building our coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by the simple life, May 4, 2008.

  1. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    We are building our coop and I am looking for feed back from fellow owners.
    In your opinion what is the most important thing about your coops?
    Is there anything that you wished you had done differently or had to change/modify later on?
    I want to make sure that we design it for maximum benefit in access,comfort,utility and convenience.
     
  2. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    I say keeping the birds happy and safe is the most important thing.
     
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Welcome to BYC.

    I suggest, if you haven't already, to use the search function at the top of the page and type search for 'coop', 'design', etc. and you'll find hours of reading that will help you.

    My biggest suggestion is to build BIGGER!! I've never (literally never) heard someone say, "well, darn, we sure built too big of a coop!"

    Some of the building is personal preference or done according to where you live - a hot vs. cold climate.

    I built (well, my DH and sons built it - sweet guys) my hen house so I could walk inside a 'people' side to get to the nest boxes. I didn't want my children or I to have to stand outside in freezing blizzards or pouring rain to collect eggs. Also, since my children have been known to leave the nest box doors open this way the chickens can only get to the people side and they are still safe inside the enclosed hen house. If the collection doors opened to the outside my hens would be able to get outside when we are not here and predators could get inside.

    I also love being able to walk inside my coop. Some people like smaller, shorter coops and build them up off the ground so they don't have to lean over to clean them out.

    Use the best wire you can afford for their run area. Build it as predator proof as possible from day one -- it's heartbreaking to lose a chicken(s). Hardware cloth is always the best option but also very expensive. The next best option would be welded wire with 1" inch chicken wire wrapped around the bottom up about two feet and buried into the ground at least 15-18 inches.

    If you can afford it go with a cement floor. Next option would be a solid wood floor (IMO covered with linoleum).

    Hope some of this helps. Have fun and good luck!
     
  5. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Exactly the kind of advice I am looking for.THANK YOU!
    I had been thinking that I definitely want a coop that I can walk through to collect eggs as you said.
    I did pick up some hardware cloth at the feed store yesterday.I saw it and kind of figured I would need it when we start to build.
    How many birds to a nesting box? Do they all get an individual one or should you build a long one against a wall? I have 9 chicks right now black stars and americaunas and I have sussex,marans, orpingtons,brahamas,leghorns,lakenvelders,NH reds on the way.
    So some are on the bigger side and some smaller.
     
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    I believe 'they' say that you should have one nest box for every four hens. And, that's probably a good idea if you can ... however, in real life - your hens will probably use the same one or two nest boxes all the time.

    I have eight nest boxes and my nine girls use pretty much the same three every day - they actually seem to wait in line for the coveted nest box that someone else is already in!

    Oh, oh, oh - I'm editing this because I almost forgot one of the most important things that I learned AFTER my coop was finished. Always build your roost(s) higher than the nest boxes. Otherwise you'll have hens sleeping in the nest boxes and then have poopy eggs because they are laid in those nest boxes.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  7. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi and thanks, how big are those nest boxes for every 4 hens?
     
  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    I think mine are 12x12 inches.
     

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