In April 2013 my father and I bought my wife something she has always wanted - The Worlds Most Expensive Eggs! Our neighborhood does not allow farm animals but these little girls are our pets:



For the first couple of weeks we had them in a cardboard box in the garage. Our neighbor brought some crickets over for fishing and we fed them a few. You can watch a video of their first real meal here (it's kind of funny to see them freak out):





Construction begins. I believe the total cost ended up being around $600. There are plenty of cheaper pre-built kits available on the internet but I am proud of how it turned out and the quality is 10x better:



They seem a little small in comparison:



Once the walls were done we put clamps on everything so we could have an idea of what it was going to look like. The measurements ended up being 6' tall x 80" long x 48" deep:



An old drum that was used to hold some sort of powdered paint color was purchased off Craigslist to hold their roost and egg laying box:



Wouldn't you know it, I tried to drill through my finger on the 3rd from the last screw. I don't think I broke my finger but I shattered the nail. This will take months to heal:



After a few days of heavy drinking and drugs to ease the pain I started working on the roof. We used corrugated steel roofing panels:



Once the panels were cut we sprayed the bottom side with some old undercoating I found in the trunk of a Geo Metro I purchased. The previous owner had sprayed the interior of the car with this stuff and I guess he forgot to take the extra cans out:



We decided to keep the chickens safe from predators we would use 1/2" hardware cloth. Everyone thinks you use chicken wire but that is to keep chickens out of something, not keep them safe. It will easily allow racoons and such to eat them:



We chose a location in the back yard between two blueberry bushes. The bushes ended up being taken out and the area around the coop will be a flower garden at some point:



We left a patch of grass for the inside of the coop. I am not sure if it will survive but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time:



Everything is clamped together one last time for final checks and then we started screwing the walls together:



I think they like their new home:



An entrance door is cut in the "front" of the drum:



An opening is cut in the bottom of the drum so their droppings will fall out:



Trying out the new roost and seeing how the egg box fits. My wife told me no less than 4,000 times that the spaces between the rungs in the roost were too wide. I'm putting that in this page so it will be a constant reminder to her that I was correct in the spacing:



A ladder was constructed from 2x2's for the entrance door:



The test fit of the ladder showed the entrance door wasn't nearly large enough. I'm not sure how I missed that but it was an easy fix:



The open end is butted up against a door. This will allow us to get the eggs out each afternoon. The wood planks are so no one looks at the chicken's ass when they are laying eggs. Chickens are shy and won't lay if the door was made entirely of screen:



I was worried about the black drum being too hot in the Charleston, SC summer so we painted it with Valspar Plastic paint:



It took two cans to fully paint the drum. While the drum was out of the coop I enlarged the droppings hole in the bottom:



I also took the opportunity to re-engineer the roost so it sat higher, was anchored down, and did not allow the egg box to slide around (or fall through the hole):



The new roost works great and is properly positioned so it is higher than the egg box. The box will remain upside down for the next 5 months until they are ready to start laying:



My wife was worried about critters digging under the walls so we cut the leftover roofing panels into 13" strips and buried them 7" into the ground. This will also keep the chickens from kicking anything out of the coop as well as keeping them from kicking the future flower garden mulch into the coop:



Wow, my girls are getting big. This is three weeks after the video of them :



I'm calling this project FINISHED (but I know it won't be). It took about 5 days of work total and cost around $400. There would be additional expenses but $400 will get you the coop you see in the picture. We did not put any roofing material in front of the door (not sure if it will be necessary) but there are some scraps buried under the door for protection:



Well, I knew it would actually never be finished. Two months later I started working on a self feeding and watering station. We decided to fabricate everything out of PVC for ease of construction and cleaning:



We built a frame to hold everything in place:



The frame slides into a space in the coop and is held in place with a screw (just drops into a hole):



Test fit:



First bite - They seem to like it but are making a huge mess. I'm estimating that they throw out five times as much food as they are eating. I'll have to redesign the feeder at some point:



Once the feeder was finished I needed to work on the water station. The little orange cup has a yellow pin in it that they are supposed to peck at. The pecking action releases a little bit of water:



Tapping the cylinder for the water cup installation:



I used plastic strapping material to hold the cylinders in place. I'm not sure this is the best stuff to use but we will try it for a while. Hopefully when it breaks the cylinder won't fall onto one of the chickens and crush her:



The feeder gets a new design. This will keep the feed at a level where they will have to stick their heads down into the cup and keep them from throwing the feed out. So far it appears to be working great:



4 months old (they are getting too big to hold both of them at once):



About a week before the girls turned 6 months old we knew it was time to get ready for eggs. The plan was always to put the egg box in the roost but we decided to move it under the roost instead. Bunny ran out to Lowes to grab some pressure treated plywood and 2x4s:



Cutting the angles for the sides of the egg box:



The box takes shape:



This is where the egg box will reside:



Test fit:



For some reason the box was originally built with the door on the front but it was later moved to the top:



View from inside the coop:



We completed the box with only five days to spare. At the age of six months and two days Nugget lays her first egg. The golf ball is in there to let them know this is where they should lay: