Loopy Coop is just reference to the children's book we have called 'The Loopy Coop Hens'. My husband calls it the chicken palace but that name was already taken. The idea for this coop was taken from a couple others on BYC but slightly enlarged as well as a design I had seen somewhere else online. My requirements were:
1) Space for 12 hens to live comfortably even in the winter when it is too nasty to go outside.
2) Space designed to introduce new hens to the group as I replace older hens with new pullets every year
3) appropriate amount of ventilation & light
4) easy clean out
5) space for feed
I will try and take the time to make a sketch of the coop with dimensions and attach that later. My husband is quite handy as we built our house a couple years back with the same plan: I give him some sort of drawings and he makes it happen
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/silveira44a.html We will install fence all the way around our garden and half of it will be chicken run each year.
To start: 8'x16' pressure treated base to sit on the ground
Base covered in OSB to be covered with linoleum for easy clean out
If you look closely you'll see two different kinds of linoleum. the small piece was left over from a bathroom but wasn't big enough for the whole thing so we bought a new piece. We bought the cheapest stuff available but if we were to do it again maybe would get the next one up, that stuff is super thin and tears like paper. Husband dropped hammer at one point and it left a hole in it. We'll see how it holds up. Doing the deep litter method so it'll be under several inches of straw so should be fine for the most part. 3 windows on each side wall 1'x3' evenly spaced.
Both side walls up and husband figuring out roof rafter angling for 6/12 pitch. He wanted to build as much of it inside the garage as possible to have all his tools near by and to be out of the weather in March in Ohio. Having it inside meant he could work on it for a couple hours each night even if it was dark outside which got it done quicker.
There will be seperate piece on top but will be too tall to fit outside the garage so he's building it in two pieces. Front wall built and windows installed. Door will be built later. The side walls are 5'6" tall (my height)
Lower piece framing completed including rafters & front and rear windows
Wall & roof sheeting installed.
Top piece constructed and partly sheeted as well. Roof is also 6/12. It is 2’ wide x 2’ tall (16’ long also)
Fast forward a bit. Roof shingled with leftovers from our house and exterior walls and trim primed & painted. Windows constructed by hand using ripped down 2x4s and Plexiglas & primed and painted. Bottom windows are opened from outside and kept open using hook & eye bolts and locked closed with a slider latch. Top windows are held slightly open with wood peg and held shut using hoot & eye bolts.
Nesting boxes are constructed to have removable fronts & linoleum for easy clean out.
Chicken doors are open and closed by rope, pulleys, & hooks to be opened from inside. One is under nesting box and the other is under roost bars so I didn’t want to have to reach thru messy roosting bars.
3 foot ‘door’ built at the bottom in the back for easy clean out. The space behind the coop will be used for composting which is in between the two gardens/chicken runs. It is held shut by hook & eyes and open by wooden leg.
Coop has interior wall with removable door for introducing new hens or for injured/recovery birds. Both sections have a nesting box and roost. Each section is 6x8 or 48 sq feet.
Lighting is 1 light in the feed area and two in the coop. The two in the coop are on a timer. There is 1 outlet for water heater. The coop is currently powered by an extension cord but will likely dig a trench to install permanent power this summer.
Feed area has shelves for extra grit, oyster shell, DE etc on side along with room for a bale of straw for extra litter. Door for between feed area and chicken area is being reused from current coop.
Following pics are moving coop out of garage and into place including putting top piece into place. Before putting floor sheeting down husband put lag bolts with small pieces of chain in 2 of the runners to be able to pull it. When we first started construction we planned on it going out the door it was built in front of as the door was 10’ wide and the coop was “only” 8’ wide but when you add eaves and fascia boards and drip edge, it was dangerously tight so turned and took it out the big door. Top piece was constructed on the floor and then put on dollies to move more easily.
Helpers for moving day other than husband (orange hat) include my dad, husband’s dad and my mom was there to assist me in photo documentation J
Lawn mower (JD 430 diesel) could pull it on concrete with extra human weight on rear (my dad). Skid loader used to lift and place top section into place. As well as lift coop slightly to put runners under for easier dragging. JD 70 used to drag coop.
they first hooked chain to hitch but it pulled the runners loose about half way to final location so after that husband put it on the 3 point hitch to slightly raise the front.
Pulled into middle of the garden and squared as best could. The whole garden slopes a bit more than we’d like so we will lift coop and put dirt under to level. Will also try and find concrete runners to further lift and keep out of the dirt to resist rot.
Put the last row of shingles on
Yet to do:
Install fence posts & fence
Build in chicken bath
What I would have done differently or will be fixing.
1 )My 12 girls do not need all that roost space. They only take up about a third of the roosts on one side. Removing at least 1 roost board will create more floor space as I don’t have poop boards so feeders and waterers can’t be under roosts.
2) I currently do not have soffit installed on eaves. TONS of air comes in the eaves so while there are no drafts on the floor I think there is the potential to have some drafts on the top roost. Snow came in the eaves during the latest snow storm so I either need to put up soffit or stuff insulation in the eaves in the winter. The peak is vented so if most of the eaves are closed I think ventilation would still be sufficient. I would have liked longer eaves but husband thought 10” was sufficient, not sure if that would have helped keep snow out.
3) it is a little tight to get in the chicken area from the feed area as when the door swings open it is blocks you from coming in. Might look at putting it on a slider..
4) Aesthetically, it looks a bit disproportioned so I would do 1 of a couple of things: Make the top piece shorter (& top windows) shorter. Or make both the top & bottom pieces wider, this would also fix the lack of floor space issue with have 2 roost boards in each side.
5) We need to apparently put some sort of trim up to keep the dividing chicken fence flat. I went out the first day to find one of the hens bleeding from a poke in her chest and comb rubbed raw. This is the only thing I can see what would have injured her. I was happy to have the second room to separate her from the others without coming up with something on short notice. We just got the door down out of the rafters and put the pins back in the door hinges.
I had to special order the fence and it's still not in so I have a couple temporary runs, one is our chicken tractor and the other are the panels used as the run from the old coop
each run will be 40'x65' so that will go from the coop to the edge of the picture
Below are some pics of the coop in use
Winter mode with heated water bowl on raised table and before we hung the feeder, even with the legs they were kicking straw chaff in the feeder
Summer mode with hanging waterer and feeder now hanging
Chicken living as good as it gets here:
Finally got the fence delivered and got it put up at least on the chicken side, will likely put the other side (garden this year) put up after the spring rush.