Currently the chicken coop takes up some valuable real estate in the barn that could be otherwise used for hay/bedding storage or for goat pens.  The chickens have also chosen to may their dust bath, nearly a foot deep, right in front of the gate as well as pooping on the cement sidewalks. The Mr. doesn’t like them being up at the barn.

So, it’s time to build a new coop away from the barn. We’re looking at a 12’x12′ coop with an attached 3’x6′ goose pen and a 2’x3′ storage area. We’ll put poop boards under the roosts for easy cleaning and mount nest boxes on the wall to maximize floor space.

I used Excel to make a quick schematic for us to work from:

Chicken Coop Schematic

Did I mention I’m getting geese? Well I am! A breeding pair of American Buff goslings is due to ship here on May 4th.

We decided to build the new coop in the west pasture inside of a half-circle of fir trees. The trees will shelter the coop from inclement weather and give the chooks a dry and protected place to range. It’s also one of the most level areas in that pasture.

new_coop_location

Measuring out one of the sides.

Because the west pastures slopes, quite steeply in parts, to the southwest, the morning sunlight takes longer to reach it. Hopefully that will encourage the roosters to sleep in a wee bit. I won’t hold my breath though!

The west pasture is about 1.5 acres with an additional 1.5 acres in heavy brush/woods to the south. Bordering the pasture to the west is a 60 acre hill infested with ticks that I suspect the chickens will enjoy. They’ll no longer have access to the compost pile, but I’m sure they’ll be able to find lots of other goodies while ranging.

The construction phase can begin once cinder blocks we’ll be using for the foundation become available at the store down the road.

In the meantime, there’s a broody hen to keep an eye on and a bunch of chicks to prepare for.