November 23, 2020

Building a chicken coop

By Tom Mason
Building a chicken coop

A summer, autumn...and winter project. 

Writing this in front of our log burner, a cosy withdrawal from the invigorating cool of November , I find myself as i'm sure many of you do, struggling to imagine a time of year where I might ever feel too hot again. 

Nevertheless it was a on such a rare and tropical day in Somerset, pint in hand and likely several too many in belly, i declared to fellow patrons of our beloved local that "I am not going to fork out on some subpar poorly built chicken house" from the local supply yard.  

It sounded like a good idea.  But was it? After all, and strange as it may seem, not all good ideas are bore out of an afternoon of infectious company and plentiful Ale.  kebab shops abound seem to have built a thriving industry on the fact. 

If you hadn't concluded from the proem or title of this Exmoor Tale, I'm about to get out the power tools and first aid kit. 

For those who've stumbled upon this hoping to find and in-depth and competent instruction on the design and assembly of a chicken coop, well, you've come to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend.

Conversely for those looking at material, perhaps for some light prandial jocundity to bring up at the mother-in-laws, you have hit the good stuff. 

I essentially copied this design from a Youtube video (link below), and although he doesn't go into much detail, managed to piece together enough to be left with a standing abode. 

The above shows the building of the frame, floor and the nesting areas and below the finishing of the panelling and door

Although i did realise, at several points during the construction, "now might be a good time to carry it outside and continue building it in place", I was easily dissuaded by the weather. 

So i built a sled for it to sit on and towed it outside. And under the careful directions of a publicly-spirited individual (my Dad), promptly drove straight into a bog. 

It is at this point in our circumlocutory tale that I wish you to imagine this filmed in the style of a David Attenborugh natural history documentary, the camera fixed on the workshop.  As you focus your attention on the minor developments of the coop, in the background season's pass, so quickly as to seem almost imperceptible.

Here we are in November and it is all finished.  Time to collect the chickens! Oh, apparently it took me so long to build the coop there are only 3 left.  Ladies and Gentlemen, i give you:

Isabella, Henrietta and Coco.

Thus concludes the saga of the coop. Much was learned, much was forgotten.  On the chance that you have made it this far and are to take but one thing away from this project I undertook - If someone with the DIY skills of a yoghurt can build a chicken coop, so can you.  Either that or stay off the Exmoor Ales and just go down Mole Val in the morning.