Building 1st coop - need advice on materials

La Granja Boricua

In the Brooder
Mar 9, 2021
11
27
31
Bellevue, NE
We are beginning the process of building our chicken coop. The city we live in (Bellevue, NE) is pretty strict on their ordinances for chickens...either that or the City Planning employee helping us get our permit is misunderstanding the size requirements per hen. Regardless, we have plans to build a coop and that will be quite an undertaking for us chicken and building noobs. We have done minimal renovations and built raised beds before, but nothing of this scale.

The coop itself will be 5x6 feet and will be 2 1/2 - 3 feet off the ground. The run will surround most of the coop and will be 10'x8' with the coop's longest wall (6' wall) mounted parallel to the longest run wall (10' wall). The structure's tallest point is 8' tall and slopes (from left to right) parallel to the longest wall until it is 6 1/2' tall and away from the nesting box. The entire coop and run will be covered with these PVC panels.

We are planning to build to coop out of cedar 2x4s because we can get pretty extreme weather here ranging from 110F to -20F and we want it to last more than 3 years (We made some raised garden beds out of treated wood and stained it for additional protection and they warped within a year).

The coop we are going to build is inspired by this one ( Pask Makes - Chicken Coop Build ) featured on Pask Makes' YouTube channel.

We went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and found a couple of treasures we are hoping would work for this project.
We found a window that we are planning on installing within the coop with hardware cloth on the inside to keep predators out.

There are three main second-hand finds I am a bit worried about using:
1st: PLANTATION SHUTTERS - We were planning on doing the deep litter method and wanted two smaller doors on a hinge that would work to allow light and ventilation, but also add hardware cloth to protect them. I know the plantation shutters are meant for indoor use, but seeing as these will be well covered by the roof, would a coat of sealant or weatherproofing paint/stain work to keep them sturdy. Could this work?
2nd: KITCHEN CABINET - This would be a 3'x15'x12' cabinet mounted on the coop sideways to serve as an laying box for the hens. The door would open downwards (towards your feet). The idea was to cover this cabinet in siding or a weather proof material and make it as water-proof as possible. Could this work?
3rd: FRAMED WINDOW - The glass window is a hexagon shape that is framed in very sturdy wood. The plan was to cut the frame so we can turn the fixed window into an opening one with hardware cloth on the inside to provide additional ventilation and protection. Could this work?

We also purchased quite a few second-hand vents (that can be closed from the outside) to place high on the walls of the coop to allow for ventilation with minimal drafts in the winter. Food, water, and a dust bed will all be within the run under the coop. The run will be caged by the hardware cloth and the same material will make a 2' skirt to surround the structure.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback for additional suggestions for the coop!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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We are beginning the process of building our chicken coop. The city we live in (Bellevue, NE) is pretty strict on their ordinances for chickens...either that or the City Planning employee helping us get our permit is misunderstanding the size requirements per hen. Regardless, we have plans to build a coop and that will be quite an undertaking for us chicken and building noobs. We have done minimal renovations and built raised beds before, but nothing of this scale.

The coop itself will be 5x6 feet and will be 2 1/2 - 3 feet off the ground. The run will surround most of the coop and will be 10'x8' with the coop's longest wall (6' wall) mounted parallel to the longest run wall (10' wall). The structure's tallest point is 8' tall and slopes (from left to right) parallel to the longest wall until it is 6 1/2' tall and away from the nesting box. The entire coop and run will be covered with these PVC panels.

We are planning to build to coop out of cedar 2x4s because we can get pretty extreme weather here ranging from 110F to -20F and we want it to last more than 3 years (We made some raised garden beds out of treated wood and stained it for additional protection and they warped within a year).

The coop we are going to build is inspired by this one ( Pask Makes - Chicken Coop Build ) featured on Pask Makes' YouTube channel.

We went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and found a couple of treasures we are hoping would work for this project.
We found a window that we are planning on installing within the coop with hardware cloth on the inside to keep predators out.

There are three main second-hand finds I am a bit worried about using:
1st: PLANTATION SHUTTERS - We were planning on doing the deep litter method and wanted two smaller doors on a hinge that would work to allow light and ventilation, but also add hardware cloth to protect them. I know the plantation shutters are meant for indoor use, but seeing as these will be well covered by the roof, would a coat of sealant or weatherproofing paint/stain work to keep them sturdy. Could this work?
2nd: KITCHEN CABINET - This would be a 3'x15'x12' cabinet mounted on the coop sideways to serve as an laying box for the hens. The door would open downwards (towards your feet). The idea was to cover this cabinet in siding or a weather proof material and make it as water-proof as possible. Could this work?
3rd: FRAMED WINDOW - The glass window is a hexagon shape that is framed in very sturdy wood. The plan was to cut the frame so we can turn the fixed window into an opening one with hardware cloth on the inside to provide additional ventilation and protection. Could this work?

We also purchased quite a few second-hand vents (that can be closed from the outside) to place high on the walls of the coop to allow for ventilation with minimal drafts in the winter. Food, water, and a dust bed will all be within the run under the coop. The run will be caged by the hardware cloth and the same material will make a 2' skirt to surround the structure.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback for additional suggestions for the coop!
I took a look at the beginning of the video you linked.

That coop has design flaws. The upper triangular areas should be left open with 1/2" HC backing. Maybe top-hinged windows that could be lowered over them if needed.
The spaces between the rafters on the two load bearing walls should not be blocked off but also covered in HC for more ventilation. And more windows for heat management in the summer.

I think siding it in polycarbonate panels will be difficult.

You can certainly frame out any size or shape opening in the coop for a top hinged window.

I think if you have large roof overhangs, you can seal and use the plantation shudders.

If you want to repurpose the cabinet, that is possible. Are you looking to make it a bump out nest box where you would cut out the back or are you thinking about wall mounting it sideways? Regardless, you will need to install lips to contain the nesting material.

DLM does not work well at all in raised floor coops. You could try deep bedding.

You are going to find that working under the coop is a big fat giant pain in the back. I did that the first year and HATED it! I've since converted a shed in a coop and would honestly never recommend anything other than a walk-in style coop.

How many birds are you planning to keep?
 

La Granja Boricua

In the Brooder
Mar 9, 2021
11
27
31
Bellevue, NE
I took a look at the beginning of the video you linked.

That coop has design flaws. The upper triangular areas should be left open with 1/2" HC backing. Maybe top-hinged windows that could be lowered over them if needed.
The spaces between the rafters on the two load bearing walls should not be blocked off but also covered in HC for more ventilation. And more windows for heat management in the summer.

I think siding it in polycarbonate panels will be difficult.

You can certainly frame out any size or shape opening in the coop for a top hinged window.

I think if you have large roof overhangs, you can seal and use the plantation shudders.

If you want to repurpose the cabinet, that is possible. Are you looking to make it a bump out nest box where you would cut out the back or are you thinking about wall mounting it sideways? Regardless, you will need to install lips to contain the nesting material.

DLM does not work well at all in raised floor coops. You could try deep bedding.

You are going to find that working under the coop is a big fat giant pain in the back. I did that the first year and HATED it! I've since converted a shed in a coop and would honestly never recommend anything other than a walk-in style coop.

How many birds are you planning to keep?
We plan on having 7 hens, which is the max where we live.

We were not actually not planning on blocking off the upper triangular areas. We were planning on having those open with the HC 1/2 in. and placing those triangle cut outs on hinges so we can close them in case it gets too windy.

We were also planning on that suggestion of having the HC over the rafters on the roof to allow for more ventilation.

The polycarbonate panels will only be for the roof. The siding will be T1-11 that will be painted to make it more weather resistant.

As for windows, there will be a North-facing window that we can open, the two plantation shutters will be NW-facing that we can open, and a round vinyl gable vent on the wall where the door leads to the run area. There will be additional vents on the back wall as well as the HC on the top of the coop leading up to the rafters on the roof.

The nest box idea was just as you said, to cut out the back and mount it to the coop with an added lip (probably a 1x4 plank) to keep the bedding and nest area separate.

Thank you for your feedback regarding the DLM and the food being underneatthe coop! I will have a look at the configuration and think of a different way to do it.
 

La Granja Boricua

In the Brooder
Mar 9, 2021
11
27
31
Bellevue, NE
What are their requirements?
They require 4 sq ft per hen inside of the coop and 10 sq ft per hen inside the run. After further research, this seems to be more standard based on the area we live in which has pretty harsh winters. The ordinance also doesn't allow for free-ranging chickens which (I am assuming) is why they require that much enclosed space.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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They require 4 sq ft per hen inside of the coop and 10 sq ft per hen inside the run
Common minimum recommended here on BYC too.
Harsh winters need more tho, IME, unless your run is weather and predator proof.

Any setback requirements?

area we live in which has pretty harsh winters
The city we live in (Bellevue, NE)
Here's who to add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1616445570075.png
 

Moxieminxie

In the Brooder
Mar 31, 2021
9
15
13
Wisconsin
With a coop that is 5' by 6' I would not make it elevated, I would make it walk in. Your regulations require 28 sq feet of space for 7 hens so 5 by 6 takes care of that. Honestly, for that size build what looks like a shed. You can make a overhang or little shaded area for dustbathing instead of using the whole structure. This will save you a lot of engineering. That's a lot of weight to elevate and a lot of room to try to reach into to maintain and clean, get to a bird that has a problem, etc. Map it out in your living room and try to reach in without stepping in and see what I mean.

Only spend the money on cedar for run construction, but a raised garden bed is different than what fencing endures.

I don't really understand how cutting the frame of a window would let you give more ventilation unless you removed the glass?? I would keep the window as it is for light and put vents at the top, they should remain open all the time to let out moisture and ammonia. Enough head space at the top mitigates wind. You can add a screen door during the summer for more ventilation.

Your other ideas sound good. I think you're worrying a lot about how long things may last. I use a dog kennel for my run with added hardware cloth apron and wire roof for protection. They are meant for outdoor use and sturdy against predators. This may be cost comparable for you. With maintenance and observation I think you will have some really great results.
 

Jmerilli

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2022
20
26
41
We are beginning the process of building our chicken coop. The city we live in (Bellevue, NE) is pretty strict on their ordinances for chickens...either that or the City Planning employee helping us get our permit is misunderstanding the size requirements per hen. Regardless, we have plans to build a coop and that will be quite an undertaking for us chicken and building noobs. We have done minimal renovations and built raised beds before, but nothing of this scale.

The coop itself will be 5x6 feet and will be 2 1/2 - 3 feet off the ground. The run will surround most of the coop and will be 10'x8' with the coop's longest wall (6' wall) mounted parallel to the longest run wall (10' wall). The structure's tallest point is 8' tall and slopes (from left to right) parallel to the longest wall until it is 6 1/2' tall and away from the nesting box. The entire coop and run will be covered with these PVC panels.

We are planning to build to coop out of cedar 2x4s because we can get pretty extreme weather here ranging from 110F to -20F and we want it to last more than 3 years (We made some raised garden beds out of treated wood and stained it for additional protection and they warped within a year).

The coop we are going to build is inspired by this one ( Pask Makes - Chicken Coop Build ) featured on Pask Makes' YouTube channel.

We went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and found a couple of treasures we are hoping would work for this project.
We found a window that we are planning on installing within the coop with hardware cloth on the inside to keep predators out.

There are three main second-hand finds I am a bit worried about using:
1st: PLANTATION SHUTTERS - We were planning on doing the deep litter method and wanted two smaller doors on a hinge that would work to allow light and ventilation, but also add hardware cloth to protect them. I know the plantation shutters are meant for indoor use, but seeing as these will be well covered by the roof, would a coat of sealant or weatherproofing paint/stain work to keep them sturdy. Could this work?
2nd: KITCHEN CABINET - This would be a 3'x15'x12' cabinet mounted on the coop sideways to serve as an laying box for the hens. The door would open downwards (towards your feet). The idea was to cover this cabinet in siding or a weather proof material and make it as water-proof as possible. Could this work?
3rd: FRAMED WINDOW - The glass window is a hexagon shape that is framed in very sturdy wood. The plan was to cut the frame so we can turn the fixed window into an opening one with hardware cloth on the inside to provide additional ventilation and protection. Could this work?

We also purchased quite a few second-hand vents (that can be closed from the outside) to place high on the walls of the coop to allow for ventilation with minimal drafts in the winter. Food, water, and a dust bed will all be within the run under the coop. The run will be caged by the hardware cloth and the same material will make a 2' skirt to surround the structure.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback for additional suggestions for the coop!
Hi, I have a question for you, I am a first time builder and liked this coop design you mentioned in your post. Is there a place to purchase the plans for it any where? I looked on the park makes website and can’t find anything. Thanks for your time!
 

Jmerilli

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2022
20
26
41
We are beginning the process of building our chicken coop. The city we live in (Bellevue, NE) is pretty strict on their ordinances for chickens...either that or the City Planning employee helping us get our permit is misunderstanding the size requirements per hen. Regardless, we have plans to build a coop and that will be quite an undertaking for us chicken and building noobs. We have done minimal renovations and built raised beds before, but nothing of this scale.

The coop itself will be 5x6 feet and will be 2 1/2 - 3 feet off the ground. The run will surround most of the coop and will be 10'x8' with the coop's longest wall (6' wall) mounted parallel to the longest run wall (10' wall). The structure's tallest point is 8' tall and slopes (from left to right) parallel to the longest wall until it is 6 1/2' tall and away from the nesting box. The entire coop and run will be covered with these PVC panels.

We are planning to build to coop out of cedar 2x4s because we can get pretty extreme weather here ranging from 110F to -20F and we want it to last more than 3 years (We made some raised garden beds out of treated wood and stained it for additional protection and they warped within a year).

The coop we are going to build is inspired by this one ( Pask Makes - Chicken Coop Build ) featured on Pask Makes' YouTube channel.

We went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and found a couple of treasures we are hoping would work for this project.
We found a window that we are planning on installing within the coop with hardware cloth on the inside to keep predators out.

There are three main second-hand finds I am a bit worried about using:
1st: PLANTATION SHUTTERS - We were planning on doing the deep litter method and wanted two smaller doors on a hinge that would work to allow light and ventilation, but also add hardware cloth to protect them. I know the plantation shutters are meant for indoor use, but seeing as these will be well covered by the roof, would a coat of sealant or weatherproofing paint/stain work to keep them sturdy. Could this work?
2nd: KITCHEN CABINET - This would be a 3'x15'x12' cabinet mounted on the coop sideways to serve as an laying box for the hens. The door would open downwards (towards your feet). The idea was to cover this cabinet in siding or a weather proof material and make it as water-proof as possible. Could this work?
3rd: FRAMED WINDOW - The glass window is a hexagon shape that is framed in very sturdy wood. The plan was to cut the frame so we can turn the fixed window into an opening one with hardware cloth on the inside to provide additional ventilation and protection. Could this work?

We also purchased quite a few second-hand vents (that can be closed from the outside) to place high on the walls of the coop to allow for ventilation with minimal drafts in the winter. Food, water, and a dust bed will all be within the run under the coop. The run will be caged by the hardware cloth and the same material will make a 2' skirt to surround the structure.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback for additional suggestions for the coop!
Hi, we are first time coop builders and liked the coop design in the video you posted. Is there anywhere to purchase the plans for this? I checked the past makes website and can’t find anything. Thanks!
 

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