I spent a lot of time looking at various chicken coops and finally found one design which I think will work well in the tiny yard we have here. The design is called the Garden Coop, and they sell plans for a reasonable price on their site – http://www.thegardencoop.com/ Because I was still trying to convince myself to take the plunge, I didn’t order plans but drew up my own plans based on lots of pictures of other completed coops. This gave me time to run through the whole project in my mind until I was finally convinced it was a good idea. My final design has several modifications from the original garden coop design, but that is what is so great about the garden coop; it lends itself to modification.
Not being even close to sane when it comes to things like this, I had to expand on the project and move from our tiny little tomato garden and add an aquaponics system. If you are not familiar with aquaponics, it is a combination of hydroponics (plant growing in water not soil), and aquaculture (fish farming). By combining the two, you essentially create a sort of closed ecosystem where the fish feed the plants and the plants filter the water for the fish. If you are really good, the plants will also feed the fish. In my case, I am hoping for the plants to do well enough to feed our family.
Here is a drawing of what I hope it will look like when I am finished.
I picked up the lumber last week and have had less than an hour of time to work on the build. I have managed to cut the studs for the coop to length and box up 2 sides. Today, I hope to complete all sides and erect the coop walls.