est. 2007

Whitewater Township, Ohio, United States
My wife Julie and I purchased our property in June 2007. Our home sits on seven acres of hillside overlooking the Whitewater River valley in western Hamilton County, Ohio roughly 20 miles west of Cincinnati. The property is well wooded and boasts a pond of about 1/5th acre. Our professional careers dictate we live in Hamilton County, which makes a country setting a bit difficult to find in a county of almost 1 million people. We share the property with our son Casey (3 1/2), and a herd of domesticated animals including 2 dogs, 3 cats, 3 parrots, and 4 Blue Swedish ducks, 10 Buff Orpington chickens, not to mention my oldest hobby aquarium fish.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Chicken Coop

In October 2008, I built my chicken coop. It was quite the project and took multiple weekends for my Dad and I to complete, but I think the end result was worth the effort. The picture to the left shows the finished product (mostly anyway). The only items still to be completed is the gutter and rain barrel, I'll be waiting for a warmer weekend to complete those additions. The chicken run is located next to my vegetable garden, eventually there will be an access door cut into the fence so I can let the chickens enter the garden area for an hour or so to eat bugs and fallen vegetables and deposit their fertilizer, again a project for a warmer weekend. I apologize for the quality of the photos, but it was getting dark when I took these.

The coop itself I designed basically from scratch; however I did use ideas found on and several books. The overall dimensions are 5'x8', with a lean to style roof. I hope to house 10 Buff Orpintons or a like number of Barred Plymouth Rocks. It has a human sized door and of course a chicken door. A 2'x2' slider window was installed above the chicken door to allow light to enter. Unfortunately the coop faces west for the most part because the layout worked better that way. An additional window may be needed on the south side of the building for additional light as the west facing window lets in marginal light, at best, during the day. The nest boxes are built into the north facing wall and are accessible from the outside. There are 3 nest boxes in all each one approximately 14"x14"x15"deep. The structure's roof is shingled along with the nest box "dormer". The entire roof over the nest boxes lifts up using a "piano" hinge. When collecting eggs I use a small chain attached to the roof structure to hold it open. The entire building is insulated using R-13 fiberglass insulation, and all interior seams are caulked to avoid any drafts. Ventilation may be an issue in the summer. Most of the wind in my area comes from the west in the summer. The roof rafters are exposed to the open air on the east and west sides creating air flow between them. While most of the roof is insulated 2 of the "channels" created by the rafters were left uninsulated and I placed closable heating vents in the ceiling. When air comes through and the vents are open air comes into the coop, and at a pretty good rate with even the slightest bit of wind. In the winter they are closed to keep heat in.

The chicken run is fenced in but not covered since I don't seem to have a predator problem with my ducks, which generally range freely on my pond. The yard is 15'x20', and is sloped. I haven't devised a scheme to deal with inevitable loss of vegetation in the run. I don't have the space to partition the run into 2 different yards allowing grass to grow on one side while the chickens tear the other side to shreds.

1 comment:

nothanks said...
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