BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance › 1st coop! Advice needed. questions and comments welcomed!
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1st coop! Advice needed. questions and comments welcomed!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. This is my first post. And I've been searching the forums for a long while regarding coops. Wanted to share my first coop plans and see if you all could give me some tips or pointers! It will be approximately 3.5ft high on the short side or back and 4ft on the front. Flat roof. Approximately 5.5ft long. Planning on 3 to 5 hens at most. Two nesting boxes inside. With the primary door on one of the ends being able to open completely for easy clean out and access to the nests/laying boxes. A second door on the primary door will be a vent opening. Also a small vent above the door, in the eve so to speak. Opposite end will have one large sliding door for ventilation only. This door will have multiple locking positions ; 100% open and closed, and some locations in between.

Thoughts, suggestions and opinions!??

Edit: added plans for additional door on front or back approximately half length of the entire coop. On opposite side as the end opening door which will be the entire width of the end as the drawing shows.
4x4 main posts/legs for good height so I won't have to bend over with smaller legs on it.
Possibly putting hinges on the top of the hardware cloth vent doors, with overhang on left and right sides for keeping rain out and still having ventilation.
Part of original design but not noted: flooring will be laminate for easy clean out.
Edited by matt4068 - 1/24/16 at 7:10pm
post #2 of 14
Looks good !
post #3 of 14

Welcome!  It's much easier to live with a walk-in coop, rather than a short crawl- in arrangement.  Also, plywood comes in 4'x8' sheets, so building in conventional dimensions is less wasteful.  In a mild climate, a three sided structure with hardware cloth works great too.  A dirt floor is fine, as long as the perimeter foundation is dig- proof.  Build big!  Unless you have zoning restrictions,  more chickens will likely happen.  Mary

post #4 of 14

I too have been reading on BYC for a while and planning my coop.  I finally joined the community though!  Without knowing your space limits and perhaps city ordinances, I would try to avoid a "crawl in" coop.  It would be slightly more expensive to build a walk-in coop, but you will save your back when trying to clean.  You also will eventually have either a stray egg in the furthest corner of the coop or a chicken that needs your help.  Being able to enter the coop if necessary may be a big advantage.  And like the previous poster said, chicken math can catch up to you and if you think you only want 3-5 hens now, you may soon have 6-10. :D

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am hoping on eventually getting/building a walk in coop. But for now all of the wood I am building this with I have on hand and maximizing the use of it. (5sheets of plywood 5'7"x3'5").
Plus I cant actually have chickens right now. So the plan is to give the coop to a friend who can and does have chickens (and no coop,keeping them inside) until he builds his walk in coop for 20+ birds. So mobility (fitting in my truck bed when I get to take it back) is a big deal. I can adjust the height of it since I have 5 4x4's that are 6' tall. I can use for the lengths. So no back breaking to crawl in.

And thank you for asking about access and reach! I'm thinking of making a door on the back half also for better access. (About half the back of it.)
Edited by matt4068 - 1/24/16 at 7:13pm
post #6 of 14
Op, you are on the right track with extra access doors. I would suggest not a "crawl-in" but " reach-in" coop concept. One should be able to reach 3ft from access point. 3.5ft might be difficult for some. Measure your reach and decide.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you ECBW. The hints are coming to fruit soon I hope. Too much in my head. Need to get it out and into wood. Lol. smile.png
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Managed to put in a few hours last night with my Sisters help. As well as her doggies. All of the wood here was either given to me free from friends/family or repurposed from the dumpster of a local construction site. Screws were an on hand item. Also have some metal roofing from another friend that was leftover from a recent construction job. Finally starting to come together.

This side will be the opening door.

This rear center area will have the access for for the rear of the coop. About 24" from 2x4-2x4 uprights. Hi Penny! I just had to chase this big rat around the hard when she went flying out the garage door.

And this is Lucky.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Most of what I made the coop out of was untreated lumber and ply/veneer. Can I just use a good exterior paint? Or should I put some siding on it?
post #10 of 14
You need a do a better job predator proofing your coop.
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance › 1st coop! Advice needed. questions and comments welcomed!