The wire hoop chicken coop. It consists of a 12'x4' 2x4 base with corner triangles of plywood for bracing. The front 2x4 is extra long so that two people can pick up the front on either side outside and drag it. Alternatively since it is so light one person can move it by standing inside in the doorway and lifting and dragging. I had planned to put some old skies on the bottom but it slides fine without them. We drilled holes in the 2x4's and inserted rebar and bent it into hoops to be forms for the wire. Then starting at one end we put on 3' wide wire mesh. I used 1"x1" mesh but in retrospect would have used 2"x2" mesh which would have been cheaper and still have done the job nicely. Don't use nylon ties to attach the wire. I did at first and then realized that the sun would destroy them so I switched to 17 guage fence wire.
After getting the hoops of wire on we did the nest box shelves and back wall and lastly the front wall. All the wire that met the wooden base frame was stapled on using fencing stables. The last step was to make the doors. The hinges and latches were simply made by bending the wire in loops and hooks. All wires around the openings were bent back to make the openings safe to pass through.
It took us about five or six hours to do it but would go much faster for a second one since we spent a lot of that time figuring out how to do things. The chickens were very curious and started moving in before we finished. We then fed them in the hoop house and locked them in at night a few times to encourage them to bond with it.
The inside of the hoop house showing the nesting shelves in the back, the roost bars going crosswise and long wise and a bunch of silly chick who thought I was going to feed them so they posed for the picture. Note that the cloth on top is hung so that the south side gets more protection. Right now we only have about half covered for rain protection. In the winter the whole thing will be covered and then with hay so the snow builds up on top making it into a chicken igloo. The long roost bars that run from front to back are on a slant so that small chicks will be able to hop up onto them and walk up.
Back side of the hoop house showing the three egg shelves and egg doors. The top egg door is open. The drape is lifted up here.
Detail of one of the three egg doors on the back wall that let us reach in to gather eggs from outside. Each door was successively smaller such that the material from one got used as the door for the next. The wires were bent loosely to form hinges on the top and spring latches on the bottom.
This is our old small hoop house which served one batch of chickens for years, acted as a brooder and is now used mostly by the ducks. It is built like the big wire hoop house but no rebar or door and only one nesting shelf in the back. It is small enough and light enough that a child can move it yet heavy enough that it has never blown around in our strong winds. Part of why it doesn't get wind blown may be because it is low to the ground, the roof is curved and it has a wide base with most of the mass in the base.
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