help.
"But I'm the builder." K said as I explained my thoughts out loud. "Ah ha!" I thought as this proved to me that he was looking forward to the project. K was in the middle of a large editing project and didn't have the time to devote to planning and building a chicken coop. I tried to be patient and wait until he was finished so we can work on the project together. In the mean time, I continued my research by reading books, blogs, forums, and sketching up plans. I also watched a lot of videos on youtube on how to build walls, frame in windows and doors, and shingle a roof.