Chicken coop construction in Maine
Last weekend an old friend asked me to build a chicken coop for her new home in Maine. I’ve never built a chicken coop before so I thought I would start by trying to understand the life of a chicken. Chickens basically eat, go to the bathroom, and try to stay safe from predators. And just about every animals preys on chickens, even if a predator is too small to actually eat the chickens then they’ll want their eggs. Essentially, this project turned into me having to think of every possible threat to the chickens from the woods of Maine. I had to think like a predator.
The coop has a hut area that is raised off the ground so snakes can’t get in. The hut also has an extension where individual nesting areas are located; this is where the chickens will lay their eggs. I also made the roof off this extension area, it will lift up by hinges allowing for easy access to the eggs for my friend. On the other side of the hut is a small opening with a ramp that leads to the ground level allowing the chickens to search for worms and other natural food from the ground. Additionally, this will be the place where the water and food will be kept for feeding.
The coop was built right on the edge of the tree line on the perimeter of big five acre lot. I built the coop out of pressure treated lumber and plywood. My friend wanted me to be practical with her budget so we kept it simple and straightforward plan. The completed coop was a simple and affordable plan where the six hens would be very comfortable and safe.
These chickens will be free range and organically fed, so for easy access to the outside of the coop I built a large door where people can go in and out and where the chickens can be let out on the property for the day. The family plans to keep them as family pets and they are excited for some tasty organic eggs. The hens will also eat all the food scraps from the family, which will make for tasty eggs as well as a convenient garbage disposal. I wonder what the next animal will be that I’ll construct a home for.