Yes you heard that right! This was not something we planned to build or add on anytime soon, but extenuating circumstances require a bit of change. I will share why this development came about and…YES! There will be building plans for this new small chicken coop that was just finished and is now housing the most adorable silkies in the world!
I never saw the need for small chicken coops for my backyard chickens because we have plenty of space to grow and build substantial spaces for our animals. We already have an amazing chicken coop that we love! Things have changed over time and we have decided to go all in. Let me explain. About a month ago, my daughter received 2 of the most adorable silkie chicks ever!
We continued to raise them up and eventually they moved out with some other juvenile chickens into the big coop. We quickly realized that these special birds just weren’t as quick or as agile as our other chickens. I started to consider that maybe we should have a second coop for these silkies, and not just for these chickens but for our other plans.
As the world gets a bit smaller everyday and the rise in price and shortage of certain foods persist, we decided we needed to double down on our chicken venture and really go all in. I have felt this inner urge to push me to grow what we already have. I had this same feeling a couple of years before Covid hit, and we all know how chaotic the world turned. Having some ways to sustain ourselves really made a big difference. So, when my head and my heart tell me to do something, I listen.
As we raised up these new cute birds, we were also raising some more regular Americauna chickens to add to the flock. Before I knew it we had 8 new chickens to add to the flock…and not only that, but we had a chicken go broody at the same time. She is literally hatching 9 eggs as we speak! There are currently 6-7 chicks hatched.
This was something I never really planned to do, but its a weird sensation when you have this inner urge to do these kinds of things. I have learned not to question it!
I keep rambling, but I swear I have a point. I started to feel as if we were going to continue to grow our flock by hatching and raising our own chickens that we needed something else to help us do that a bit easier. As chicken keepers, I wanted to make things feel under control. The catalyst was a couple of weeks ago when the silkies got out with our regular chickens as they free ranged and one ended up tragically dying.
My daughter was understandably heart broken, and the one lonely silkie chicken sat in the corner of the coop all day. We had to do something about it, and found a local lady that was breeding them and had a ton of silkie chicks ranging from 1 day old to 4 months old. We jumped at the chance and bought 3 more.
With this development, my daughter decided she wanted to double down and start breeding them herself. This meant that we did need to keep them separate with their own silkie rooster. We also wanted to create an area just for them that they could be safe. We decided to build a small chicken coop that would run both as the home to the silkie chickens and also a grow out pen where we could put broody mamas and their chicks.
With our broody hen taking up one of our highly trafficked nesting boxes it was a daily fight in the main coop, so I wanted to try to eliminate this. Silkie chickens are known for being sweet, docile and generally make great mamas, and go broody often. So, the plan was to build something small and functional, with easy access to where the chickens will roost as well as the nest boxes.
I also wanted a chicken run, but it did not need to be as large since it was more of a grow out pen. I am hoping this will eliminate the need to keep them in my garage as we raise them up.
I had some requirements for this new small chicken coop. I had originally planned to just purchase a small one online but the quality of them are not great and I didnt want to waste my money on something of bad quality. We knew we could build one ourselves for the same price as the ones I was looking at purchasing.
Here were my requirements for our new chicken coop:
- Easy cleaning with removable floors
- Easy access to nesting boxes
- Be a place for raising chickens
- two large doors that opened the entire coop for easy access
- one small screened window
- A coop that is raised off the ground with a run under it as well as to the side of it to protect from the summer heat.
- predator protection
- the number of chickens it can hold between 2-4 chickens comfortably ( or moore of the smaller breeds such as silkies oor bantams)
- be functional in a cold climate
- have good ventilation
Here are some of the items we used in this chicken coop to make it the perfect coop for us:
- linoleum tile flooring
- Heavy Duty Decorative Tee Hinge
- chicken waterer(we have to use a heated waterer during our winters)
- chicken feeder
- piano hinge (for the nesting boxes)
- metal roofing
- gate latch
- Black rotating post safety hasp
- black door pull
DETAILED PLANS ARE IN THE WORKS, YOU CAN CONTACT ME IF YOU ARE INTERESTED!
I had a lot of requirements, and there was still one last one, it had to look cute as well! We are extra at my house and having something be functional and stylish is really important to me.
This chicken coop is the epitome of easy cleaning. We made the door large so that we could easily scoop out the droppings and whatever else was in the coop. We also made the floor removable so that you could slide it out and clean it. I took this one extra step and added these adhesive linoleum tiles to the floor so that the cleaning would be even easier. This linoleum floor cost me about 20 dollars!
This entire chicken coop cost us about 350 dollars to built. The cost difference between this and one of those you can purchase is nil. Plus ours is much stronger and sturdier since we used solid materials like 2 by 4’s and a thicker plywood. This chicken coop will last.
The build of this smaller coop was not super complicated, and I will share as much as I can without overwhelming you.
We started this build by building the frame to it. We cut the shape of the walls of the coop out of the plywood we purchased. We then screwed in some of the 2 by 4 cuttings to the plywood. This helped give it a rigidity when assembling the exterior walls.
We screwed the walls together using the long 2 by 4s which serve multiple purposes as the interior support as well as the support from the ground. The coop has a small run under it and these 2 by 4s serve as the support for this as well.
We added the nesting boxes by framing it out to the side of the coop after we got the main part of the coop built. I wanted to have easy access to the fresh eggs as well as be able to access the chickens if needed from here. This small coop keeps things within reach and functions great.
Since we decided to have large doors that opened to the rest of the coop, we decided to leave the back of the chicken coop mostly untouched. In addition to the large doors, we added a small window above it to provide fresh air flow to the chickens. The window can be shut tight as well during the colder winter months.
After we had the bulk of the coop built out, it was time to build the run that we would later attach to the coop. We decided to build these two structures separately and then attach them once we had them in place. Surprisingly these two pieces we quite manageable and we were able to carefully move them to where we wanted them to permanently be.
The run is probably my favorite part of this little coop. Its the perfect size for our sweet little silkies. We used 2 by 4’s to give it strength and added chicken wire to the inside which we reinforced with our staple gun. If you are planning to build a coop, or practically any project, this staple gun is a total game changer! We got this one from Home Depot and have used it on so many projects! It has saved us so much time and effort.
As far as backyard chicken coops go, this one is perfect. It has enough room for 5-8 chickens in the actual coop. I would however only house that many if you plan to let them free range. You could also make a larger run and connect that to this small chicken coop.
Chicken coop plans for this small chicken coop will be available soon, if you are interested shoot me an email! If you are looking for a large chicken coop, I have my very popular chicken coop plans still available!
There are important things to think about when planning to purchase or build a chicken coop:
- How many chickens do I want to house (the size of your coop will dictate this)
- how much space do i want to use for a run
- Is it build for colder climates/ hotter climates in mind
- Is there easy access to the main parts of the coop
The access to the nesting boxes is fantastic. I love this part of the coop.
This coop ticks all these boxes for us. It will hold the right amount of chickens for what we are using it for. It is the perfect coop for our little breeding adventure. This hen house turned out so much better than I ever expected. From the large doors to the removable floor and the easy access to eggs, it is a good chicken coop to add to your backyard.
I love this chicken coop, I love the dark paint that we used. We used the same color that we painted our house, to add continuity. The dark color adds so much style and the contrast of the raw aged wood of the run gives it so much interest and style. Who says you can’t or shouldn’t have style when it comes to building your own chicken coop? This coop cost us just over 350 dollars to build, which is pretty amazing considering how awesome it looks. Being extra doesn’t mean you’ve outpriced yourself.
This small chicken coop has my heart and we are excited to raise up our chicks here.
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