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Looking for Coop ideas in MN - Page 2

post #11 of 16

Are either of those fences a property line?  Some cities how "set backs" whereas you have to build coops so far from adjoining properties.  There have been chicken owners that have had to move coops.  Just thought I'd mention that.

 

Plan well for ventilation.

 

Minimum space requirements *normally* recommended...4-sq-ft of coop space per bird, 10-sq-ft of run space per bird.  More space is *always* good...in situations where chickens have to be in the coop area for extended periods of time due to weather, etc., then more spacing is usually better.

 

Good choice on the elevated coop.  That will retain the total footprint area for run space....16-sq-ft of coop works out to 4-sq-ft per bird and 48 sq ft of run works out to 4.8-sq-ft per chicken in the run.  Plus, no sense in making a 4x4 coop walk-in as there would hardly be room to work and you should be able to reach most everything from a sizeable access door.  Don't build it too short, though...build it tall enough for a roost and for space above the chickens head so that warm moisture laden air can gather and be vented outside well above their heads so that they are not sitting in a draft.  Proper venting is very important, chickens create lots of moisture and you've gotta get it out of there!

 

As for not knowing how many chickens will fit in the coops shown in the coop section of the forum....go by the "rules" I listed above to figure out chicken capacity and you should be ok.  I strongly urge you to look at the smaller coops to see how to arrange the roosts, nest boxes, feeders, waters, etc..  A 4x4 coop could get crowded with all of those items in it...and they can take away from the available sq-ft-per-chicken space. 

 

According to the "rule" (and I say the word "rule" very loosely as folks get by with more or less space than that but it's a fair figure to strive for) you have a little bit of extra room in the run (for four chickens).  If you move some of the equipment into the run you free up valuable coop space without encroaching to much on the chickens' run spacing. 

 

Will the chickens be allowed to roam in the yard while you're outside working the garden?  The reason I ask is that sunshine is good for them and if under a covered run all the time they will not get much.  Maybe that area in front of the shed could be an extension of the run that isn't covered by a solid roof...maybe a 4x4 or 4x8 area?  It looks like a sunny spot...that'd also give you more run area for them which is a win-win. ;)

Job 27:3-6   All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;  My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
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Job 27:3-6   All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;  My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
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post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by VFfamily View Post
 

I went out and walked my possible coop and run location and had a light bulb go off.  I have an existing shed that I use and might build off the side of that.  It is on a concrete slab which I will extend that will give me a 12x4 spot.  It will have complete roof and will be very protected from wind.  I currently would plan to do a raised 4x4 coop at one end giving the chickens 12x4 of run space when including the space under raised coop.  The shed has power if I ever need it.  The concrete would be cold in winter but I will use a deep bedding theory.  

Am I crazy or this sounding legit.  The other great this is the pad would be useful if the coop ever goes away or for next owners. I'll try to take some pictures for a better visual shortly.

 

I  did look through your link and pictures.  I spent some time and like the set-up.  Just starting to get deeper into the design phase.  

Electricity :yesss:. Heat tape for water system,  Lights for lighting and heating.  Etc.,.  Running water close by is good, too. ;)

 

Does the area drain good?  Rain or snow melting off the shed roof and coop roof will cause a good deal of water to fall on the right-hand side of the structure (facing the area as in your picture).  You might want to plan ahead on that...french drain, small drainage gutter, etc.  Using the DLM in the run could cause a problem if it gets wet and soggy. 

 

If you concrete the area and in case the chickens come into contact with it put a smooth surface on it to reduce chances of chickens injuring their feet and coming down with bumble foot.  A smooth surface will also make it easier to clean.  In my novice mind I'm thinking...would a sand-covered run work?  It would drain much better than pine shavings.  Just thinking. :)

Job 27:3-6   All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;  My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
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Job 27:3-6   All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;  My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
Reply
post #13 of 16

Personally I'd leave the run dirt. It should provide the grit they need, makes for dust bathing area they want and let's face it- cheaper and easier than pouring concrete. To dig proof the run from neighbors dogs and skunks use somethign like 2x4 welded wire (usually comes in 4' wide rolls) to cut in half and run horizontal on ground. 18-24 inches out from run walls staked to ground or lift sod to place under or just put small layer of dirt on it. Predators including dogs will dig at the fence line, they don't think to back up so large dogs will still encounter only welded wire and move to side to try again. Dig proof made easy and leaves the run dirt for dust bathing and scratching for grit and bugs.

 

As for coop size per bird it is completely how you manage birds and can't be done on a square foot per basis. For those that coop birds 4 sqft is not nearly enough and for those that keep birds in run everyday 4 sqft is wasted space for a place to roost at night. It's all relative and variable to management and foresight of how many birds you'll end up with. Like I'd mentioned earlier 6-7 large fowl do well in a 4x4 if external mount nests and feed/water under the raised coop.


Edited by Egghead_Jr - 5/15/16 at 9:40am

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 #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

My plan currently is to use the exterior wall of the shed as one side of the run.  I would extend the shed roof over at the current pitch for at least Coop run and part of run.  I guess I could leave the front 4 feet of run with screen roof so they get more sun.  My entire back yard is mostly shade in summer due to old growth trees that aren't going anywhere.  

 

Thoughts were a smooth concrete with some sand for a little filler.  I would be afraid of dirt floor in that area becoming muddy.  The area drains well but that area uses to be used for Hostas and is very black soft dirt.  

 

The chickens might get some yard time but only under supervision as don't think free range is allowed in our area.  

 

The area is currently very protected as it is a raised area surrounded by hard rock so shouldn't really be able to dig into it.

 

Again thanks for all the input as it is a huge help and plans are continually being revised with it.  

 

Worst thing about the site is access to the sides.  I would actually plan to make the front of the coop (from within the run) the big opening door to access for cleaning.  

 

For ventilation should I just put some heat duct screens in the top back of coop?  They would most likely then be on the same wall as the nesting box but well above is and out of draft line.  The door to enter coop would be directly across for good air flow.  Or I would have to vent toward my fence which I guess would be ok too.

 

The nesting box would be towards very back of yard.  Hard to explain the set-up which is still currently in my head.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 




I added a couple more pictures now that the site is cleaned out and closer to whatever we start to build.
The edge of the shed roof is 78in so that would be my peak height then sloping down at same pitch. This is dictate a little of the room underneath but should work leaving plenty of room??

Last picture is from behind shed and where the nesting box would have to be for best access.

The tree stump is the new question mark. I thought it was soft enough to beat out but still has some toughness left. Wife would like to leave it in as feature but it might be hard to build around. Remove might also be just as hard as building around. If I build around it will keep things from being perfectly square which will make for some tricky measurements. It would give the chickens something to peck at and maybe find some bugs or ants. Thought about stump?

Other reason for pouring concrete would be to level the ground. The shed sits on a couple slab that range from 2-4in higher height than the ground there. I'm also not including the extra for the slope of the ground there. I should level it somehow or trying to create a good seal at the bottom of the run might get a little tricky. I continue to survey that area looking for good solutions. I do think that is the best spot to utilize as I don't have much other level ground in the back yard.
Edited by VFfamily - 5/15/16 at 11:20am
post #16 of 16

It looks to me like the stump would not be in the coop area.  Building the run around it shouldn't be that big of an issue.  If it's good and solid then it might be more work than it's worth to remove it.

 

I'm taking it that those fences are the property lines and that you've already checked on setbacks.

 

You can level the coop with the length of the coop legs or with blocking.  Not necessary to pour all concrete.  If you were to simply remove all the rocks along the fence and put a border of of say 4x8x16 cement blocks you could fill in the area between with sand...or maybe you could lay the rocks down to form that border/retainer.  Remember that water runs off of sloping ground...a good thing. 

 

That little area in the back where you're talking about the nest boxes being...it will only be used to stand in while you retrieve eggs.  You could go ahead and extend the coop to fill that area and put the nest boxes on the side...facing towards behind the storage building.  That would just mean that you would stand behind the shed rather than the coop to get eggs.  You could also build a small overhang running behind the shed coming off of the coop to protect you and the nest boxes from direct rain.  You could either make the coop larger or the run that much longer.  Just a thought.

 

I'm thinking that 1-sq-ft per bird of ventilation is the usual recommendation.  As with spacing, more the merrier.  This is ventilation, though, not draft.  The higher up you can get this ventilation the better for cold weather moisture expulsion without placing the birds in a draft.  For the summer windows/vents at bird level can be good....they'll appreciate the breeze...a large removable/openable window with 1/2" screen is good.  How cold does it get where you're located?   Check out "p t woods open air poultry" here on BYC or google the phrase...great info on ventilation.  He did all of his research in a cold, snowy winter time location.

Job 27:3-6   All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;  My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
Reply
Job 27:3-6   All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;  My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
Reply
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