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TSC Coop/run modification/design thoughts? - Page 7

post #61 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post
 

Is that actually fully open into the coop tho?

As hot as it can get there, you may want it even more open.

If run is predator proof, might take out that whole wall :hide  something to think about if it gets too hot in there.


Yep, fully open into the coop. 

 

Run is pretty darn predator proof, as much as coop is!  (Same hardware cloth on run that is on coop windows that don't lock, etc!)  I've seen those 'open face' coops, something to think about, although the front of the coop also creates shade inside, during the two hours of the afternoon when the sun is slanting down on it...


Edited by L2fly - 4/18/17 at 8:46am
post #62 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donaltman3 View Post
 

I think you will be just fine without adding that huge cut out.   The offset front  above the pop door and your pop door itself is wide open.. along with the one side that can open up with the hardware cloth for ventilation should be enough.. but if you want more I'd just run to the local hardware store and get some of these.

They are aluminum house vents.. they come in multiple sizes and are super cheap.. the better ones also have bug screens behind the vent slots.   This pictures is of 2 inch and is sold in a 6 pack for a little over 5 bucks.   

 

 

Maybe I'm over-thinking it, and I did forget that the entire front is off-set like that.

 

It just gets so, so hot here (I suspect you also know heat, in GA!)  We get those 110 days and its just brutal.  I know I'll be throwing frozen 2 liter bottles in there a lot!  But, they can always sleep in the run, if they want.  I do have to figure out something to give them some shade, without blocking air flow...

 

I'm just excited to get them out there!  And still holding my breath that they are all girls, lol!


Edited by L2fly - 4/18/17 at 8:46am
post #63 of 69

I have this coop as well. We have 7 leghorns. They're still little so it's plenty big enough.and we fenced in an area around the coop so they have some space to roam. I have their main food under their house and a smaller water inside the coop
post #64 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by L2fly View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post
 

Is that actually fully open into the coop tho?

As hot as it can get there, you may want it even more open.

If run is predator proof, might take out that whole wall :hide  something to think about if it gets too hot in there.


Yep, fully open into the coop. 

 

Run is pretty darn predator proof, as much as coop is!  (Same hardware cloth on run that is on coop windows that don't lock, etc!)  I've seen those 'open face' coops, something to think about, although the front of the coop also creates shade inside, during the two hours of the afternoon when the sun is slanting down on it...

Get a couple of decent thermometers to place in run and coop and other places.

You won't know until you go thru the hottest part of the year just how hot it will get in there.

And the behavior of your birds will tell you much if you observe carefully.

Best of cLuck!

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #65 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by L2fly View Post
 

I know I'm not alone in buying & putting together a TSC coop/run before completing all my research, but as it is a good fit for my backyard, fit the budget, and my goal is only to have 3 chickens anyway, I've decided to keep it, with some modifications for safety and coop space, and maybe extend the run at a later date.  (And it will all get a good paint job!)

 

Here is the coop:

 

 

 

I'm beefing up screen security by adding washers and screws at all corners and 12 inch intervals, and will also go back through with heavier staples:

 

 

Every door, in addition to the two barrel locks already there, will get a carabiner locking the middle.  So there will be three separate locks on each door.

 

I'll lay down 1/2 in hardware cloth over the entire floor (that I have left over from another project), and staple to the 4x4s.

 

I'll install a battery operated motion detection light on each side.

 

I've also realized that my coop itself is a bit small.  It is 9 sq feet, but that included the 3 nesting boxes (which, after reading this board, I realize I only need one box for my 3 girls).  Plus I read that the roosts should be higher than the nests, and the stock roosts were only about two inches higher than the nests, wasting a lot of vertical space.  (I should add, with our mild weather, my plan is to make the entire coop/run combo as bomb-proof as possible, and let them have access to the run 24/7).

 

 

So, I've taken out two of the nesting boxes, installed a partial, sloped cover over the last nesting box for more privacy, and installed a new removable roost in a sort of diagonal across the coop, about 12 inches from the floor.  This gives them headroom on the roost of about 12 inches at the sides, and 22 inches from the peak in the roof.  (I'll also be cutting down the board in front of the two nests I removed.)

 

 

Thoughts from experiences chicken keepers on the above modifications? 

 

My main concern with the coop is, in this small space, will they be able to fly enough to get to the roost a foot from the ground?

 

TIA!

Glad you posted this -- and congrats on the great mods you invented. 

 

A couple of these have been in use for many years (not exactly the same, but the idea is the same and they are the pre-fab - easy-to-assemble kind. ) 

My latest thought is that I am going to convert the nesting boxes to roosting space and install nesting boxes in the 'downstairs' portion beneath where the manufacture put nesting boxes.  It will make getting the eggs more difficult -- maybe I will design wheels or slides and have a rolling nest box that I can pull forward to collect the eggs and put back out of the way once collected. -- Mine are also inside covered 10x10 or 10x20 'dog kennel' panels with roofs, so weather isn't a big big issue for them.

 

Here are some of the mods that happened over the years:

installed a piece of scrap PVC pipe and some hooks to enable instant no-tools removal of the ramp.  The ramp got wet and after about 5-years started to come apart -- so a paint stir stick (free wood already cut to little piece - not a bad deal) -- is used to repair it by sandwiching layers together. 

a different ramp, but the same brackets, this just hooks on the edge of the roosting area.  I think these brackets are in the electrical section of the hardware store. 

hooked on in one that didn't have PVC pipe installed

Put them up on little 'tables'.  - Saw the idea from someone here on BYC's my coop page I think.  1. prevents bottom rot .  2 prevents any mice from digging under in my ultra soft soil - and 3. gives them space beneath to hang out if they want.   So a few more sq ft in the coop's run for the chickens

Just love those hooks... instant removal 

These hens have to make the first jump all on their own

If you have a cattle panel hoop coop - you need to make the legs of the table shorter.

A $4 Walmart wooden picture frame was used to make a door -- It was another predator proofer -- both chicken wire and HWC.  - It also makes catching the hens much easier and less traumatic if they are confined to the inside of the little coop.  

Paint sticks used to sandwich the chicken wire inside the frame.  HWC is attached to chicken wire with zip ties.   Door has to be hooked open or it will prevent them from nest box access. 

Better engineering idea IMO is the sliding door.  Next door I add -- will follow that pattern.  this door came as is from manufacturer

Original useof  nest box area for roost idea - the end caps used to hold closet rods in closet and a piece of closet hanging rod sawed to fit -- Great for juveniles - but lacking headroom for adults I think....Juveniles don't need the nesting boxes anyway. 

screws that came with the closet bracket were too long -- so the coop got a decorative medallion that was laying around to absob the excess length of the screws. 

 

I'm thinking of free-standing roosts in a U-shape that can be removed entirely for cleaning, and then a nesting box area similar to those $10.00 wooden boxes you can buy at TSC.  I have some of those gray plastic ones, but -- I think it would require crawling into the coop entirely to get the eggs - and they may be too tall for the space. 

 

Apologies for showing you such dirty coops -- just ran out lastnight and snapped some shots.  

 

Thanks for the thread-- gives me inspiration to make some more tweaks. 


Edited by ChicKat - 4/20/17 at 6:00am

Marek's:http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mareks-disease-fact-site

BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page  

BYC blog of sorts  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings-ii

 

"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 

Reply

Marek's:http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mareks-disease-fact-site

BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page  

BYC blog of sorts  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings-ii

 

"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 

Reply
post #66 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicKat View Post
 

Glad you posted this -- and congrats on the great mods you invented. 

 

A couple of these have been in use for many years (not exactly the same, but the idea is the same and they are the pre-fab - easy-to-assemble kind. ) 

My latest thought is that I am going to convert the nesting boxes to roosting space and install nesting boxes in the 'downstairs' portion beneath where the manufacture put nesting boxes.  It will make getting the eggs more difficult -- maybe I will design wheels or slides and have a rolling nest box that I can pull forward to collect the eggs and put back out of the way once collected. -- Mine are also inside covered 10x10 or 10x20 'dog kennel' panels with roofs, so weather isn't a big big issue for them.

 

Here are some of the mods that happened over the years:

installed a piece of scrap PVC pipe and some hooks to enable instant no-tools removal of the ramp.  The ramp got wet and after about 5-years started to come apart -- so a paint stir stick (free wood already cut to little piece - not a bad deal) -- is used to repair it by sandwiching layers together. 

a different ramp, but the same brackets, this just hooks on the edge of the roosting area.  I think these brackets are in the electrical section of the hardware store. 

hooked on in one that didn't have PVC pipe installed

Put them up on little 'tables'.  - Saw the idea from someone here on BYC's my coop page I think.  1. prevents bottom rot .  2 prevents any mice from digging under in my ultra soft soil - and 3. gives them space beneath to hang out if they want.   So a few more sq ft in the coop's run for the chickens

Just love those hooks... instant removal 

These hens have to make the first jump all on their own

If you have a cattle panel hoop coop - you need to make the legs of the table shorter.

A $4 Walmart wooden picture frame was used to make a door -- It was another predator proofer -- both chicken wire and HWC.  - It also makes catching the hens much easier and less traumatic if they are confined to the inside of the little coop.  

Paint sticks used to sandwich the chicken wire inside the frame.  HWC is attached to chicken wire with zip ties.   Door has to be hooked open or it will prevent them from nest box access. 

Better engineering idea IMO is the sliding door.  Next door I add -- will follow that pattern.  this door came as is from manufacturer

Original useof  nest box area for roost idea - the end caps used to hold closet rods in closet and a piece of closet hanging rod sawed to fit -- Great for juveniles - but lacking headroom for adults I think....Juveniles don't need the nesting boxes anyway. 

screws that came with the closet bracket were too long -- so the coop got a decorative medallion that was laying around to absob the excess length of the screws. 

 

I'm thinking of free-standing roosts in a U-shape that can be removed entirely for cleaning, and then a nesting box area similar to those $10.00 wooden boxes you can buy at TSC.  I have some of those gray plastic ones, but -- I think it would require crawling into the coop entirely to get the eggs - and they may be too tall for the space. 

 

Apologies for showing you such dirty coops -- just ran out lastnight and snapped some shots.  

 

Thanks for the thread-- gives me inspiration to make some more tweaks. 

 

Great ideas!  Someday I hope to have the big little-coop-in-a-big-run modification.  I think I like the hooks on the ramp better than my hinges...hmmm!

post #67 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by L2fly View Post
 

 

Great ideas!  Someday I hope to have the big little-coop-in-a-big-run modification.  I think I like the hooks on the ramp better than my hinges...hmmm!

What you and the other contributors have done with these coops is pretty brilliant.   So your thread is an inspiration to me.

 

 The hooks are great.  The ramps are a pain -- for cleaning -- but cool for the chickens. :O)

Marek's:http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mareks-disease-fact-site

BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page  

BYC blog of sorts  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings-ii

 

"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 

Reply

Marek's:http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mareks-disease-fact-site

BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page  

BYC blog of sorts  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings-ii

 

"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 

Reply
post #68 of 69
Thread Starter 


More mods today! Here is a pan in that new floor space, a standard cookie sheet worked but I had to bend edges a little for door to shut.



I added three holes, covered with a register vent & HC, for extra airflow in that wall without a window. It's bolted on so in winter I can stick something in there to block the holes if I want, for warmth.




I got rid of the latch in the front and replaced it with a eyescrew on the side so I could use the barrel bolt to hold it open for cleaning more securely than that open latch it came with. And i added the motion detector lights on each side (even if they won't do much I didn't feel like sending them back, and at least I'll be able to see what's going on!)

Almost ready for the girls, which is a good thing, they are getting big! I sprayed the inside with a final coat of polyurethane, in 3 days out they go! I'm starting with sand in the run (because I had it from sand bags left over from rainy season) & pine shavings in the coop, and will see how that goes!


Edited by L2fly - 4/22/17 at 12:46pm
post #69 of 69
Thread Starter 

The girls spent the first night in their new coop, yay!  I was a nervous wreck... they will be too cold, too scared, etc, etc.  :rolleyes:

 

They are about 5 weeks old, and they've been off of any extra heat for about a week, and the last couple of days I had turned off the heat in the house (its only 50-52 at its lowest at night now) and left the window open in the spare room they are in, so I figured it was time.

 

I started off by moving them directly into the huddle box I made for them out of cardboard & put in the coop, with a good 3 inches of shavings, so they knew where it was and what it was for, and had to leave the box to enter the new coop.  It was hilarious to watch them stick their heads out the pop door into the run, back away, then come back, pushing & shoving each other but too scared to take the plunge or the first step!  I missed the maiden flights into the run, because I had brooder clean-up to do... I think it was successful for Goldie & Tipper, because next time I checked they were perched on the roost across from the pop door!  But Cheeks was on the ground.  Then Goldie & Tipper fluttered to the ground.  At this point it was starting to get dark, and I realized I really hadn't given them enough time to explore, they didn't have a clue how to get back into the coop!  So, I blocked the pop door with a piece of wood, and with DH's help, I managed to pick each one up and pass them into the coop.  I was surprised they let me pick them up so easily, they complained; but I think they were scared & I was more familiar to them than the 'scary' run.

 

 

Then, of course, I ran back to check them several times during the evening, but they seemed to figure out the huddle box, and all three were in there, cuddled together, at 11pm.

 

This morning, at 6am, they were out eating & drinking (I had moved the brooder feeder & waterer into that part with the cookie sheet).

 

I did a little searching around on this site and think I'm going to give them 3-4 days of being locked in the coop before giving them free range into the run again, so they know the coop is 'home' and food & water is in there.  I have a bucket waterer with four horizontal nipples in the run, but they don't know how to use it yet.  My only concern when I open the pop door again is that they might get stuck away from their food & water, so I might leave them in the coop until Saturday, when I can try to show them the nipple waterer and watch them enough to make sure they all can use it, or at least make sure they can all use the ladder to get back into the coop!

 

I also left the nest box empty, with no shavings, and stood a piece of wood in there to try to block it, so they don't decide to huddle in there.  I'll leave that blocked until they start roosting.

 

Oh, and my motion detectors needed to be lowered, I realized quickly, as they picked up every movement of every tree branch over the run!  So I lowered them to two feet above the ground.

 

Can't wait until the girls have free range of the coop & run!


Edited by L2fly - Yesterday at 8:52 am
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