Today I am trying to finish the chicken coop. The first one I built was large, expensive and took months to complete. It was a grand master design, but once finished I felt like it was over done. With no prior construction or building experience, other than putting together puzzles, it proved a difficult task.
That was March of '11, and more than a year later, I am more confident in my skills. I've actually completed the majority, just need to add hardware cloth, hinge the doors, and paint. It is going to be quite a set-up. Originally there was a 5 x 3 ft coop, constructed to look like a house. a 12 ft run went off to the right. An additional 5 ft run was added to the left and a wire enclosure was put on the sides of the bottom so that they had a total of a 22 x 3 ft run. Though soundly built, it was an eye sore for me. Of course it was painted and everything matched. There was a method to the set-up, It was just too monstrous for my little urban lot.
With the new coop, I have scrapped the original coop, harvesting the screws, hinges, and wood paneling. I have done away with the side 5 ft run and another miniature 4 foot run connected to a long 8 ft piece made out of 2x3s. The top half of the 8 ft structure has been divided in half horizontally, since it was 4 ft high. Why I made it 4 ft high, I do not know; maybe so I could go inside. With the remaining structure I have put the cup on top of a 4 ft section.
All in all, it looks 100 % better in my mind. The lesson in building the coop for the first time and sequentially adding more and more run capacity through out the year was invaluable. Although it was an expensive endeavor, it took a lot of guts to rip it all down and start over again.
I feel that the there are at least two distinct lessons that have been learned and represented by the above description.
On a side note: I should be receiving my complete Beehive kit by this evening. This is an exciting endeavor that I will write about later!