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Building first coop, suggestions please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Kristie9901, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. Kristie9901

    Kristie9901 Just Hatched

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    Nov 15, 2016
    I'm about to build my first coop. I found an 8x8 coop design here on BYC by Mikeee.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/8x8-coop

    I live in Texas and it gets super hot in the summer. My plans are to build it under a large tree in our back yard and I'll be adding some windows for air flow. The kind you cut out after you build it and attach a hinge to open the 'window' and prop it up with a 2x2. And I'll cover the window hole with heavy chicken / rabbit wire.

    Is there a certain way the coop door should face? Towards the north/south/east/west? Windows on a certain side for breeze? Or anything else I need to know before I start building?

    Thanks
     
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just so you know there is nothing new under the sun, what you link to above is a variation on an old theme........one of which was the Victory House.......circa 1943. Back then everything was Victory in the WWII war effort. This was intended to be a small back yard chicken house for the masses so they could have their own birds to enable all the eggs from commercial flocks to go the war effort.

    Anyway, here are those plans:

    https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/aben-plans/nd727-15-1.pdf

    BTW, about 100 years ago every state Ag Dept. and University had their own variation on this simple shed style chicken house. There may have been dozens of them, but all were a variation on this same simple theme.

    So for your climate, you really want to open this thing up. Where they show two windows on the front......you will only have one, so take it down to no more than 24 inches off the deck........solid below the windows forces varmints to climb or stand on their feet to try to break in. You would also want to add side windows, which would mostly be screened in. Instead of a solid door, you might want that to be half screened or maybe entirely screened. Instead of chicken wire.....use welded wire or heavy hardware cloth. My personal favorite is 1/2" x 1" - 14 gauge welded wire. You can be confident no mortal varmint is going to get through that stuff.

    Include generous overhangs on the front, back and sides to help shed any rain so you can leave those windows wide open to vent.

    If you use a metal roof, consider putting down a layer foil faced insulation to reflect radiant heat away from the inside. In your climate, goal should be to make sure the inside is never any hotter than the outside. Light colors and an abundance of ventilation will help you do that.
     
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    BTW, as you study those plans from North Dakota State, note they show a double walled coop with moisture proof paper. That would be the same black felt roofing paper we use today. Most likely they used this to counter the moisture build up they experienced from condensation and most likely because they left the windows closed up in the brutally cold winters thinking it would make things warmer.

    Probably would have been better to make the windows larger and to leave them open.

    BTW, failed to address your other question. Almost 95% of all poultry houses of this type put the door on the southeast corner. On the east side away from prevailing north and westerly winds in North America winters. It was also thought that putting the door in the front caused the birds to panic and thrash around (most birds back then were flighty Leghorns) when the door was opened, so they went to the narrow side. On the corner as that was the highest point and far away from the roosts, which were almost always on the back and away from the nest boxes, which were either below the roosts or on the far west wall.
     
  4. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    My suggestion would be to go to the coops section (see button top of page) these articles are very informative as many coop builders not only give suggestions but also state why they did what they did. The reply sections also have a lot of info as suggestions from readers to "what I would have done differently now that I know better" statements from the builder.
     
  5. Kristie9901

    Kristie9901 Just Hatched

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    Nov 15, 2016

    Thanks!! I love history, and I'll definitely add plenty of ventilation. My husband said he can run electricity to the coop so we can have a fan and lights too.
     
  6. Kristie9901

    Kristie9901 Just Hatched

    8
    1
    11
    Nov 15, 2016
    Rh
    BTW, as you study those plans from North Dakota State, note they show a double walled coop with moisture proof paper. That would be the same black felt roofing paper we use today. Most likely they used this to counter the moisture build up they experienced from condensation and most likely because they left the windows closed up in the brutally cold winters thinking it would make things warmer.

    Probably would have been better to make the windows larger and to leave them open.

    BTW, failed to address your other question. Almost 95% of all poultry houses of this type put the door on the southeast corner. On the east side away from prevailing north and westerly winds in North America winters. It was also thought that putting the door in the front caused the birds to panic and thrash around (most birds back then were flighty Leghorns) when the door was opened, so they went to the narrow side. On the corner as that was the highest point and far away from the roosts, which were almost always on the back and away from the nest boxes, which were either below the roosts or on the far west wall.


    Thanks for all your help!! :)
     
  7. Kristie9901

    Kristie9901 Just Hatched

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    Nov 15, 2016
    We finally have the coop almost finished. I need to build the chicken roosts. I'll be using 2x4's and I planned on have 2 of them one higher and closer to the wall and the other a little lower. I'll be building a flat surface to catch the poop. Does anyone know a good measurement for the two 2x4's? So they don't poop on each other at night? How far away should the lower rooste be from the top roost so they are angled correctly? I saw online that it said 15" is this something y'all have noticed is a good measurement?
     
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The text below was lifted from a book on poultry housing, written about 100 years ago. It still applies today......note the part about ladder roosts which are not all on the same level. A lot of small commercial built coops use them as do others who have seen them in books, pictures etc.

    The only reason I can think of to have the ladder is to allow them stair steps to hop from the ground up to the highest roost, but if the roost are no more than 3 or 4 feet off the deck, most birds can make that hop. They do need enough room to get off the roost without hitting the opposite wall, so probably best not to make them too high, but they will try for the highest roost option they have, so be mindful of that. Also note the part about roost shape. Back when, they used a 1" x 2" board on edge, narrow side up. NOT the 2 x 4's some use today, wide side up. That one seems to me to be more urban myth than science, but is a hard one to stomp out. The theory being they need the wide side up to keep their feet warm. They do that by covering their feet with their feathers.......even on a narrow roost.




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