Barn lean-to coop build

dayid

Chirping
Jan 20, 2020
30
89
61
Georgia
My Coop
My Coop
Just tacking in some pictures and notes as I make one side of my small barn (just a carport/lean-to area) into a small coop/run.

The intention is to repurpose this area to having a 140sq/ft (10x14) enclosed run area with a 32sq/ft (4x8) coop inside of it (+6 sq/ft nesting area). This will initially house 6 hens and be the beginning of my family keeping chickens.

Before - well weathered and long ignored - with some portions that were overdue for love before we bought the property.
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Tearing off old plywood and to-be-in-way horizontal boards.

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More initial demolition done - but still with our potting bench and other junk in the way.
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Moved supplies to elsewhere to have a more fresh slate to work with. Still tearing down more before we start repairing.
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Other unused boards removed, lighting fixture brightened, and some first coats of barn-red paint on.
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Most removal done - almost ready for build up and repair.
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The field of painting supplies for the run and for the coop.
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Supporting the side-roof to replace rotten boards.
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With new fascia board scabbed in and a little more paint applied.
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Enclosing one end where there used to just be a half-wall. The other side of this wall will have a 2/4 greenhouse at it. Yes, not a single one of those boards are straight nor plumb. The joys of building on top of old things and using scavenged materials.

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Had old poultry wire on the property, so burying it in trenches around the area.
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Late into the dark night (about 6:30 this time of year) - shows the beginning of framing for the entry door so that soon I may begin wrapping the enclosed frame with hardware cloth. Those back support along the plywood dividing wall will still get painted - a lot more to do still.

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Initial hardware cloth tacked on. We still then have some horizontal boards waiting dry paint to be added as the mid-line.

From here the exterior will be mostly done. Above the door wall will get solid plywood to enclose it, the long side will have vinyl gutter added, and then we have some "someone else's trash" white PVC picket fencing which will brighten this up even more.

...and a door - a door would be good too.

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dayid

Chirping
Jan 20, 2020
30
89
61
Georgia
My Coop
My Coop
Beginning of main coop platform. Initially planted for a center-pitched roof and a few other things that have shifted due to materials and space, but the same basic 4x8 is what we stayed with despite modifications.
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Beginning of nesting box that will be hanging off of the side - also scabbed the front higher as we changed how the roof will be slanted.

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View into the three nesting boxes. No separator walls in yet, just the main entrance dividers.
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Hinges and latches for nesting box. All the brown/unfinished wood is repurposed and will be painted the red - just didn't want to stop and wait for paint to try and not make progress. Edges of this will have slim white trim added to improve looks.
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First front door on. The large 2x6 at the front rail is to keep in the litter even if we have the doors fully open. It is hinged so that litter/bedding can be swept out instead of having to be picked up. Hole in the door is where the access ramp for hens will be. Door is bifolded to reduce stress on the outer hinges and so that if the door is open it is not hard to walk-around (~42")

Later I realize that with the edge-trim those hinges will have to be remounted onto the trim instead of directly on the plywood (so that they can still 180* swing), that will be fixed later.

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For simple access, just the center doors can be opened. Here you can see the exposed tips of the screws from the hinges. That will be fixed when the trim is added as it will increase the board-thickness.
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With door full open the litter-keeping-railing can be dropped for full clean-out. Also visible are the interior 2x4 roosting bars that are set into notches so they may be lifted out for easier cleaning.
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Second door on. Right now it looks like an ugly blind or pillbox hut. This will get white trimming on it to match more of the barn aesthetic.

You can see here I initially had a simple swivel-hasp on the center of the doors. Since they're double-hinged and so wide this proved to not be sufficient as the doors can still bow outward too much. At first I added bolt-latches above the door, but that left the bottom still able to flex. I have three children that will be helping with this - and having 3+ latches to open it AND having those latches be 6' high is not acceptable. Before it is done I plan to use a 2x4 "door-bar" (like a classic castle-door-latch) to go across the entire front to block the doors and keep them tight - while also being easy to lift off for shorter folks.
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Roof on and a little bit of trim brightens is up a lot. More trim work and a little venting and this will be ready for final paint touch-ups.

In this one you can see the problem I would have with the hinges (with the trim butt-edges hitting each other). Since this will also have vertical trim on the doors, the hinges will just be re-mounted onto the trim pieces to correct that.
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Right now I plan to still drill out that top horizontal piece above the doors for more ventilation. It is also worth mentioning that since my coop-roof is under the lean-to roof, it does not have to do too much protection - so I left the top-edge of all those metal roof pieces un-blocked so that it too will allow for ventilation; however, on the nesting box the lid/roof is mounted to a piece of plywood, so it does not allow the same light-entrance into that area as the main area's roof will.

Those openings in the human-doors will not have closures, since the coop is already inside of a secured run area. Ramps will go up to the doorways and hook onto the 2x6 litter-keep rail for access.
 
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dayid

Chirping
Jan 20, 2020
30
89
61
Georgia
My Coop
My Coop
This is my first time around and right now with temperatures in the mid/high 20*F at night I'll admit it's hard to focus and think about the 90*F we'll have at peak in summer. Likewise I've been presuming that with this being fully covered by the existing roof that my shade factor will assist with overall heat.

I'd been working off of what I'd read with about 1sq/ft per chicken but have seen suggestions as low as 10% vent/floor ratio (general articles though nothing specific to the southeast). Right now if I discount my permanent door openings I am going to end up with around 20% vent-openings to floor sq/ft - with those doors closer to 25%.

I'm curious what a ratio would be expected then for a zone 7 region? I also figure it's far easier to cut more than to put it all back :)
 

gimmie birdies

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Feb 12, 2013
13,206
25,897
852
Eastern WA
coop.PNG

My original coop idea (My neighbor who hates chickens built it.) I have filled in the side areas for more coop too. To not fill it in is like leaving money on the table. I always say it has good bones, the rest, I built, but it is functional.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
19,443
40,135
1,112
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
This is my first time around and right now with temperatures in the mid/high 20*F at night I'll admit it's hard to focus and think about the 90*F we'll have at peak in summer. Likewise I've been presuming that with this being fully covered by the existing roof that my shade factor will assist with overall heat.

I'd been working off of what I'd read with about 1sq/ft per chicken but have seen suggestions as low as 10% vent/floor ratio (general articles though nothing specific to the southeast). Right now if I discount my permanent door openings I am going to end up with around 20% vent-openings to floor sq/ft - with those doors closer to 25%.

I prefer going by 1 sq ft per chicken as that yields more ventilation in most set ups than 10% of floor space. I have 3 sq ft per chicken, not including any doors, because my doors are closed at night when they need the ventilation the most (if you build predator secure, you may or may not be closing the pop door).

We rarely hit 90F but 20-30s, the windows are all still open. I have 1 of 5 windows closed right now since rain's been blowing in through it.

One possible option (though more work for you) would be doing hinged covered openings, so you prop/tie it open most of the time, but can lower it in case of winds or a cold blast.

Also I'm wondering if you're planning on relying on artificial lighting inside the coop, or how bright/dark does it get in the area the coop sits? Cutting more openings would allow more natural light into the coop, making it easier for the chickens to navigate inside, which may or may not be an issue with the roof overhead.
 

dayid

Chirping
Jan 20, 2020
30
89
61
Georgia
My Coop
My Coop
I prefer going by 1 sq ft per chicken as that yields more ventilation in most set ups than 10% of floor space. I have 3 sq ft per chicken, not including any doors, because my doors are closed at night when they need the ventilation the most (if you build predator secure, you may or may not be closing the pop door).

We rarely hit 90F but 20-30s, the windows are all still open. I have 1 of 5 windows closed right now since rain's been blowing in through it.

One possible option (though more work for you) would be doing hinged covered openings, so you prop/tie it open most of the time, but can lower it in case of winds or a cold blast.

Also I'm wondering if you're planning on relying on artificial lighting inside the coop, or how bright/dark does it get in the area the coop sits? Cutting more openings would allow more natural light into the coop, making it easier for the chickens to navigate inside, which may or may not be an issue with the roof overhead.
With this one I will have no ability to close the chickens' door - it is just an opening where the ramp will hook into.

I've figured to eventually do some small hinges openings with just small hook-latches if need be for seasonal-openings but haven't yet.

Right now I don't have any plans for eletric or other lighting - though I am trying to plan forward for potentially adding a timered-light for next winter to maintain a good day/night cycle for them as needed.

Right now between imperfect panel gaps and then the unsealed roof edges light inside even with the front fully closed and at night still seems like it would be sufficient for just seeing. Comparing with nearby farms and other small hobbyist coops I can say I've actively noticed anyone nearby using extra lighting nor having much opening that would allow light.
 

dayid

Chirping
Jan 20, 2020
30
89
61
Georgia
My Coop
My Coop
A little detail on where some of the other scrap roof pieces are now attached above the front doors to allow ventilation but hopefully stop too strong of a direct wind.

From front:
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Side profile:

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From inside:
B1ACFC33-B4D2-4EF3-B4C6-DDFE62788FFE.jpeg

Those are 6"x16".
 

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