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Open Air Design Coop

By Tala, Jan 11, 2012 | |
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  1. Tala
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    The original design for my open air style chicken coop called for welded fence wire on 3 sides, and solid tin on the west facing side (towards the road). It is supposed to be VERY simple, but functional for our warm climate. I modified it slightly by adding one piece of tin sideways along the bottom (approx 2' high) instead of using hardware cloth for predator reach-through protection. I read that it would help keep more water out to use the tin instead of wire - and it seems to work!
    I started building my coop in, oh I dunno... late August? And it rained every single day that I didn't have to work. After I got the roof up, it rained about 7inches over 2 days time, and flooded all the pine pellets that I had in there. Now we just have the resulting sawdust leftover from the pellets, and it works just fine. It took me until October to finish my "simple" coop!
    All of the tin and welded wire fencing is reclaimed from a local scrap yard either bought cheap or bartered for. The 2x4's and fence posts are reclaimed from my father in law's collection, free to me. The chainlink 6ft tall gate was purchased new for about $50, plus the price of nails, some framing brackets for the roof, gate latch, Quickcrete, etc. this coop was built on the cheap and mainly RECYCLED!
    Here are the pictures and explinations, feel free to PM me with any questions.
    The start: We took those big fence posts, approx 6.5 feet tall and set them in 80lbs of quickcrete - spaced 8ft apart (square) because that's the length of 2x4's.
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    I didn't take any pictures, but I framed the roof up with 2x4's.....the normal way I guess.
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    View from the house and road (west side of the coop): We put that tin up in the rain/drizzle, my neighbors officially classified me as crazy that day:
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    Front of the coop (faces south): Note the latch and padlock, we have had problems with human predators.
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    Another view, before it was finished:
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    Looking out the south/front wall:
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    Nest box/bucket sits along the front or south wall now:
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    Roosts up against the west wall, so raccons can't reach through it: The roosts are 3ft off the ground, because my Leghorn's flight feathers are clipped they can't get very high up. Tin is along the bottom of the north and east walls to keep rain and raccoons out.
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    Bottom of the north or back wall:
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    Corner of north (back) and east walls, I use the dog crate for keeping babies separated from adults:
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    Another view of the back or east/north corner before I put the tin up:
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    Another interior view, I moved the feeder up onto a block:
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    The back or north wall, from the outside: You can see I have a thermometer mounted near the roosts, so I can see how hot it is on the inside of that tin wall. You probably also notice how many fence staples I put in. lol That wire ain't goin nowhere! You can't see it in the picture very well, but there is also about 2ft of welded wire laying on the ground all the way around for dig-in protection.
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    Thursday it is expected to be at least 8*F with winds gusting at 25mph. I haven't done any winterizing except to put out heated dog water bowls for the birds and they are doing FINE in the cold, but this wind is gonna be somethin else at those temps SO....
    Today it was pretty balmy, oh probably about 35*F but with the sun out and no wind it was nice weather compared to the past few days. I cleaned the coops out and put some fresh pellets. Don't want any extra moisture to be in there this week! Then I put a tarp up on the north wall because of the expected winds.
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    With the sun shining on the tin it was actually pretty nice in the coop today! Mid-40's!
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    Yes we occasionally get SNOW in Arkansas, and the birds did just fine with the tarp and heated water bowl. I used a 75watt red flood light over the roost when it was in the single digits at night, but it's not like they were on a a balmy Florida vacation under it.
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