Coops & Crafts

We enjoy woodworking and other crafts – and the hens appreciate our efforts!

We built our first coop in 2014 and since then have built 4 more, using different styles and adapting the sizes for different groups of hens including an ark-style and a broody coop for Ruby and her chicks. We’ve learned a lot over the years and our last project was to convert a wooden shed into a hen house, adding ventilation, replacing the felt roof with a metal version, replacing the solid door with weldmesh and adding a robust frame and wheels for easy transport.

With a larger group of hens everyday objects take on a new role with the need for larger feeders and simpler ways to manage the hens. Plastic guttering makes a great feeder that will allow a lot of beaks to peck away and mini joist hangers are the perfect size to hold a timber perch, and both are easily removed for easy cleaning.

Our next project is to make a shepherds hut style coop using a caravan chassis as the base – there’ll be room for a lot of hens!

flora-in-original-coop-2018-10-16

Coop Refurbishment – Cleaning

Our original coop that was built in 2014 has done well; it’s given shelter and security to a lot of hens but it’s time for a refurbishment! Today’s job was to assess and clean the coop, removing most of the items that added extra weight such as the doors, nest box and floor, so that

Read More »
david-attaching-roof-sheets-to-shed

Upgrading the Shed Roof

Whilst the shed has a wooden roof that is loosely covered with plastic it’s not the ideal long term solution (!) and this temporary roof is being replaced with metal sheeting that will last for years and provide the hens with a dry indoor environment. I decided against using the supplied felt for the roof

Read More »
perchs-in-shed

Perches in the Shed

There are a few things to do to finish off the shed and one of those is to install perches for all of the girls, and that was completed today. I wanted to take advantage of the height of the shed and give the hens a ‘ladder’ to roost on, as well as making the

Read More »
shed-in-field

The Wheels Work!

There’s still a few things to do to the new coop but it’s almost ready for the girls to move in and today we moved it to the field to get it into position. This was a test for the castors and the method I’d used to attach them the base of the shed and

Read More »
shed-base-with-wheels

Shed to Coop | Base

The base of the coop is now complete and is effectively a large trolley that the shed will be attached to. We wanted the coop to be moveable and finally settled on 260mm pneumatic tyre castors to achieve this – two fixed and two swivel. These were bolted to two 150mm x 50mm stretcher boards

Read More »
shed-wall-painting

Shed to Coop | Painting the Walls

The shed had an initial coat of paint at the factory but the wood isn’t pressure treated and needs to be painted with a preservative – an ideal excuse to choose a nice colour scheme for the girls new home! For the front, back and sides we chose Cuprinol Natural Stone after being inspired by

Read More »
shed-with-ventilation-cut-out

Shed to Coop | Ventilation

The shed conversion to a coop has started! Having considered this for a while, the modifications won’t be as much as I initially thought, but one thing that does need to change is the ventilation that the coop will have, so I’ve removed a section of each side panel to allow good airflow. There’s no

Read More »
panels-and-doors

Panels & Doors

I’d already made 4 panels that could be used for a variety of purposes and are currently providing housing for Corncockle, Foxglove and Violet as they recover from a respiratory infection. Time though to make some more, and some door panels as an upgrade to the cable tie ‘hinge’! The design and construction was the

Read More »
caravan-chassis

We’ve Bought a Caravan…Chassis!

Despite still part way through the shed to coop conversion, we’ve got an eye on the future, and today bought a caravan chassis, to be used as the base for a larger hen house. Currently I’m building a raised and wheeled base for the shed to make it moveable and also to create shelter for

Read More »
making-the-universal-panels

Starting to Build the Universal Panels

I’ve been thinking about mesh panels for a while and after procrastinating about sizes and dimensions for too long, today was time to start building some much needed panels! These panels will have many uses, but we need them right now to section off an area of the barn to keep the new hens quarantined

Read More »
eight-perches

Eight Perches

We use removable perches for the hens, as these can be easily cleaned, and if red mite do strike, then they can be replaced. We needed some more though, both for the current hens, and to stock up for new arrivals, so today we built 8 more perches for the girls! Perches are important in

Read More »
broody-coop-back-door

The Broody Coop Takes Shape

After the initial coop framing, today was spent adding the back, sides and floor to the coop. The back is a complete door, secured with two strong galvanised hinges and a galvanised bolt. The door was made oversized, then cut down to the exact size with a table saw, and covers the entire back of

Read More »
broody-coop-frame

The Broody Coop Build Starts

Ruby and the chicks need a proper home! They’ll be fine in the cage for a few days, but with the cardboard box and drinker and feeder inside the cage there’s not much room for anything else – if it was only the chicks then this space would be okay, but add Ruby to the

Read More »