'01 Coop/Flight Pen Addition
The Easy Chicken
for beginners
This page was last updated on: January 15, 2010
This site was constructed by me, Scott Shilala, with help from the poultry hobbyist community, and support from my wonderful wife, Kelly Jo.
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It's early in the morning and everything is ready to go. I've gathered all my tools, lumber, netting, and electrical supplies. I traded 30 started chicks and 17 bucks for the pile of rough cut hemlock :)
In the first step, I cut 4"X4" blocks and screw them to the top runner of the existing flight pen at each riser. That gives me something to work off of.
As I go along, I use a kicker (like on the left) to hold up and balance the new riser while I screw it to the block at the old flight pen. I do this right down the row, and then I tie it all together with a new top runner board. I leave the risers long for now, I'll cut them off later. I do that in case things go squirrelly on me.
I've finished the second row of risers and runners. You can see on the left end of the run where I've added a cross brace. This eliminates the natural rocking and swaying you get when you build a big spindly frame like this.
I've finished the frame and the bottom board. I've framed in the door and cut off all the risers. Now it's time to start the netting. I have to staple my netting together with hog rings so it will big enough to reach all  way over the entire frame in one big piece. You can see the netting draped down on the right side of the pen.
Almost all the netting is installed now. I've cleaned up my mess. It's been a long day, it's time for a break. I'm sure there's plenty of sittin down work to do up at the house!!!
The next day, everything is finished except to partition off a part of the flight pen and cut in a window and a few bird doors. The left side of the coop is going to be put to use as Kelly's Sebright coop, the right side is for our new Marans. For now, I'll put up a temporary fence for the Marans. Later this winter, I'll finish a run for them. I've built a wall through the center of the coop, made 1"X1" roost poles and istalled a receptacle, switch and a light.
This project increased the size of my flight pen from 1260 square feet to 2124 square feet. It's big enough to run 85 birds. I'll keep my stock at a maximum of 30 birds. This way they won't hard pan the area and there will always be grass for them to run on. I'll plant some special grasses for them in the spring, and try to re-establish some growth in the back run.
The reason for this project is to give the Goldens the best home I can.
I enjoy those birds above all the others, and it goes a little ways toward paying them back for all the pleasure they give me.