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Chen's Hens Coop Design

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Here is the design of our coop (which is in progress currently). As our six chicks are nearing three weeks old, I would like to be able to move them out of the garage and into their new home. They have plenty of space right now, but I know they'd be much happier outdoors. They love running around in the grass when I let them out. So over the next couple of weeks, hopefully - weather permitting and DH's class schedule permitting - we will be able to get this done!

 

I like to fully plan things out before jumping in, so I drew up this design so that DH and I would be on the same page as things get tweaked and modified during the building process (which I am sure they still will be to some extent). Keep in mind, the basic coop dimensions are listed but the proportions of the drawing may be a little skewed. MSPaint is only good for so much. :rolleyes:

 

The nest boxes will be on the outside for easy access, and locked so the easy access applies only to us and not to critters. The big doors on the back will provide access for easy full cleaning out and for scooping the poop out of the PDZ on the poop/litter board (the poop board will be set up like a kitty litter tray containing a couple of inches of sweet PDZ powder and scooped clean daily with a pooper scooper). The floor of the coop, 1 foot up the coop walls, and the roof will be coated in BlackJack 57. The vents at the top and sides will be covered with hardware cloth and left open. The legs of the coop will be enclosed with hardware mesh as well, and this area will be accessible from the run so they can dust bathe underneath the coop if they so choose.

 

The run will be 8.5' x 10' and 6' in height. It will be fully enclosed with the frame lined by hardware mesh and sitting on a base of half-buried cinder blocks. There will also be a bit of a wire skirt coming out from the cinder blocks so that nothing tries to burrow underneath. I think this will be predator-proof enough that I will be able to keep our pop-door open. The coop will sit on the outside of the run with the front face attached to the run frame. We will be covering the top of at least part of the run for shade and rain cover. The coop and run are going to be sitting right up against a line of thick spruce trees so they will have some wind/sun protection from that as well.

 

Since we are still in the process of building, things may be adjusted as we go, but this is the plan. And it feels good to have one!

:ya

 

 

 

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post #2 of 7

Looks very similar to the one I just built. Perhaps my build thread might help. Probably not, but ya' never know. :-)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1076916/so-ive-decided-to-build-a-coop

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gridguru View Post
 

Looks very similar to the one I just built. Perhaps my build thread might help. Probably not, but ya' never know. :-)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1076916/so-ive-decided-to-build-a-coop

 

Actually I have been following your thread! My original design was very close to the one I just posted, but it has been tweaked to incorporate ideas that you and others have posted. Your thread is one of the ones I was reading to make sure I was on the right track. Some of the things I have modified are the roost and vent positions according to what I have been reading. Thanks for the help!

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post #4 of 7

It looks like a very good plan to me. I am far from an expert at this point, but the only advice i might have would be to consider where your roost is compared to the vents. Based on the pics, the roost is very close to the vents, so in the winter, the airflow might be on the chickens. Depending on if your winters are cold, that could be an issue. I'll let one of the real experts weigh in though. 

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gridguru View Post
 

It looks like a very good plan to me. I am far from an expert at this point, but the only advice i might have would be to consider where your roost is compared to the vents. Based on the pics, the roost is very close to the vents, so in the winter, the airflow might be on the chickens. Depending on if your winters are cold, that could be an issue. I'll let one of the real experts weigh in though. 

 

I agree. I was thinking about this too. I think when I actually put the roosts in, they will be lower. I considered moving the roost to the other wall, but it would be right in front of the clean-out doors, and I don't think it would help the cold air draft problem much anyways.

 

Maybe the poop board would be okay if I put it right above the pop-door and in front of the slot where the door slides up into. This would bring the roost down another 8-12 inches. I don't want to put the roosts too low though, or the hens might start sleeping in the nest boxes.

 

What do you think?

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post #6 of 7

I think as long as the roost are higher than the nesting boxes, you should be good. I plan is to block access to the nesting boxes until they start laying. I figure by then, they will be used to sleeping on the roost and will have their pecking order established. 

 

Our roost and poop board are right in front of the big door, but i made them both easily removable and pretty light. 15 seconds and they are out of the way and you are in the coop. That said, it was a dilemma for me. I really wanted it elsewhere, but decided i wanted my feeder to be under it and that was the only way to do it in mine. 

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gridguru View Post
 

I think as long as the roost are higher than the nesting boxes, you should be good. I plan is to block access to the nesting boxes until they start laying. I figure by then, they will be used to sleeping on the roost and will have their pecking order established. 

 

Our roost and poop board are right in front of the big door, but i made them both easily removable and pretty light. 15 seconds and they are out of the way and you are in the coop. That said, it was a dilemma for me. I really wanted it elsewhere, but decided i wanted my feeder to be under it and that was the only way to do it in mine. 

That is a great idea to block the nesting boxes. Maybe I'll try that out. Especially if I end up lowering the roosts a bit.

 

Hmm, well your interior positioning has given me some food for thought. Thanks for the input! I really appreciate all the help I can get.

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