Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Framing the Hoop Coop

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The "chicken dust" was becoming unbearable in our little garage and several of our roos had begun to practice their crowing. It was time to finish the coop and move them out!

We started with a simple base, added recycled flooring material (vinyl tiles) from another demo project, and built a frame for the cattle panels.

Three cattle panels (4' x 16') were bent over and secured to create a 12 foot long hoop.
Cattle fencing also comes in rolls (a little more convenient for transport and handling). I would recommend purchasing it from your local feed/hardware store.

We originally designed an extravagant plan for nesting boxes to fit in the horizontal gap....like this:

but.....the chicks were only 9 weeks old and we needed them out of the garage in a hurry, so we filled in the gap and decided to worry about the nesting boxes later.

The piece of board on top came from our kitchen ceiling. That hole originally held the hood vent pipe for the stove.  It ended up a little off-center, but it serves it's purpose (ironically) as coop ventilation.

The rest of the wood was reclaimed from the floor demo. We figured the chickens wouldn't mind a little wear, tear, and termite damage.

We put a wind wall across the center to separate the front of the coop (open run) from the back (roosts and nests).  We wanted there to be a lot of airflow without straight runs for drafts.

We pulled two branches from the burn pile and stripped the bark off of them for smooth roosting poles.

A little geometry, heavy duty hinges, and some scrap wood... and voila - a door!
The most tedious part of the project was working with the hardware cloth ( a necessary evil to keep predators out).

Cutting each little square was quite a chore. We took turns cutting rows with a good pair of Tin Snips.

We put a strip of hardware cloth around the perimeter of the back wall and secured it around the wood with washers and screws.
The hardware cloth overlapped the cattle panel (eventually covered by roofing material) and wrapped around the back.  We decided it had too many gaps and ended up with this fancy "trim job"....

So far, so good! 

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