Authentic Woods KD (Knock Down) 10' by 16' Coop Build

Ted Brown

Crowing
Dec 12, 2018
1,243
2,781
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near Shawville Quebec Canada
My Coop
My Coop
I have been hanging around this site for about 6 months; have researched, asked questions and posted a few answers. I am a complete novice when it comes to chickens, quite experienced with building various structures. I live alone in a country setting on a lake and decided to get chickens both for the eggs and also to add another interest to my life.

I decided early on that I would build a Woods KD 10' by 16' coop. Coincident with this decision I was forced to begin the construction of a new open sided pole shed (my 30 year old 12' by 12' original has deteriorated with both front poles rotting at ground level) that I decided would be 12' by 36' in size built in 3 12' by 12' sections with a roof overhanging the poles by 2' all around. One of these sections will form the run that will be attached to the new coop. The shaded part below is the new pole shed, the coop will sit outside and adjacent.

26 Chemin Mathieu Pole Shed + Bird Coop & Run 3.jpg

I will elevate the coop at least 2' off the ground, this will give me 144 square feet in the run proper as well as 160 square feet under the coop. The run will have 1/2" 19 gauge HC for the walls, around the elevated open section under the coop and for aprons around the whole lot. I will use DLM in the run proper only leaving the section under the coop open to the gravel/sand base that is under the pole shed/coop.

I have access to free used hydro poles and will use eight of these buried 4' into the ground as the base structure for the shed. I installed these last fall.


Pole Shed 1.JPG Pole Shed 2.JPG Pole Shed 3.JPG
 
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Ted Brown

Crowing
Dec 12, 2018
1,243
2,781
261
near Shawville Quebec Canada
My Coop
My Coop
I decided on the Woods KD because:
  • It suits the climate I am in (cold winters with lots of snow).
  • I admire it's simplicity, elegance of build, proven design and cost effectiveness.
You will note that I used the term "Authentic" in the title as it accurately describes the approach I will use to build it. It should be noted that my build WILL NOT use modern day stud wall construction techniques that most folks who decide on the Woods style use.

Firstly and true to Woods' intention it will be portable in that it will be built as a kit and assembled after all sections are complete; assembly will be "quick and easy"; disassembly the same. The following diagrams illustrate exactly how the build will occur:

upload_2019-4-19_21-2-11.png


upload_2019-4-19_21-2-35.png

upload_2019-4-19_21-3-2.png


Not shown are the floors, there will be three sections and they will drop in after the walls are assembled but before the roof sections go on. The floor sections will be double boards assembled at 90 degrees and coated with BlackJack 57; I will also apply BJ57 for 12" inches up on the walls.

Please note that the diagrams are taken from the original book "Modern Fresh Air Poultry Houses" by Pierce T. Woods MD. My thanks go to @jthornton who directed me to a PDF of the book that I have downloaded and poured through over the past months. I highly recommend reading this as it covers not only the KD design but many other topics that are useful to novices that are searching for coop designs and general pointers about poultry husbandry.
 
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Ted Brown

Crowing
Dec 12, 2018
1,243
2,781
261
near Shawville Quebec Canada
My Coop
My Coop
So, where am I in the process?

I mentioned that I have started the pole shed build last fall. We have had a horrid winter and only now are emerging into Spring; we still have snow on the ground, ice on the lake and mud on the roads. Once things thaw and then dry out I will proceed with the roof on the pole shed and in parallel will begin the coop build.

I am fortunate that I live about 10km away from a miller from whom I purchase wood; he mostly provides pine and cedar and I will be using pine for the coop.

Woods' recommendation is to use rough cut lumber boards to reduce costs; this appeals to my parsimonious nature. In general, I will be using 1" by 4" strapping for the wall boards and 2" by 3" boards for the frame members. I will buy 2" by 6" boards since my miller does not normally produce 2" by 3"; I am hoping he will cut the 2" by 6" in half for me, if not I will cut them down myself.

For those who are interested my cost for the strapping is $.45/board foot and $.65/bf for the 2" by 6". This is an exceptional price; as an example an 8' 1" by 4" board will cost around $8 locally in a big box store, my cost is $1.20. My total cost goal for the complete coop is under $1,000.

I yet have a decision to make about the wall cladding to ensure that the building is tight and maintains the "air cushion" that is critical to the design of the coop. I am considering two approaches:
  • Use cedar shakes to cover the 1" by 4" boards (this is approach recommended by Woods).
  • Dress the 1" by 4" with tongue and grove (T&G).
This decision is difficult for me. As I said I want authenticity BUT it will cost more to buy the shingles. Going with T&G is more work but will produce an overall stronger structure AND will be somewhat lighter. Both will result in an air tight shell, still mulling this but have to make a decision quickly.

I am a cautious fellow and want to prove the build approach before I commit to the "studless" structure. I ordered the first batch of seventy 1" by 4" boards this week and expect they will be ready in the next couple of weeks. Once they arrive I will let them season for a couple of weeks and then will build one side of the coop as shown in the first picture in the 2nd post diagrams above.
 
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Ted Brown

Crowing
Dec 12, 2018
1,243
2,781
261
near Shawville Quebec Canada
My Coop
My Coop
...And I wouldn't use shingles, in part because they won't be as critter proof.
Mary

Mary, the shingles would be used outside on top of the pine boards to close up any cracks and make the wall "air tight" so I am not concerned about critters. I know that some, particularly rats (which I do not have), will chew through wood given any kind of cracks or openings but I will be vary careful to avoid these. I have read that some use HC around the lower wall areas, hoping this will not be necessary.
 

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