Building a coop..a few questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kuntrychick, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. kuntrychick

    kuntrychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Alabama
    Are there any certain "rules" or what y'all have learned from trial & error about window & door placement, etc for them to get the most light with the winter coming up, & be as draft free as possible from the winds & any storms. And wasn't sure about ventilation for winter...I mean to have ventilation in winter = cold air/drafts. ?????? I'm thinking a window needs to face east for the sunrise? I'm trying to think it through...taking into consideration the direction most of our storms come from, etc. I'm probably over thinking this, I know.

    Also, from all of your experiences, have the roosts at the window for them to look out? What about the cold winter months? Wouldn't that be too drafty/cold for them? Or just have the roosts in a different place & have a perch at the window for if/when they wanna get up there & look out?

    Poop board or no poop board? I've also seen mentioned a poop tray & a poop pit? Experiences? I'm planning on doing the DLM so maybe I'm not understanding that right...isn't that the point of the DLM for poop to be all mixed in with the shavings?

    Anyway, sorry for all the questions but don't wanna be so undecided or change my mind in the middle of DH building the coop. LOL

    Oh, & I'm in Alabama....can have some COLD winters (for me anyway). It gets below freezing regularly & teens & sometimes single digits. I know it's nothing like many of y'all deal with with the bitter cold & snowfall & all. Also, we have some VERY HOT summers!

    Thanks in advance for any insight on this.
     
  2. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think it's really smart to take everything into consideration like you've mentioned. Wind, rain-- where that blows in is going to create issues for your building. Good to think ahead and figure out how to solve it now before it's a real problem. We get pretty hot here in the summer, and so I decided NOT to put any windows on my West facing wall. It would just be too hot. However, I have windows on my North and East wall for the sunrise, and good ventilation in the summer. I put in 'windows' on the south wall, but it's a solid swing out door that will stay open for ventilation in summer and probably winter, too. I planned it to be below the roosts- so it won't blow on them, but I can adjust it if needed. (I'm still in the process of building!) My roosts are planned to go along the West wall with no window- for the reason you mentioned; drafts. And I worry that it might get cold (or too hot) against a window. I'm also doing deep litter, so I made sure that my pop door is several inches above the floor. It's something I think people overlook and then realize all their litter will fall out. Although, there are solutions to every problem. [​IMG] I bought floor vents and those will be put in under the eaves of my roof for winter ventilation- I don't plan on ever closing them down since the whole idea is to have air exchange. Just spend some time looking at the Coop section and get a lot of ideas and decide how you want to enter your coop and what you think you might really like. I know there is a debate on raised coops and those on the ground- and also having external nest boxes that you can access from outside and having them on the inside where you have to go in and get eggs. Also- be sure to check out Opa's thread on Roll Out Nest Boxes-- this could be converted to fit in an external nest box or an inside one, just be creative and think ahead on how much space you'll need. Every side has their benifits, so it's really up to you. [​IMG] Oh... and I'm still on the fence with poop boards vs just letting it all drop into deep litter. I'm not really the kind of person that wants to get in a coop in the middle of winter in snow and ice and rain and sleet and scrape boards. [​IMG] Just do what is right for you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
  3. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Hey Alabama, good advice from hawkeye95....Just one thought....You're in Bama and I'm La. No snow to worry about. Well, maybe for you on occasion. Just build a secure coop, with good ventilation for hot summers...free from drafts in winter.....windows for natural light a plus and definitely poop boards, trays, shelves, hammock, etc... Much easier to scrape poop at waist height than scoop from floor. For the life of me I can't seem to grasp how some folks here on BYC thing that a daily routine of scooping poop from the floor is easier than a weekly cleaning of a poop shelf or other collection method. Just my opinion. I love my chickens, but I don't want to be tied to them every day for clean up. Good luck with what you decide.
    Erik
     
  4. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Very good point about the poop boards. Since I'm new to the coop thing--everyone tells me they scoop out their deep litter twice a year and turn it over in the interim. I wish I could get a really clear idea of how one might work better than the other, or if they are pretty equal in function. Wish I could make up my mind! [​IMG] Oh and another thing I thought of, is if you look at the Wichita Cabin Coop they have good pictures of their pop door that opens from a rope on the outside! I'm going to use that method too. I haven't searched for it yet, but the builder mentioned that he found a piece of hollow plumbing or something (I'll have to go back and reread it!) that they used to put into the hole they drilled out in the wall so the rope or wire would not eventually cut into or wear down the exterior of their coop. If you make an interior guillotine style pop door, you could some day put an "Add a Motor" device on it later on down the road if that seems to work out best for you. I'm thinking of doing that possibly next year. Plus, think about making your pop door out of plexiglass or a plastic cutting board. People have said that their wood pop doors have warped from weather and they are hard to go up and down. I bought a piece of plexi that I am using for my pop door. You can add a window weight to it if you want to make sure it can't be pulled open from the outside and is heavy. Also, and this might seem really inane, but a friend of mine built her coop this summer and she made the mistake of putting her nest boxes higher than her roosts. Which means the chickens always want the highest place they can get into-- so it was the nest box. She was really frustrated with her error as her boxes ended up being a yucky mess. That was all I thought of for now! ha!
     

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