Any remodeling tips on how to make this coop bigger?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NHchicks, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    My husband built a nice coop last year for our 4 hens. But then we got a rooster and hatched some more, and now, well, chicken math has set in and our family is expanding. I'm wondering if it's possible to still use this coop with some switching around in order to keep as many of our new hens as possible. (The 2 roosters we have now will have to go.)

    Here are the pictures. The dimensions are 4x8, and what is not walled in (4x4, with doors) is meshed in. It's critter proof. I'm thinking if I walled in the mesh I could double the space. The roosts are too high, the nesting area is inadequate (they all want the same nest anyway), and the space below the box they rarely use. They never use the ladder anymore, they just jump into the box area.

    One note is they free-range all day. They just sleep in the coop.

    Any coop interior designers in this group?

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  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    I'd do it! But one thing to think of is come winter. Where are they going to be able to go out and be out of the weather?
     
  3. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    If I remember right, they didn't stay in the coop last winter. They made a nice beaten down path to the house and sat on our doorstep all winter (much to my husband's chagrin). We also have a deck they like to hang out under, or now when it rains sometimes they hang under the car. Last winter I'd have 2 hens sitting on the front doorstep, and 2 hens sitting on the back deck, looking in and watching human TV most of the day. Ha! I think they were hinting they liked our coop better than theirs.

    But anyway, they don't seem to want to stay in the coop regardless. But that is a thought. Guess if it were really blizzardy they'd just have to tough it out. Windows would be nice.
     
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Sure...take off the wire and the small door into the coop. Replace the large screen door with a solid wood door (or cover existing door with plywood). Use plywood to enclose the previously screened area, be sure to cut ventilation windows high up by roof line. Use wire you removed to screen your vent windows. Put more roosts in the new area and rearrange nest boxes/roosts to suit the number of chickens you have. You could add an extra window for light (plexiglass or recycled window from salvage store), or use the plywood cut out for the hole for a window that is hinged and let up and down with a string. Still use wire for over windows. Put more shavings in bottom or put in floor, then shavings. You will have a nice 2 level coop. You would have 32 square feet in the bottom and 16 square feet in the top. Your total square feet would allow you to have 12 chickens in this coop. -OR- You could use this for a broody coop and start over! Depends on how many chickens your have/want. Have fun! I have 12 and am wanting a minimum of 6 more!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  5. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Certainly the easiest solution is to wall in the mesh. Immediate doubled space. You are thinking about it right. Go for it. Definitely add windows, too.

    About the interior redesign, something I have really liked in my biggest coop is a row of nestboxes on the floor. The roof of those nestboxes is a single piece of plywood, and it functions as a droppings board for the roosts above it. Makes it very easy to keep the coop clean. Maybe you could do something like that directly opposite the entrance door? It would add, say 3 nestboxes and 4 feet of roost space if you use only one roost. (Mine also has a diagonal corner roost, and a roost that runs from a storage cabinet to the wall. Those are for the hi-fliers in the group.)
     
  6. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    Thank you for the input! It's a relief to feel it will be possible to keep more chickens if I wall up the mesh, and I do like the idea of putting the nest boxes on the ground with plywood over to catch droppings.

    I could probably take the interior box doors off if it will all be walled in, and that would probably help with space issues. I'm just wondering if I should take the bottom out of the coop box and let it be just a 4 x 8 solid coop. It would make more room for various roosts and nest boxes. Or would they like the 2 floor variation better?

    My advice to anyone building a coop: no matter how many chickens you think you will never have more than, build your coop for twice that many!
     
  7. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Columbia,SC
    I would just put a floor/deck in the meshed in area. This would give them more protected room when it rains or snows& room to get out of the "coop" if feeling too crowded or hot. It would protect their feet in the winter. And they still have their run. I would leave all ur roosts because the juveniles will use them. Another thought for ur nest boxes is to put their food & water under them. This winter if it gets really cold u could cover the mesh with tarp .See how this works while u decide if u want another coop or just use this one. Good luck whatever u decide. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010

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