|Many thanks to www.linnacresfarm.com for their online plans.|
This is a nest box for inside the coop. While I prefer the access from outside, where you just reach in and snag the eggs, honestly, I didn't feel that was the right fit for this coop. Any extra areas that can allow for draft in the wrong place of the wrong coop walls could cause wind draw in the winter. Plus, by going INSIDE to get the eggs, you can put eyes on the inside of the coop for cleaning or repair issues. This is a LARGE nesting box. Each hole is just over 12 inches square. Sure they make nice nesting boxes to purchase, but honestly, they aren't big enough. You see, I have an Orpington. They are HUGE. Her nickname is Turkey. While she CAN get into a smaller box, and I HAVE seen her crawl into one with TWO other chickens already IN it, she just doesn't look comfortable. This box has plenty of room, yet is still cozy. It can be mounted on the wall or you can make feet for it and set it on the floor. Mine is on the floor, on 3.5 inch skid feet. The ladies can just walk right in.
I painted the exterior in gloss white and tossed on some of those paint chip flakes for floors (I found a bag for 25 cents.)
It makes the top look like old enamelware. The interior is dark blue. For a splash of color, I purchased a sample of cut ruby colored paint from Lowes. A little jar for $4. I then coated the whole thing with water based sealer.
It was to get so brutally cold, that I actually brought the girls into the barn for playtime. That little 4x4 coop was getting boring, and they refused to go outside in their run. I can't blame them.
The next day, the sun came out and melted away the thinnest areas of snow. It was still too cold to go out and work.On the upside, it let me see where I need to put up the snow fences next Fall.
Since I couldn't get outside again, I worked on the main coop door. I stripped paint, sanded, filled old holes, primed and painted - three coats.
By now I was itching to get back outside and work on the main coop. Sure, all the little bits added up to work on the main coop, but it sure didn't feel like it at the time.
During the weather downtime, I found a fabulous antique pressed glass long window for the back wall. It would not be one that opened or closed, but it would allow for light to enter on the 4th wall. I also found the back two windows, also static, for the back half of the coop on the sides, AND the large upper Monitor windows, all from the Habitat Store. I still had more weather down time to fill. Working inside was getting old, fast. I had been listening to my Pandora station the whole time and show tunes were getting old. But they were mindless and allowed me to focus on the work.
I cleared out the entire barn floor and laid out all of my sheets of plywood for the exterior walls. Every piece got three coats of white semi gloss paint before I flipped them over to give them two coats of Teal semi gloss paint. I figured that by painting them now, in a heated barn, I could save myself a step outside, should the weather not cooperate. Boy am I glad I did. Some of the ply was warped. Some delaminated as I painted it. Some soaked up a silly amount of paint and needed more coats. It sure was easier painting with a roller on a stick as things lay on the floor, than it would have been tackling all that on the vertical!