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I need help with building my chicken coop

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

So I originally started a thread about the ventilation on my chicken coop. I got some great, helpful responses. However, questions about other things are starting to pop up and so I thought I would start a new thread as they do not have to do with ventilation. I posted a picture of the coop I am building below (plans and pictures come from ). Right now it is just in the skeletal phase. I am hoping to have the roof done this weekend so I can then start on the house part. And that is where my questions come in. I would like to have it planed out before things are cut and up and harder to change.


The house part is 4 x 6 and the run is 6 x 12 The run will be covered in hardware cloth and have plastic around it in the winter. The floor of my run is dirt. I am wanting to get 5 chickens. I have three chicks now and will be getting the other two tomorrow.


Buff Orpington

Black Australorp

Mystery Chicken

Speckled Sussex

Easter Egger 


So here are some questions:


What do I use for the floor of the coop? I was going to use laminate flooring till I read on here that that is not good to use. I saw someone mention Rubberized Roof Coat, that will not harm the chickens? I will have a drop board under the roost with shaving on the floor, and the water will be outside. 


For the drop board can I just use a cheap piece of paneling that does not have grooves? And how wide does it need to be? I mean it will run the length of the wall so four feet but how wide? And will a foot below the roost be enough room? That will be a foot above the opening of the nesting box, a foot to the roost, and two feet to the roof. And one and a half feet below the vent at the top. I plan to have no wood there, just a 6" strip with harware cloth.


Can I just have one roost or will I have to have two? If I had to have two I am not sure where it would go....  


Can I put the door on the tall side where the roost will go? He has it in the back on the short side, but if I have the drop board under the roost I will not be able to reach across 6 feet to clean it easily. Maybe a door on the side wall that leads into the coop? Might be better to have it there anyway so the chickens do not fly out when I clean. As long as the run does not get to messy... Ideas?


And if it is the wall right in front of the roost I can still open it in the winter to clean the poop boards? Seems I would let in big drafts opening the whole side.... Kinda confused on that.


I am just putting a deck stain on the outside, is it ok to use that on the inside as well? If not what do I put on the walls? 


How do you cover the walls of the run with plastic without ruining the wood? After a few years of stapling the plastic wouldn't the wood be full of holes or staples?


I know these are a lot of questions. It seems the more I think about it the more I have. If you can answer any or all of these I would be very grateful. I really need some help from those of you who have had chickens and had time to figure out what works and what doesn't. Thanks so much!





post #2 of 17
I would use the rubber roofing for the floor so its not harmful to the birds and for the poop boards I would say to go about 6 inches from ur roost board so to ensure that there butts don't hang over the ledge of the poop board and to keep the poo on the board and for were ur nest boxes are to go could u put the door there if not I would put them on the tall wall and if the run is secure u could put in a small roost in the house and put a roost in the run and for the run when it gets messy u could try the deep liter method. If u put in two roost could u go and stick one above the other so there like staggered like there would be one higher than the other but the bottom one would be out away from the wall or something so they can't get pooped on. I would not use the deck stain so the walls don't rot I would put water sealent inside and then paint the floor of the house. What if u get tarps for the run in the winter can't u just then get those tarp clips and somehow attach it to the run without stapling a hundred times.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for answering. The problem with another roost inside is that for it to be far enough away from the first one so the birds do not poop on each other the poop board would be over half way across the building. If I have my measurements correct, from what people have said, the roost needs to be 18 inches from the wall and 16-18 away from each other. Then another 6 for the end of the roost board. Maybe I can do a corner one and then one that goes across to add perch room? 


 I plan to have a roost or two in the run along with a stump or rock or something else to perch on. I have two branches I want to use for the perches. I heard having different things to perch on helps their feet.


What I have for the outside is weatherproofing all in one wood finish. That is only intended to protect the wood for the elements, so that should be ok to use as a water sealer for inside?  


I might be able to put the door on the side with the nesting boxes, I will have to look at it again.


I did not even think of clamps to the wood. That is a great idea. I think people use the white plastic to let the light in but it is kinda thick so I do not see why I cannot clamp that to the wood. 

post #4 of 17
Yes it should be good enough of a Selentsealent stuff to keep it from rotting and protected from the elements could u do a roost like this instead of having half way across the coop
post #5 of 17

See where it says coop training method the roost pic right under neath that could u do something like that thats how my roosts are and my birds love them much better than the one board
post #6 of 17
O and what's the demintions for the coop not including the run I am looking to build a breeding pen for 6 Silkes thanks
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

I could probably do a roost like that if I did not use a poop board. I cannot do a true deep liter method as it is a raised coop and not on the dirt. But with only 5 chickens if I put a couple of inches down and turn it every few days it should work pretty well without a poop board, right? 


The coop itself is 4 x 6 and it is 2 feet off the ground. 

post #8 of 17
Well u can use sand and a cat pooper scooper people say it don't smell or anything lots of people say it is a lot easier so that's what I am using just got some sand out o fire stream a couple of days ago and it's starting to dry so i will let u know how it works or turns out if u want or want to maybe try the sand
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

My next question is about the vents at the top of the coop. I am not cutting holes in a board but rather just putting harware cloth across with no board at all. However, how big should that be? 8 inches? 12 inches? 12 inches on the high side and 8 on the other? 10 inches on both? I am so confused. Also how far under the window should I put the roost so the chickens do not get a draft?  

Edited by Tiana Rose - 3/3/16 at 8:49am
post #10 of 17
Mine are right next to the Windows but I close them at night so nothing can reach through the chicken wire and kill them but I would go with 10 inches on both sides but I'm not understanding what u are saying about the cutting holes in the boards
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