We had plenty of leftover brown paint from the last time we had the house painted – easy enough to just use that. I’m not quite sure I’m happy with the white trim, but that paint was leftover too. I can always change that. The exposed 2×4’s were stained with a waterproofing stain. One of the recommendations in the Dummies book was to paint or stain before you assemble. I did that for part of the project – probably would have been good to do it for the whole project, but I got really impatient. I wanted to build, not stain and wait for it to dry… I don’t guess it was too bad to stain it in place.
The Dummies book gave me the only formal plans I used which were for the nest boxes, probably the simplest part of the project. I had plenty of scrap plywood in the garage – knew that would come in handy someday – to build them. The roost is a 2×4 on edge with the corners rounded over with a router bit. The paint, an elegant sage? green, is from the mistake bin at Home Depot.
Many people line the floor of the coop with vinyl flooring for easy cleaning, but I went a different route. At work we’d found a product at home depot called showerboard or panelboard. It comes in 4×8 sheets for $11 a piece and we use it for whiteboards. Perfect. I cut off the part I needed for the floor of the coop and the rest was available for the basement playroom. Whiteboard creativity for everybody.
I also added a couple 3 inch tall strips of plywood at the base of the pop door and the base of the front door. These help keep the pine shavings in place when the doors are opened. The other items inside are a poopboard under the roost, which I can slide out through the side hatch and dump into the nearby compost bin, and a feeder and a waterer.
Locks? There are hasps installed on the egg hatch and the hen house door. I found a ‘backpack’ combination lock at the local ace hardware which was good for the egg hatch. Easy for humans to open, but not other critters. Apparently, if a toddler can open something, so can a raccoon. The other latch and hasp are high enough off the ground that those are secured only with heavy clips.
That’s about it. I’m pretty happy with how it all came together. Everything I need to access is accessible, but not so easily accessible that raccoons can get access too. It’s easy to clean and maintain. Looks good. Fits the space… what else do we need?