Four years ago my wife persuaded me that getting chickens would be a good idea. Several years on and 2 extra chickens later; the inexpensive “temporary” chicken coop we first brought is starting to fall apart. With parts of the roof have come away allowing water to leak into the roosting area and nesting boxes.

Another main issue is pests and parisites being able to hide in the nooks and crannies of the coop. To manage this a regular going over with a blow torch. As well, the aplication of mite powder is needed every time the bedding material is changed.

Researching a replacement to the coop, a fellow chicken keeper advised about a range of plastic coops. Such as the Omlet Eglu and the Arkus recycled plastic chicken coop. The most noteworthy selling points for these coops are that they are easier to clean. As the plastic surfaces do not absorb any waste liquids. Also parasites and other nasties will find it harder to survive within the interior.

Great I thought, lets get one of these. The main downside to this is the price with the size and model I require starting at well over £150.

As with a lot of specialist equipment you get what you pay for. My current budget allows me to purchase a inexpensive wooden coop very similar to the one I currently own. Due to my experience with our current coop; with all it’s pitfalls to such a coop design. I didn’t want to throw good money after bad and be in this position again in a few years.

Which came first?

After some more searching I came across this article. In which the writer runs a small business hiring out small plastic coops created from old liquid barrels. Such as in the image below.

Blue barrel

It just so happened that I had such a barrel in the garden. The following project took about a day to complete.

Making the coop

First steps to mark out all the areas which need wither cutting or drilling. In the images below you can see that I have marked out the main chicken door and the rear doors.

Marking out cuts for doors

The doors at the rear of the coop (barrel bottom) are split one being to access the nesting area. The other allowing the removal of the poop tray.

Rear doors cut.

The coop uses the heat of the chickens while they are inside to draw air through the lower vent holes. As the air heats, this will be then expelled out the air vents at the top. This movement of air should dry out the chicken waste in the poop tray.

Air vents

Thankfully I had a surplus of cable ties left over from my crypto project.

As for the internal frame an old broken book shelf came in very handy.

Putting together the wooden frame for inside the coop.

To combat the condensation build up, during the long winter evenings. Drainage holes drilled into the base of the coop. This will allow the built up water to drain down the sides. Under the poo tray and drain away. Making sure not to be block these holes the coop is to be raised up on wheels.

Image showing drainage holes and wheels for raising the coop off the ground.

Finally with all of that put together the chickens have their new coop.

Completed chicken coop

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