Villa Villekulla

DIY chicken coop

The chicken coop is finished! The chickens have already made it their home, and it’s great fun to see them strut around the garden.

The chicken coop is built in the same style as the barn will be – same black Swedish rebate boards with the same roofing tiles as the house. Using four beech trees as supports was inspired by Baba Yaga with its living walking house (though the curvy trunks did make fitting the boards quite time consuming).

On the inside, the chicken coop uses fully smooth board to minimise the chance of red mite. Plus all walls are insulated with 50mm EPS to make the winters a bit easier on the chickens. And light ingress is reduced to a minimum, to ensure the rooster won’t wake us up first thing every morning.

For easy cleaning, the entire front of the chicken coop can fold down and there is a low zinc container that can fully slide out on the bottom of the coop. And for easy egg collecting, the chicken coop has two laying nest boxes at the back that are placed at a slight angle so the eggs can easily be collected.

There are also quite a few techy features hidden in the chicken coop:

  1. NightWatch ChickenCare is an automatic chicken door opener.
    • Combined with a light sensor and a temperature sensor, or based on timer alone, the system opens and closes the door.
    • The chickens go back to the coop at night, are protected from predators, and are free to roam around again in the morning.
    • The system is connected to mains; I have tried the solar panel with battery pack, but that is not able to sustain the system in a reliable manner as it turns out.
  2. Smart Lighting
    • The chicken coop features a Philips Hue light that aids in luring the chickens back into the coop at night.
    • The Philips Hue light also provides additional light during winter, stimulating the chickens to still lay eggs.
  3. Feeding silo and water reservoir
    • The feeding silo can hold 10 kgs of chicken feed, prevents spillage, and prevents rodents from reaching the food.
    • The custom water reservoir made from drainage piping can hold ~8 litres of water, has a filter and feeds into various drinking nipples. The water reservoir also has a heating element for use during winter, which is turned on by a plug-in-thermostat triggered by temperature.

I think that about sums it up. I truly hope the chickens will have a great life here roaming free around our farmhouse.


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