13 Chicken Coop & Run

By mwhitnell, Jan 16, 2014 | Updated: Jul 31, 2014 | | |
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  1. mwhitnell
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    Well, here is my coop. Bear with me and I will give you a tour from the early construction thru final completion. I got some good ideas by looking around this site and seeing what others have built. I have 13 chickens, and have been getting around 11 eggs per day on the average. I constructed the frame from 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" spruce/whitewood. I wanted straight lumber so went with the spruce( wood with very little stress so it warps or twists very little). I saw no need to use 2x4 lumber since I am not building a house. I purchased 2x6 lumber and ripped the boards in half to 2-1/2"..

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    I used 4x4 for the end columns, and 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" for all the frame members.
    I installed 1/2" carriage bolts on both the horiz top & bottom girders.

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    Support frame with plywood, getting ready to install VCT. Plywood is screwed using 1-5/8" drywall screws.

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    VCT was 1/4 the cost of linoleum.

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    The end walls are built in sections. The run end wall has a sliding door that I attached a rope and pulley to.

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    The nest box end wall has dividers 3/4" x 1-1/2" dadoed into the studs.
    You can see that better in the photo below.

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    All three walls are installed using 3-1/2" screws thru the floor into the joist member of the floor.
    I added 3/4" x 1-1/2" nest box glides in the vertical wall studs that had dados plowed in.
    The white nest boxes are about 13-1/2" x 13-1/2"outside.
    There are 12 boxes each removable from the outside drop down doors you will see later.
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    This photos shows one end wall with a door jamb installed. The other side is identical.
    You can see the coop sliding door in its track.

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    Roof joists are installed at 6/12 slope which matches our house. A leanto roof used over the nest box section.

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    Note how I plowed in (dado) support 3/4" x 3-1/2" boards for the outside overhang of the roof.

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    1/2" plywood used for the roof complete with aluminum drip edge.

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    You cant see it here but I installed flashing at the lean to roof and vertical wall section above the roof.
    The following photo shows the turnbuckles installed on the floor joists so I can ensure a camber to prevent water ponding on the floor.
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    Attached to wal exterior is Hardiboard planks. The trim is 3-1/2" wide around the edges.
    Hardiboards are 7-1/4" wide with 6" exposed shingle. I used Timberline roofing.

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    This is the nest box wall showing 12 boxes, and an area below for storage.

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    I finished the man door entry sill with an aluminum drip edge, as well as the 'chicken' coop entry.

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    You can see the rope and pulley used to raise the sliding chicken door from the outside.

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    Showing the interior coop run wall, sliding door and pulley. Note I installed a perch 36" above the floor.
    It is 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" with 1/2" roundover edges on four sides.
    I plowed in a 3/4" x 2" board along the bottom to prevent warping from the 8ft long perch.
    You can see a support board at the end, under the perch which will be used to screw a poop sand box to.

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    I installed six drop down doors for the nest box section. Cabinet catches are used for latching.

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    The two bottom doors cover the small storage area. The red man door has 1x1 welded wire ventilation for the top section.

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    A 2-1/2" deep poop sand box is mounted under the main perch.
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    The chicken run is made using the frame method, each built as a section.
    All run sections are screwed together when assembled.
    The lower run section has 1x1 welded wire and the upper run section has 1x3 welded wire.
    There are two man gates in the run, one on the opposite side.
    All the sections are constructed with dados for the center joints & half rabbit end joints.

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    I found out that the cabinet catches are not adequate for a good closure, so added a center vertical board.
    This board can be removed from the screwed studs using the hand knobs.

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    The roof is polycarbonate plastic roof panels. There is a perch and ladder inside the run.
    I stapled 1x1 welded wire approx 9" below the ground all around the perimeter of the run framing.

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    When it rained water entered the ventilation screening of the man door, so I installed a hood.
    Elect power wiring was run from the house underground. The two switches on the outside: one switch has a photcell for the interior light in the coop. This light is 25watt red; the other switch has a timer installed inside the run just over the chicken coop sliding door. This timer was bought from Hong Kong for about $11, and has 15 programmable on/off periods. I use this timer for two flourescent 2 lamp fixture mounted at the roof in the run. I set two on/off periods. 1 on 5:30am off 7:00am 2 on 5:30pm off 8:00pm. These time periods will be resets over the year to extend the daylight hours so my chicken will lay more eggs, during the winter.

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    I added an extension for the run. It is the same construction as the other run. Except that I used galv roof panels to save cost.
    I installed a plastic gutter under the roof edge to shed the rain. I also added a auto chicken nipple watering system using 3/4" PVC pipe.
    The nipple height is about 22" above the ground. I did add another sliding door between the two run areas. This sliding door is useful for separating flocks.
    What happened was I bought seven 2 day old chicks. When they were 4 months old I bought another six chicks. They didnt get along from the start. So I separated the two flocks in each run area for about a month. Then I opened the sliding door so they could adjust. It took just two days and they were all just as one.

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    I installed a camera in the run at the left side.
    You can see the 4x4 junction box for the power and signal feed.

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    Here is the man gate for the run extension. Note the rope that operates the sliding door between the two runs.

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    My Wheaten Maran, Blue Copper Marans, Black Copper Maran, Australorp, Americana in the fore ground.
    You can see the auto nipple piping system

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    This photos show that I installed a perch 42" above the floor along the nest box area.
    The other perch along the other wall is at 36". I thought the chicken would use both at night, but only the one at 36" is used.
    So I have repositioned the added perch to be the same at 36" not 42". Now they use both at night.

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    The sand boxes under the perch aid in cleanup. I bought a metal poop scoop on Amazon for $13.
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    My chickens roosting at night.
    [​IMG]BCM's Pullets in Brooder

    I have a red light in the overhead that goes on with photocell.
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    My Gold Laced Polish Chicks
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    This is the flock that the chicks came from.
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    10 wks old BCM Cockrel

    Here are my design drawings.
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    Send me your email and I will send you access to my 'dropbox' to download all photos and full size drawings...I have designed a smaller similar coop that houses 4 to 6 chickens; this medium coop for 13 chickens, and a larger coop for 24 chickens.. If you want a CAD dwg file that I can also send. File are stored in my dropbox under three folders: Small, Medium, Large Coop. The cad dwg file is included in each folder. I will give you access to my cad programs as well. If you email me, I will send you access within 24hrs, when you download the files let me know.
    [email protected]

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Comments

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  1. mwhitnell
    Like the article says send me your email and I will send you my plans for free.
  2. Dutchgirl
    What is the cost for the plans?
  3. bahamabanty
    Beautiful and I am digging the windvane.
  4. countrydream7
    wow I wish I had talent like that im jealous I want one ...proud of you great job!!!
  5. chickwhispers
    Terrific job and coop!
  6. babsterh
    That is one beautiful coop!! Extremely well thought out! Quick question, do your chicks free range at all or are they kept strictly in the run? Thank you, once again, beautiful job!
  7. Sam3 Abq
    Impressive :)
  8. TwoCrows
    Eggs-cellent job!
  9. crazyfeathers
    Beautiful coop.

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