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My 4x7 Weasel Proof, Moveable Coop For About $300

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

PurinaChickenCoopPlans.jpg

I finally finished this year's coop. None too soon either as the pullets are over 25 weeks and about to lay. It's a take on the Purina Chicken Hutch. I used 2X3's for corners and outside of edge of floor. The rest of the floor (plywood screws to and two cross beams) is 2X2's. Other than corners, outer floor frame and 2X6's used for skids all stick frame and nailers are 2X2's. Floor is 1/2" plywood and walls are 3/8" Plytanium. This coop was under 300 lbs but the roofing used was scrap commercial metal which is very thick (had to predrill for roof screws) so probably ended around 350 lbs or more. Including stain but not the roofing as that was free this coop came in just under $250. So if someone wanted to go light weight material like this and had to purchase tin or ploycarbinate roofing would cost about $300. And weasel proof!

 

 

The stilt part is tall, my feeder is a tall 30 lbs dispenser so went a bit leggy on this to accommodate it hanging chest height for birds. The skids are 2X6's screwed together then used my sawsall to scribe the 1/4 circle ends of skids. 2- 2X3's for corners, one longer for lag screws, with washers, to connect to skids. Provided 1" from 2x3 to ground but in hind sight I should have cut a taper to end too. Soft spring ground may be dragging there. Reason I went with two 2x6 for ski is soft spring lawn, if that's not a problem in your area this light weight could easily skid on one 2X6.

 

 

Here you see two roosting bars and a roofing frame above made from 2X2's. Roosting bars were planned for 4" of bedding. I could of made them higher but this seemed about right. Note that the center of plywood end wall has a 2x2 piece wedge between roost support and wall so a 3" screw from outside holds center of 3/8" sheet and roost support secure. The roof frame helped tie the corners square. Cut "rafters" with 8 degree to accommodate roof pitch, slopes from 48" wall to 42" in 4 ft. As the roof will only be metal the entire top has 1/2" hard wire cloth. The high hats of metal roof is ventilation and the only way a weasel can get in hence the $20 in hardware cloth.

 

 

The back access door. I wanted to make this a swing down and even cut the plywood to fit the swing. Then as framing the edges thought I don't need to cut the bottom trim piece for hinges and will connect to bottom of coop to make things simple. Well, in doing that the swing would have hit the ground instead of the 1" or so clearance planned for so made it a top hinge door. Screwed a peice of 2x2 on door and floor of coop to support the prop stick. The prop will just rest in coop along back wall when not in use (only need to open every two weeks or so to scoop out a bit under roosts then rake up).

 

 

Access door, two latches and four very small hinges. The trim is 1x4 strapping not 1x4 select finish pine.

 

 

This is a 3X1 ft frame with floor nailed from bottom. Sides are Plytanium sloping 14" to 12". Note the two scrap pieces of 2x2 used for something to screw corner together. Keep it simple and light. Entire coop is screwed together. Sheets of plywood are plenty strong but need something to screw them to.

 

 

Cut a 9x30" hole. Screwed 2x2's from inside coop. Center opening between 2x2's is 9 inches, leaving the remainder two openings 9 inches (subtracting the 2 2x2's width). The outside nailers are to screw the nesting box to. Then put on lid with a few hinges. Cut a few 1' dividers and Nail to inner 2x2's. Three 1x1 foot external mounted nesting boxes done.

 

 

Can't see from this angle but that's really tall high hat roofing, 1.5 inch or more. The pop door is similar to framed back access in that the frame of door overhangs the opening. Used same piece from cut as door and framed it. Openings of door and nesting boxes are 6 inches from coop floor to allow for 4 inches of bedding. I put in one bag today and see it might hold another full bag of shavings.

 

Well, that's basically it. I went only 7 ft long so had extra siding for nesting boxes (used 3- 4x8' plytanium sheets). This thing I can tow along with a riding lawn mower no problem. After the build I see I could have cut the wall height by 6" or raised the roosts some. Though I used tall high hat metal roofing it is still too dark in there so am adding a polycarb or polystyrene type 8x10 inch window to other end to give more light for them to roost with. So I need to finish staining, cut out and screw on the small window and screw in a hook to hold the feeder.

 

Popped the back door open some for lighting and all 14 birds went in no problem. It's actually a palace as they've been cramming in their grow out coop until now.

 

*I don't keep feed or water in coops. I never lock birds in the coop, they come outside every morning. Please, don't "teach" me about 4sqft per bird in coop. This is a different and still effective management style. ;) 

 

 

Back access propped open so they had plenty of light to check it out this first night. I'll screw on the plexiglass window tomorrow. 164', 0.5 joule 48" electric fencing still working like a charm. Loving this first year having 1600 sqft of portable run.


Edited by Egghead_Jr - 10/21/15 at 6:13pm

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #2 of 6
The only fault that I can find ... Is with Purina ... Their math does not compute! Doubling al measurements ... Means FOUR times the space, not two! wink.png

I use to live down the river in Springfield ... You get quite a bit of snow up there in the North East Kingdom ... Are you planing on still moving it in the winter?
Edited by 123RedBeard - 10/22/15 at 2:56am
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Keep your eyes on the road ... And, your head out of your apps!
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Not in winter. It will get parked in the winter run where it will get frozen it then dug out of mud in spring to move around again with poultry netting. I was really late in getting this built and couldn't believe how well behaved the birds were in their tiny grow out pen. 14- 6 month Plymouth Rocks would put themselves away in a 3x3 grow out coop. It's mind boggling how they fit and a wonder there were no pecking issues but being hatch mates helps a lot. Now waiting on that first egg!

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply
post #4 of 6

Nice little coop!

 

No windows for light...or is the roof translucent?

 

Any plans for a run?

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Just came in from cutting a 11.5x11.5 square at roosting level on far end of coop. Covered with 14x14 plexiglass. Added cost for that and feed hanger hook- $6.54.

 

The electric poultry netting is the run. It's all portable. Sometime in December it will get parked in the winter run until April or May depending on how frozen in it gets. Some years we'll have 4 ft of snow on the ground and others will have a January thaw and ice storms followed by March Nor'Easters bringing a foot or more of snow a whack. The winter run is partially covered and has means to put up a tarp or two for wind break.


Edited by Egghead_Jr - 10/22/15 at 6:58am

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply
post #6 of 6
If you set the runners up on a 2X4 or 2X6, once it is parked for the winter, they will not get frozen in the mud ... And not have quite as much freezing damage to the wood ...

When I was growing up down in Rockingham ... We had a 4'X8' about 3' tall meat bird coop ... Fifty Cornish/White Rock crosses would jamb themselves in there ... Of course as they got up in the 6 plus pound size ... We would butch a few on a weekend ... But they just kept growing! We usually didn't butcher more than 5-6 a day, as that's about all the five gallon canner full of hot water would last ... Near the end of the fifty, they would dress out 9-10 pounds! Sometimes we had half a dozen bronze turkeys to, that thought they should go in there too, as they grew up together!
Keep your eyes on the road ... And, your head out of your apps!
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Keep your eyes on the road ... And, your head out of your apps!
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