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Building my first coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Shadow722, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Shadow722

    Shadow722 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got a coop started. I need to put some roofing on it and paint it since the exterior is OSB. I still want to add another 2 nest box on one side. I have 3 nest boxes on the backside. I need to cut a door on the other side large enough for us to keep it clean. I put a rubber mat in the bottom that I can pull out and spray off. I also need to get some roosting spots in it. I bought a 1" PVC pipe for that. I built it 6'x3'. It is 2' off the ground and the roof is 6 ft high with a 6" drop for the 3' depth. I attached it to the pen. I need to enlarge the pen for a run. I have 11 Rhode Island Reds in that unit. I figure if I add 2 more nest to make 5 nests and make the pen larger it will be fine. I have been letting them out a a couple hours to free range in my yard. They are doing a lot of scratching and digging. I get a kick out of watching 1 bird find a worm or bug and watching the rest chase it.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The rule of thumb is one nest for every 4 hens, and even then they will probably only use one or two of them. A piece of 2x4 on the flat side or a thick branch would make a better roost. 1" is a little narrow, as chickens' feet don't curl aorund a thin roost that well. Also, it will be slippery. I would not put more than 5 hens in a coop that size, and even that would be small if they will sometimes stay in the coop all day because of snow.

    This is a great post on space:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/700308/coop-and-run-size/0_20#post_9504811

    That many birds in a coop that size will need very good ventilation to allow humidity and ammonia, and maybe heat, to escape easily.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...-go-out-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop
     
  3. luvmychixandducks

    luvmychixandducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2 All of the above is true- however I didn't see anything about windows or access to outside the coop.
    Chickens need light to stimulate laying of eggs. I assume you have windows but if not then add one.
    Also your coop if it has access to outdoors should have a chicken door to open and close daily to allow birds access to run or free range.
    They will put themselves in at night however you should have a latch so critters like possum, fox and raccoon cannot use the chicken door as the pathway to supper.
    I bought my current coop on craigslist and had to rectify many of these oversights in order for the coop to be safe and functional.
    ( The builder of my coop created a sill on all four sides of the floor, so I couldn't rake/hoe out the shavings - needed to shovel. I cut the threshhold at the door to permit easy cleaning.)
    I have three nests, and the hens all use the coop floor and ignore the nests.... dumb birds.
    And I used flat side of 2x3's for roosting as my coop has a mixture of full size and bantams.
    Windows need to be able to close and be draft free. There is a difference between ventilation and drafts. Coop needs ventilation but not at the height where the birds sleep.
    Good luck with your project.
     
  4. Shadow722

    Shadow722 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have not cut a door yet for us. I do have a door for the chickens. It opens into the pen. So far they are using all 3 nest. I still need to build the additional 2 nest. I left a opening under the overhang of the roof which is 6 inches and I covered it with chicken wire. So far they prefer to roost on the 2x2 perches I have in the pen. I put my Blue Splash hens in with the reds and they seem to be okay. The Blue Splash stays in the coop at night with the rooster while the reds roost outside in the pen. I have it all enclosed with chicken wire and my dogs keep critters away. They are good around the chickens and my big dog helps me put them back in the pen after I have let them out for a few hours to free range in my yard. The other dog doesn't even pay attention to them. They have even jumped on her back. My rooster is very busy with all the hens. I got 9 eggs today from the nest. 5 in the morning and 4 more in the afternoon.
     
  5. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you post a picture?? Chicken wire isn't strong enough to keep out most predators. Hardware cloth is a lot better.
     
  6. Shadow722

    Shadow722 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Been away from the internet for a bit. I am away from home. Just before I left I got some roofing metal on top and I got my door cut and added the 2 extra nest on it. Now there are 5 nests. Since I left they are laying 11 eggs a day. One of the hens is laying a pigeon sized egg. I have 13 laying hens 2 of which are Blue Splash and lay much darker eggs than the Rhode Island Hens. Both of them lay an egg every day. The 11 Rhode Island Reds are laying 9 eggs a day so some of them are not regular and one of them has laid a rubber egg and maybe the same one now laying pigeon sized eggs. The lady we bought them from told me they were born in February. I thought she said last year but maybe this year.
     
  7. Shadow722

    Shadow722 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am now building a 2nd coop. I am also building a new chicken run to tie the coops together. I have a pin without a coop which I am building a coop to put with it. I am also going to attach that pin and coop to the new chicken run which is going to be attached to the last coop and pin. I am going to build the new coop where I can selectively allow the chickens into either the pin or the run. I have 2 groups of chickens. One still too young to be mixed in with the others. While they are out running the yard the older chickens harass the younger ones if they get close together. Both groups will be able to share the run preferably at separate times. Once I get them built I will take pictures and post them up. I will also need to paint both coops I guess.
     
  8. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would love to see pictures of this Shadow when you're done [​IMG]
     
  9. Shadow722

    Shadow722 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Outlying Oklahoma City
    Still under construction. I finished the run. I have a functional coop on the back of it that I still have to do a little more work to and get it painted. I plan on putting 5 nest in the back of the new one and attaching a pin on the side in picture that will also connect to the run.

    [​IMG]

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