building a 16 ciken coop in colorado

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kdcolorado, May 17, 2011.

  1. kdcolorado

    kdcolorado Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2011
    So, my wife is giving me (expert?) info on our first coop. ( we never owned live chickens in our life!!! [​IMG] ) We (so far) have 16 healthy chicks. 5 rhode Islands, 6 cinnamon queens, and 5l new hampshires all pullets...
    I built a 6x8 base 2' off the ground. It will have a 5' rear wall with the nesting boxes (5) on it. The front wall (facing SSW) has the window and the roosts. 2, 2' side sections also have nesting boxes. I wil have a total of 7 nesting boxes then. They are at 18" above the floor and will have catwalks and ladders.
    The run... I am thinkin... will be 10'x10'.
    We live on the front range of the eastern slope on the plains out here directly east of pikes peak...
    my questions are:
    how do I insulate or seal the corners and walls...Visqueen?
    should I rototill a trench down 6-8 inches and extend the wire down there to protect from varmits, etc...
    should I worry about predators...
    is it ok to have the 10 x 10 area include the area under the coop...
    What about shade...
    the chicks are 8 days old today
    How long do I have to get the walls up the run made etc...
    I work a lot, I need 5 days a week , 12 hrs a day for work
    when should I set a goal for the chixks to go out....
  2. airmechreed

    airmechreed Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2011
    Colorado Springs
    Lots of good questions. My wife and I just got 4 chicks the week before Easter. I have been building an Amish
    Style coop. I sealed it with a can of foam expandable you can pick it up at lowes for a couple bucks. We are In the springs so not to far from you. I encluded the area under the coup as square footage because my coup sits 18 inch. Above ground. Providing shade is important especially here in the hotter months. Defiantly put wire under your coup area as well as above. Here I'n Colorado we have fox racoon skunk that will try to dig under and hawks and owls from above. And there are the stray dogs and cats which are out when your chickens will be. Plan on putting your chicks out when they are feathered out as different breads feather out fully at different times, to give you a specific day might be good for one breed it won't be good for another. So just watch your chicks and when they are all feathered out you can move them to the coup. Good luck. I will be posting plans of my Amish coup and pictures as there seem to be none available with out buying them. Hope this helped
  3. CayuseRanch

    CayuseRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2011
    Newalla, Oklahoma
    Well I am fairly new to chickens myself but am currently on our 3rd coop. I certainly don't know the right way, but I will tell you some things I learned.

    1 - Roosting areas way from the nesting boxes. On my first coop, out in front of the nesting boxes we put a ledge for them to roost on and they did, pooped all over the nesting boxes, tried to add new roosts, they still want to roost on the nesting boxes. Which leaves poopy eggs. Biggest regret I have at the moment.

    2 - The expandable foam... we used that too, they picked it apart in some areas and will chase each other down like they do a worm. Although, haven't seen any side effects from that.

    3 - Definately need shade, it isn't even hot here yet and if there isn't shade they are in the coop and therefore, not getting exercise scratching and digging for worms. In our current coop, we are trying out shade cloth from Lowes for a roof.

    On our first coop we just put up an old dog run and we have not had any problems with things digging under...yet. Current one, we are digging down a trench and putting cement in it.

    We havent' had any predators yet, but I know lots that have had problems so prevent, prevent prevent. Old wives tale learned from another chicken keeper...Pee around the coop, the markings of humans keep predators away, now I would look funny doing that, but I do tell my boys to do it if they ever feel the urge outside. Maybe thats why I haven't had any predator problems! [​IMG]

    As for how long, I would say that depends on how long you can keep them in their current place as well as their feathering. For instance, your gonna have some flyers pretty soon, so if itsn't covered or large enough for them to really move around, you may atleast want to look at a larger temporary solution for them. I have a horse trough (sp?) that we use for the small but feathered and flying ones.
  4. kdcolorado

    kdcolorado Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2011
    Hey you guys ... good info... Yes, My run will be rototilled about 2 feet really well and at least 6' to 8' deep all around the outside and I will extend wire or mesh down into a concrete trough. We'll be planting chicken edible plants and veggies like Nasturtiums, runner beans, tomatoes, etc.. for some shading... We're in Calhan, airmechreed, so the sun and wind here are exceptional... GOSH... MOSQUITOES!!! Hope chickens like 'em! We got plenty! (Oh yeah... we are overcome by frogs in the summer months out here)
    I work in Wireless telecommunications, and for the life of me I cannot keep a USB cable around to xfr pics to the pc, so we will be posting pics a soon as I send some pic emails to the pc to get some uploaded to this site...
    Really good info on the foam... YES! it will be happening and the ventilation will be too.
    More to come...
  5. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:You might add regular window screening to your coop in addition to the hardware cloth for mosquito protection. Mosquito's love chicken combs and all the little non feathered spots.

    By the way [​IMG]
  6. kdcolorado

    kdcolorado Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2011
    Thanks perchie.girl. We did not know that about mosquitos [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by