We are lucky to have a beautiful slice of land in Bogart, Georgia just outside of Athens. Our small hobby farm includes lavender and eucalyptus fields, a greenhouse with a hydroponics system, flower fields and a garden for our employees. All we've been missing is a chicken coop!
We decided to build our chicken coop as a multi use facility. It's being built between our office and our fields, and adjacent to our garden. Check out this video to get a tour of our progress as of June 2022!
Our Chicken Coop Plan
Chicken House Structure- Grain Bin
Our farm is on 67 acres of land. Although this is not a huge farm operation, we knew we had the space to build a chicken coop larger than your typical backyard chicken coop! Ours is more of what you might see on a homestead. Plus, it's multi-purpose, so not everything that you see is part of the chicken coop itself.
As far as a chicken coop plan goes, we decided on a grain bin! The main benefit of the grain bin is quite simply that it looks awesome. It's hard to miss since it's so shiny, and it really brings a nice "farm-like" feeling to the space. It fits in well to the landscape and is noticeable without being too distracting or obstructing the view too much.
We bought our grain bin new, but it's more than possible to build a chicken coop out of a repurposed grain bin! It would take nearly the same process as we took to use a repurposed grain bin.
Our grain bin has a 30 foot diameter and 770 feet of floor area. It's large enough to accommodate storage, a porch area, a nesting box and a pretty large chicken coop. We added one ring to the base for height, but theoretically you could add more if you needed more height. We think the one ring is more than sufficient, however.
We love the construction process, and as of this blog post we're still adding details and extra functions to our grain bin chicken coop.
Multipurpose Chicken Coop
Our grain bin chicken coop is multipurpose. Of course we have the coop for eggs and the fun of raising chickens! But the rest of the grain bin gives us an aesthetically pleasing, convenient means of storage too. We will store tools for our coop as well as equipment for gardening, farming and landscaping here.
The porch area provides a really nice hangout space, too! Here, we can overlook the small pond (which will hopefully look a bit better in the future) while staying close to the garden and office.
Fun fact! When originally building this property, some large trees had to be cut down. We had these trees cut into useable wood- that's what you see forming the wall outside the coop! We were also able to use this wood on the inside of our office.
A Simple Chicken Coop
All in all, the chicken coop portion of our grain bin is quite simple. We made a swinging door with chicken wire that opens from the shed area into the coop. Of course, the walls of the coop are just part of the grain bin.
Inside, we have our nesting boxes from Best Nest. It's pretty high up, so we're going to build little stairs so the hens can climb up and nest. We'll pick eggs out from the nest box from the other side of the coop, in the porch area.
In the coop, there's small square door for the chickens. It leads outside to our chicken run area. This door helps with airflow and allows the chickens to explore outside during the day. We will close the door every night to make surer the birds don't become prey to the other animals that live in this area.
Soon, we plan to start up chicken cam so we can live stream our chicken coop! Stay tuned so you can check in on our feathered friends any time.
As we mentioned, we have a handy storage area just outside of the coop. On our farm, the concept of mise en place is really important to us. This means that everything has a home, a specific place they are stored and can easily be found whenever needed. This is actually a French cooking term for having all of your ingredients prepared and organized before beginning to cook a meal.
The shed will help us maintain our mise en place! We'll have rakes, shovels, irrigation equipment, chicken feed, coop supplies and the like shelved and placed here for convenient use.
Chicken Run and Garden
We have another door that leads from the shed to our chicken yard. Stepping outside in the video, you can see that we just added irrigation lines around the coop frame. Of course, the chickens won't be out here until this construction and landscaping is finished!
This leads out into a garden area with chicken yard. We are going to construct a fence to separate the chickens from the garden. It will open so they can roam the garden!
The chicken yard area is about 40 by 20 feet. In addition to the fence, we're adding overhead netting so they're protected from the hawks and foxes that frequent our area.
Other Chicken Coop Plans
The multipurpose grain bin chicken coop plan is perfect for us, but there are endless chicken coop options for anyone's space and needs. We used a whole construction crew, but there are plenty of DIY coop plans you can make with some basic tools.
There are plenty of free chicken coop plans out there! Some folks will share exact build plans and chicken coop ideas they used for their coops, like The Feather Factory Chicken Coop from Backyard Chickens.
Our coop plan is pretty large, but there's everything from a simple, small chicken coop to a portable chicken coop to a PVC chicken coop or a a frame chicken coop plan!
Why have a backyard chickens?
If you have the land, resources, time and patience, backyard chicken coops are so worthwhile! You can enjoy fresh eggs, the great company of the chickens and get a taste of "living off the land."
Since we're a little bit larger scale than a backyard, our purpose goes just one step further. We plan on hosting events, encouraging agri-tourism and teaching about chickens, homesteading and hobby farming. Raising chickens is a joy, and we would be happy to support you and be a resource to you throughout your coop building and chicken raising process.
Starting Chicks off Right
At the time of this blog, we are also getting in our new chicks and brooding them! One major part of setting up your chicks for a healthy life is making sure they have all the nutrients they need.
We partnered with our sister company, Southland Organics, to make a package of products for complete coop nutrition. We call it Roost! Having a strong immune system through probiotics is essential for chicks and chickens to fight disease, and vitamins make sure their bodies develop strong and healthy. Apple cider vinegar aids in gut health, which means clean eggs! You can learn more about Roost and backyard chicken nutrition here.
If you have any questions for us, please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy raising!