We used to let our chickens free range, but then last year nearly all of them were killed by predators. After that we didn’t feel comfortable letting the remaining chickens roam the yard, and we cooped them. They hated it.
Our coop had been designed with free range chickens in mind. It was really only set up to house the chickens at night or during very bad weather. Chickens that are free to roam most of the time really don’t have need of a lot of space inside the coop. When it became necessary to coop our chickens nearly all of the time, it quickly became apparent that our coop was not up to the task.
My Father in Law, who is very good at thinking outside the box (or coop), come up with the solution, and here is the results.
He enclosed a portion of the exiting poll barn using a combination of chicken wire, metal siding, and salvaged doors and windows. He also connected a 40 foot by 3 foot run to the side accessible by chicken sized sliding door. Since the barn was already wired and plumbed, he also added a fan and heat lamp that can be turned on as needed, and an automatic waterer.
My favorite part is the people sized double entry doors, which allow easy access to the coop, but not easy escape.
Here are a few more pics of the cool new coop.