AAarghhhh! Can't decide on coop plan - please help me decide!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kiwiegg, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. kiwiegg

    kiwiegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello all. I can't take it anymore. I want to start building a coop this week. I really like the IDEA of the "All in One" coop from the book Building Chicken Coops for Dummies. I would love ANY input from any of you experienced chook-lovers and here is some info about my situatiion. BTW I can build thing pretty well but I really enjoy detailed plans.

    1. The reasons I want chooks are that I grew up on farms and just love looking after animals. I want my two little ones to have this experience. My family loves to eat eggs and I love the idea of a little more self-sufficiency. I played a part in getting an ordanace passed in my area to allow people to have chooks.

    I looked at building a large walk -in coop but we are doing some home improvements and cash is a little tight Plus I'm not sure if I like the fixed location idea. The All in One appeals to me because it can be moved. I'm thinking 4-6 chooks would provide our family of 4 with eggs (?). We live in Minnesota so the cold is a big factor. Can I even consider this coop in this environment? I have a double detatched uninsulated garage with one free side - is it an option to move coop indoors for the worst of the winter? Am I crazy?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  2. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have six good laying hens, you should get 4 eggs a day.

    I think what you need is what is called a chicken tractor. It is a small coop and run all in one, and it has wheels on it to move it.

    If you are concerned about cold, you can put a light in the coop to keep them warm. Or, if you have enough space, you might be able to move the chicken tractor into your garage.

    I think it is better if the bottom sits flat on the ground. The chickens can eat grass, bugs, and other things off the ground that way. Some chicken tractors have removable wheels so when the wheels are not on the chicken tractor sits flat on the ground.

    Here are some pictures I pulled off the Internet.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  3. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    The garden coop is a great plan. Very detailed, easy step by step, and an inexpensive download. Several people have built them. The website has a lot of user submitted pics so you can see some modifications.

    www.thegardencoop.com
     
  4. kiwiegg

    kiwiegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Minnesota
    Thank you both for your quick replies. That Garden Coop looks great but even though people commented on chooks being warm enough it seems a stretch to me. It just does not look very well insulated! Other than that big concern I love it. I'm going to do some research and see if it is really viable in Minnesota.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  5. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I bet you could modify the plans pretty easily to add insulation if you want. I also remember that they had a person in a cold climate like yours that posted pictures of their build. You might want to look through the user submitted pictures to see if you can find anyone who has built in a cold climate.
     
  6. eick61161

    eick61161 Out Of The Brooder

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    Go to my home page to look at mine. I got the plans from another member whose site I link to on my page. Check it out. Good luck, there are so many good designs out there.
     
  7. kiwiegg

    kiwiegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2009
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    Thank you all for replies. I sent a quick email to the Garden Coop people and got a nice prompt email right back;

    ....."The henhouse should be draft free at the very least. Choose cold-hardy breeds, and you shouldn't have to supplement heat, even in Minnesota. Now, this is what I've heard from folks in Alaska, Canada, Upper Midwest, Colorado, etc. My personal experience is limited to the Pacific Northwest. Even in hard freezes here, our hens do fine without added heat. What you choose to do is up to you, of course -- the beauty of building your own coop! Your best reference may be other chicken keepers in your area.

    As for insulation, the hens' feathers are enough (and the best) insulation to trap their body heat. If you're going to add insulation to the henhouse walls, you'll want to add some kind of artificial heat for that insulation to trap. That is, don't rely on the hens' body heat to heat the space inside the henhouse. I can't consult on the proper way to get electric to your coop, but for a temporary heat lamp (when we were brooding chicks out in ours) I ran an extension cord, which worked fine".....

    I like the look of the Garden Coop http://www.thegardencoop.com/chicken-coop-pictures.html and would buy the plans in a heartbeat...but... I'm hoping that someone here has first hand Minnesota-like weather experience with this design. It's not that i don't believe the above info but want to be sure. The Garden Coop looks nice and would be a lot cheaper than building a walk -in.

    Thoughts?
     
  8. cheryldean97

    cheryldean97 New Egg

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    how do i get some measurements on some of the chicken coops?
     

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