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Coop advice for a newbie

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi All, I'm a newbie to the site but have been lurking for a while, trying to soak up all the good advice on here.  We're in the process of building a coop for 7 chickens, all about 6 weeks old at the moment  and currently living in a much smaller, store bought hutch.  

 

Anyhow, below are some pics of where we are right now.  We still have make the doors, ladders and paint the thing but I think its coming along nicely.  I modified a design I found here on BYC.  I thought the little hatch on the inside to get down to the run underneath was perfect for my needs.  Eventually, this will be hooked up to a large (50'x50') run for them to run around in.  We are planning on using a sand & sweet PDZ mix for the inside.  We added some ventilation at the bottom (1st pic) and at the top (2nd pic) as well as the window, hopefully that will be enough.   

 

We have coyotes and other critters in the area so we lined the bottom and sides with hardwire cloth and then layered on pea gravel, bricks and then sand (still need more sand).  Nothing is going to get to them!!

 

We are going to add a couple of cut outs in the bottom because it's kinda dark down there.  The coop is in a fairly shaded spot so I'm hoping they won't get too cold.  We can't get water or electricity out to this spot but I'm already hauling water for the goats so that doesn't bother me. 

 

Questions -

 

1. Is there anything that we are missing or needs to be changed?  

2. I was planning on putting a little solar light in there because I read somewhere that if they fall off their perch they can see to get back up.  Will that mess them up at all?

3.  The perches are going across the middle of the pen.  If that inside hatch (pic 4) is left open overnight, will that create too big of a draft for them?

 

I have a ton of questions mostly because I want to do the best for the little ladies.  I'm kind of addicted to them. :)

 

 

 

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post #2 of 5

Since you have hardware cloth under the entire thing, leaving the hatch open at night to the pen below shouldn't be an issue, shouldn't be an issue for draft.

 

Have you considered staining the wood instead of paint? It looks really nice natural. 

post #3 of 5

looks beautiful! 

 

The only advice i can think of that was said to me was always make a coop that has more room than your current amount of chickens require because chances are you'll end up with more and that way you don't have to make a whole new coop in the end ;) 

 

not sure the measurements of the coop but with a large run like what you'll be giving them you can get away with less room in the coop.

 

otherwise, it's looking great! what were you thinking of painting it? i have to agree that the natural does look really nice.

"To enjoy the world, by giving joy to the world."

Johann Nepumuk Hummel

 

 

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"To enjoy the world, by giving joy to the world."

Johann Nepumuk Hummel

 

 

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post #4 of 5

Welcome!  Your coop is very cute, and looks well made.  Dimensions?  And I think it will need more ventilation.  Add openings at the top of the walls (near the peak?)  with hardware cloth.  I agree about the stain rather than paint.  Mary

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

HI All, 

 

Thanks for the kind words!  I agree about the wood - I love the look of it. And when we first got it up I was hesitant to paint it but it's close to the goat barn that is painted a sage with cream trim so we're going to paint it the same color for consistency.  

 

Here's a pic of the barn:

 

 

 

The dimensions are 6' x 4'.  We when originally planned it we only had 6 chicks but a quick trip to the feed store resulted in 7th chick.  :)  I do wish now we had made it bigger but c'est la vie!  We can always add on if needed down the road!  

 

Regarding the ventilation, we'll add some more to the top area.  I was worried about that.  

 

Thanks again!  It's been a fun journey so far!  Can't wait to move the girls in!

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