Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More Better Hoop Coop

     Randy, the mason who worked through the basement repair project with me, also happens to be a fellow flockster (That means chicken keeper in Harvey Ussery speak).  When he saw our hoop coops he liked the concept and decided to build one of his own.  I have to say that he made some impressive improvements to the design.  For those that missed it, pics and plans of our hoop coop can be found here.  Below is a series of pictures showing some of the finer points of Randy's coop.

     He used a slightly shorter frame giving an overhang to the structure.  It's a nice look and offers some shade and protection for the front wall though it also makes the interior slightly smaller.  On the front are two brown barn steel panels that he had laying around, complete with j channel and bottom trim pieces.  Makes for a sturdy and attractive front wall.

     On the front of the plywood person door is a guillotine style chicken door.  I can see the advantage of this type of door, as our chickens sometimes push their hinged door shut and lock themselves out of the coop.  The ones inside are not smart enough to push it back open when that happens.

     Both screen and hardware cloth cover the vents in the front.  On the roof  are a couple of small solar cells powering led lighting inside the coop.   Randy and his family really love this feature so far, the fixtures stay on low all the time to give some ambient light all night.  They can be switched to high when someone is working in the coop. 

     The Led fixture, seen above, has a photocell to turn it off in the daytime.

     One of my favorite innovations about this build is the curved 1x4 on the edge of the cattle panels.  This gives some framework to the corners and makes attaching tarps and screen much easier.  In order to flex the 1x into place, Randy first cut a bunch of shallow kerfs into one side of the bord.  Then, after thoroughly soaking the wood, slowly pushed it into place against the cattle panel and secured it with a 2x4 in the center.  Tricky stuff, but it adds a great finished look to this project.

     The frame is covered by two tarps; a large canvas one and a smaller plastic one.  The ends of the tarps are held in place by lengths of shock cord that he happened to have a spool of.  For the canvas one he threaded the cord through the grommets but the plastic tarp is folded over creating continuous pocket for the cord to run through.

     The cords are tied to an eye bolt in the base of the coop.

      The sides are secured with bungee cords. 

     Inside the coop, straw bales give some structure to the corners and support a 2x4 perch.  A row of feed bins serve as nest boxes and clear plastic panels let in some natural light across the back. 
     With so many options, truly this is a building that is unique to each builder.  Thank you Randy for allowing me to publish pics of this fine example.


  1. I have to say that is an amazing coop. Very cleverly done. Have to love hoops for their many uses.

    I'm visiting all the blogs I follow to invite you to stop by my blog to help me celebrate. I just published my homesteading book and am so excited! I want to tell the whole world. :)

  2. Thanks Leigh, I did see the announcement on your blog yesterday. Congrats on the book release! As much work as blogging can be, I can only imagine what it takes to get a book together.

  3. For others that are interested, you can find a link to Leigh's blog on the right side bar under Favorite Homestead Sites. It is called 5 Acres and a Dream.