S&D Roost

S&D Roost [IMG]
By sgrzybin, Jul 28, 2017 | Updated: Aug 1, 2017 | | |
Rating:
4.8/5,
  1. sgrzybin
    As with all backyard chicken stories, we started with 6 chickens and a small roost and it quickly turned into a lot more. No, this is not the front porch of our house, it's the coop.

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    To get to this, was like everyone else, planning, time, and money. To support the coop 25 post holes were dug so the coop would be off the ground and give the chickens cool shade and dirt during the summer months.

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    The original six inspecting the new area.

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    The windows came from the local used building materials store. There are two in the front and then one on each of the other sides. The rear window will be opening to a partially covered shelter of the run for the chickens to be able to get outside during the winter months and rainy days. This window will also remain open all summer for sufficient air flow. The inside of the windows are covered with chicken netting and other scrap pieces of fencing to allow the windows to be open without fear of predators.

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    Before the new coop was completed we went and picked up 20 chicks, so had to quickly build a brooder. Also, who can resist pics of chicks?

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    The small coop and rabbit coop next to the new coop. The smaller coop is 6ft x 8 ft. The new coop is 16ft x 24ft with a run that is 25ft x 40ft. A porch was added later in the build by request. What a comparison in size. While the old coop went to mom and dad, the run is now used to support grape vines and a hideaway haven for the chicks.


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    Time for the roof to go on. I have to admit, this thing was a little scary at first, but once I got used to the jerky movement and the bounce, it was actually really fun.

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    Time to trench for hot and cold water and 60 amps of power. This trencher was also kind of fun, a little slow going, but well worth it. This was also used to dig a two foot trench around the entire coop and run where fencing was buried to keep fox and coyote from digging. The trench around the coop and run was back filled with one inch minus rock. This has proven itself to be a worthwhile effort with the amount of wildlife in our area. It's amazing how smart and determined some predators are.

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    Time for walls to go up. I had a bit of help this day.

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    This is the side of the coop with the run. There is a 6ft x 8ft covered section to the right where the entrance to the coop is. The run itself is 25ft x 40ft and 10 ft high, completely fenced in. There are 5 - 5 gallon watering stations and two 25 pound feeders. For what ever reason the chicks wanted the water out from the covered area in the open run and the feeders to be in the covered area. To the left would be stages two and three of new chicks being introduced to the flock. The framed box has netting all around it and has tin over the top for shade. This box has a small entrance to the inner coop for the chicks to have 100% shelter and some exposure to the outside. The framed box also opens up to allow the chicks to be able get to ground level and scratch and dust and do other chick stuff. It did not take but a couple of months for the chickens to destroy the grass in the run. No worries since they are let out every day to free range.

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    I have tried a number of watering systems, the one I like the most is the 5 gallon tin watering container with lid. As long as it's level, it's great. With other systems and using the nipple types, I found that I was replacing the nipples or something would hold it open and the water would drain out. From watching the chickens while I was filling the buckets or after a rain, they seemed to prefer to just be able to drink straight from a puddle, this is why I switched to the tin buckets.

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    This would be the non run side where the tractor is stored during the mowing season. Also you are able to see the large fan in the window that pulls air through during the summer months. The fans also help in directing the smell.

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    Inside this is the brooder, as you can see, there is a chick in it (yep, once she reads this, I am gonna die). The brooder will soon be expanded to take up about the same amount of space as the roosting/nesting area.

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    Hard to tell from this view, but the roosting part is 8ft x 16ft with 16 nesting boxes and a window that allows air to be pulled in from the fan.

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    April 2016 layout

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    New layout as of 07-30-2017

    The water was very easy to run out to the coop with the trencher and that I have a pex water system installed in the house. The pex running outside the house and inside the coop is wrapped with aluminum duct tape, heat tape on top of that and then aluminum tape to hold the heat tape in place. This has been a blessing in the winter to not have to carry 5 gallon water buckets back and forth. Also in the winter I shut off the cold water running to the coop leaving on the hot water to fill the watering buckets. The watering buckets themselves are also heated to prevent freezing (this is where having the electricity in the coop is awesome, the lighting is nice too).

    The coop is constantly getting modifications. Currently it acts as a partial tool shed/work space. The plans for next summer is to expand the inner brooder into sections to allow broody hens to do what they do best and let them be phased into the rest of the flock. Expand the large inner roosting area to be able to accommodate up to 60 or chickens and not so much of a tool shed. We really enjoy the chicks and being able to give our eggs away. We have a steady client base that enjoy the free fresh eggs.

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    Since the old coop was built on stilts like the new one, we were able to recycle it by giving it to Mom & Dad plus four chickens for them to start their own little chicken farm. Since giving them the coop, they had a hen go broody and are now the proud owners of 6 new little chicks plus the original four.

    Tips that I would have for any noob getting into raising chickens would be, NEVER underestimate the ingenuity of the predators.

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  1. Katrina89
    Rated: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Great article! :D I'm thinking about making a coop around this size (when I close on a piece of land, so close). Lol, I can't wait! Oh, and thank you for the advice on predators. <3
      Charlie's Chickens likes this.
  2. Charlie's Chickens
    S& D roost - LOVE IT! You have many similar ideas to one we're currently planning (but yours looks much nicer than I anticipate mine looking.). It won't have a run :( Nor a porch :( We free-range and are trying to make it large enough for bad weather 1600-1900 sq. including brooder, transition and breeding areas, medical area, storage... calling it our chicken barn or Barn coop.

    Do I understand ...you went straight down with your wire? I struggle with safety. For our size building and budget, hardware wire is too cost prohibitive (we still need it for windows, doors, gable ventilation, etc). If you could give me your opinion, (we also have fox, coyote, etc), I would feel more at ease. We want to trench and put two layers of cinderblocks (approx 10 inches deep (maybe 12"). no hardwire. no run. Build directly on top of cinderblocks the walls, vents and roof. (Pallets and plywood based; some transparent roof panels). The floor will however be open to the ground for several reasons. I'm confident the rest will be predator proof, but am unsure about the 10" deep cinderblock trench... what do you think? I really would like your honest opinion! Thank you in advance and WOW- enjoy that beautiful new home... I mean coop for your birds :)
      Katie Scarlett likes this.
    1. sgrzybin
      The depth is up to you and how determined you think the predators in your area will be. We have 4 families of foxes nearby and i know that their dens are pretty deep, so the wire/rock are 18-24 inches down. The chicks free range most of the time, I did the large run for my own convenience of not getting up when the rooster crows, vacations, weekend outings and such.
      Charlie's Chickens likes this.
    2. sgrzybin
      Recently the foxes have been really active and we lost 5, so right now they are in the run until I get home from work and I feel that the fox have moved on and not using me as a hunting ground.
  3. SnowKnitty
    Thanks for sharing your build experience. That's a nice coop!
    My hubby and I would like to build a new coop about the same size as yours. I was planning to include a storage room inside our coop for chicken feed and other supplies. I don't see this in your coop layout. Did you omit it because of concerns with vermin getting at the feed? I'm trying to figure out if an integrated storage room is going to cause issues. Thanks!
    1. Charlie's Chickens
      Hi. Vermin definitely can be a problem. I'm going with air tight containers and peppermint oil to keep them away :)
      SnowKnitty likes this.
    2. sgrzybin
      I have the feed located in the coop, its just in a large trash can with a lid. There is plenty of room in the open area for this storage.
  4. The Phantom
  5. Maddyluvschickens
    You've got quite the coop there! I love seeing the progression.
  6. Then I Will
    Fantastic coop!! Bigger is so much better with chicken coops! Lovely brooder as well
  7. Kim62
    Beautiful
      Charlie's Chickens likes this.
  8. nickylou665
    Wow, this is really impressive! I like the layout of the interior - do you find that the workbench gets a lot of use?
    1. sgrzybin
      ABSOLUTELY!!!! There is always something that needs improvements. Like yesterday I completely replaced the roosts in the main area.
      nickylou665 and Table4Six like this.

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