Building 4x4 Barn style coop with 4x8 run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tbatz11, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. tbatz11

    tbatz11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2015
    Palo, Iowa
    Hi we're new here! We just started building our coop 3 days ago. And today we got a bit stumped. A bit of background info: We have a 50ft x 90ft back yard. We can only have 4 hens. The plan is to build a 4x4 coop plus 2 nesting boxes sticking out the side of it, with a 4x8 run that we can move around the yard so the chickens can eat fresh grass and bugs. This thing is going to be extremely heavy to move, we're still working on the how part. During the very cold and windy winters we want to keep the coop under the deck to protect it a little from the weather. The space under the deck is about 64".
    Right now we have the floor and legs done (and floor insulated). The legs are 20" long and can be cut down a bit if need be.

    What we need help to figure out is how tall do the walls need to be for the chickens to have enough room to roost (and how high do the roosts need to be anyways)?
    I'll be the only one cleaning this and don't mind having to bend over to do it, i'm short too.

    The shortest I'd want the legs to be is maybe 12" so the chickens can use the space under the coop. They'll be standard breeds, not bantams.
    My husband and I are grateful for any help!

    Edited:
    Changed some of the plans after reading people's suggestions. Thanks for the help!
    Keep checking in for updates.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  2. BonRae67

    BonRae67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2014
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    The walls can be 4 feet as well. I know you are trying to keep it compact for easy moving. The roosts can be a few inches to the 4 feet there is not really a general rule for them. The hens will roost at any height. It isn't really the height space they need, it is the floor space. Have you decided if you are going to hang the feeder and waterer to save floor space? You can make it whatever is comfortable for you. As you said you are the one cleaning it. The legs are a good height, I wouldn't change them unless you find that it ends up to tall to fit where you said for the winter months or for easy cleaning. Sounds like you really have a plan. Good luck and post pics. We love pics.
     
  3. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While a 4'high coop would be just fine, height of roost may depend on the type of chickens you have. I have all heavy/cold hearty breeds and I lowered my highest roost after one of my girls developed a liimp because the ladies came down with such a loud thump I worried about bumble foot or other stress issues.

    I've built my coops on 24" legs so that a) the chickens can get under there for additional run space and escape into the shade on hot days, and b) so that if I absolutly had to, I could climb underneith.

    Your 4X4 coop should be adequate for 4 chickens, but now is the time to make it bigger if you think there is any chance you'd want to add more chickens later (that dreaded chicken math).
     
  4. tbatz11

    tbatz11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2015
    Palo, Iowa
    Did you guys mean 4 feet from floor to tip of the roof or 4 foot walls PLUS the additional height of the roof?
    We (a.k.a. me, myself and I) just decided to make the roof a barn style instead of the upside-down V we originally planned, to give a bit more head space.

    And yes I want to hang the water and food, somehow. Another one of those thing I'll need to figure out.
    Thanks for the brooder tip. I read so many people say to put them up at least 2 feet high, but obviously in a small space it's impossible. We're going to get 2 Americaunas, 1 Buff Orpington, and 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte. Breed availability is very limited in the area. And our tiny town of less than 3,000 people only allows 4!! hens per household, that's it! Everyone else around us can have 6! Not that we could eat that many eggs anyway, but it's the principal of the matter!

    We had about a dozen chickens 7 years ago when we lived in upstate NY. Now we're in Iowa. I had made so many mistakes back then. There wasn't nearly as much information available so we learned what to do from the local Tractor Supply employees. I think i read a book too. But this time around I want to do things the right way. So that the chickens and our crazy family can all be happy.

    I'm writing in my blog about the building process so if anyone is interested they can read about it at Justanothersahm.com.
    When we're all done i'll post the coop and the process on here.

    Here's what we've got so far. I'll be writing about it tomorrow sometime.
    [​IMG]
    It's upside down on saw horses. Insulated, sealed with liquid nails, and covered with a bendable shower liner. It's thick enough to be sturdy and is waterproof.
    That was our way of cutting down on the weight.
     
  5. BonRae67

    BonRae67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would do 4 feet plus roof. If that is to tall then cut it down a bit. It really is whatever fits in your plan of moving and where you said you are going to put it for the winter. Looks good so far can't wait to see the progress.
     
  6. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looking good so far! My own take on roost height this is that:

    a) If the roof/ceiling is higher than needed, you can always lower the roosts if it seems to be important to do so. But, you cannot raise the roosts if the ceiling is too low. So, I would go for higher rather than lower. I do change the height of the roosts during the year. Lower in very cold weather (sub zero), higher in the summer. This is due to the way in which ventilation works in my coops.

    b) Ceiling height will also be important for humans, though not on a day to day basis. Think about what you will need to be able to clean and service the coop.

    The experiences of others may be different than mine, but I've found that the height of the roost doesn't matter much. (my flock is mostly BR, BO, Delaware, Wyandotte). What does matter is allowing my chickens to sort themselves out according to pecking order. Using a ladder roost allows this....multiple levels are available.

    Keep us updated on your construction!
     
  7. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I design my coops I try to consider minimizing the cuts I have to make on all the materials I buy as well as minimizing waste. If you purchase the stud-length (92 and 5/8ths inches) and cut them in half for the wall studs and use 2 8' 2X4 for the length of two sides (top and bottom), cut in half you'll have each wall be 4'X4' which is exactly 1/2 of a sheet of plywood or panneling, no waste, no extra cuts. So yeah, I'd suggest making the walls 4'tall for that reason and if you have the skill to build a barn style roof all the better.
     
  8. fishwithaface

    fishwithaface Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2015
    Southern Utah
    [​IMG]
    That's our coop. The box is 4x4x4, the nest boxs started 24" up and slanted down 9" to a 15" cut. If you only want four chickens, I think itd be fine to only have one side of nesting boxes. I have a door the opens half way up in the back part for easy cleaning. And it's completely framed, no insolation, but sturdy. If you made one similar with all the siding and shingles and such, three men lifted carried the co-op to be put on the stilts. I'd also recommend using a sled to move it around. That coop with six nest boxs, two roost bars at various heights, cost me under 200.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
    2 people like this.
  9. tbatz11

    tbatz11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2015
    Palo, Iowa
    That looks pretty nice! How tall is it from the ground to the roof top? We are going to put wheels on ours to be able to move it around.
     
  10. fishwithaface

    fishwithaface Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2015
    Southern Utah
    Its 12" off the ground with pressure treated wood stilts that we cemented in.
    From ground to top its about 5' 9''
    It's taller than me and i'm 5' 5''
    If you need help with with the floors plans just send me a PM.
     

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