Building my first coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jafrmi, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Jafrmi

    Jafrmi Hatching

    Jan 15, 2014
    Hi, I've wanted to have chickens for awhile but haven't had money or time for them, but I'm graduating in the spring and have a good job.
    I need to start planning a coop, so here's what I have to work with:
    I have a couple acres of land, a nice spot that gets alot of sun for the first 2/3 or so of the day, then shaded by the woods in the late afternoon, it's an area cut into the woods, a crabapple tree is right there too. I figure I want to get a few chickens at first (2-3) but if it goes well, probably about 6 would be how many I'd like eventually. I live in Michigan so pretty brutal winters and alot of predators in my area like foxes, coyotes, and predatory birds, if anyone has any tips on insulation or a plan to build something, I'd really appreciate it.

  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member 7 Years

    Welcome Jafrmi from San Diego High desert..... [​IMG]

    Most chickens suited for cold climates do quite will with a shelter that is dry and protected from the wind. If you get too crazy with insulation you risk causing condensation inside the coop. Moisture is a very bad thing. Fresh air good ventilation not drafts is really what you want to aim for. Plan for space for six and also plan for Chicken math to strike.... LOL.

    When chickens roost they snuggle up against each other when its cold. Use roost laid flat two by fours with the wide side up sothey can hunker down with their feathers over their toes to keep warm.

    There is a coop section that has lots of pictures and how tos for different kinds and sizes of coop. Many of them have construction diagrams even step by step pictures of their progress.

    I am in the desert so my needs for construction are very different. for instance I dont use a coop. But me personally if I were going to build a coop I would do one that I can stand up in and shut the door behind me IF i wanted to do chores inside. With a partition for supplies so that the chickens cant "help". There are many times I wish I had a light out there.... workin late or early... a Battery powered lamp is good.

    Oh and if you have foxes or any canine type preditors you need to make your run area protected against them. You should have a run even if you plan to free range. If it has a solid cover then they have some place to go scratch in the winter that doesnt have snow. Not that they wont go out in snow .... but there are times when you wont want to let them out to forage. That run should have an anti digging skirt or apron around it.... some people dig wire down a couple of feet. But I hear a skirt works just as well and easier to get to if you have to replace or expand....

    Good luck.
  3. aaaclifford

    aaaclifford Hatching

    Jan 16, 2014
    London, UK
    Many people use a foam to increase the R factor. Styrofoam does a great job insulating the celing of every chicken house. It's likely the chickens peck away at the foam, so you need to secure the foam high enough. You could need an expert cleaning solution for after the builders the chicken house haha
  4. jmayday

    jmayday Chirping

    Dec 21, 2013
    Downingtown, pa

  5. Chesterchook

    Chesterchook Chirping
    We're looking at building one of these for a breeding coop, might suit your needs.
    Our chickens tend to keep an eye on the sky and head for shelter when there's hawks etc. around - this design offers space underneath the coop where they can shelter. Coyotes and foxes in our area don't come around during the day - we've found that as long as everyone is inside and the doors are shut at night we haven't had issues with nocturnal predators.
    Another thing I like about the space underneath is that it provides the chickens with a shady spot during the summer, and I think it would be fairly simple to put in some plywood skirting around the sides of the bottom to keep out snow and wind during the winter.
    I'd suggest starting with at least 5 or 6 chickens - assuming they're from a cold hardy breed and properly acclimated, their combined body warmth should be enough to see them through the winter without supplemental heat as long as they've got dry shelter out of the wind.
    Good luck!

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