Can I seriously build a coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by photo chick, May 14, 2009.

  1. photo chick

    photo chick Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Essex, VT
    The chicks are one week old and in my bathroom. I am kept awake at night by thoughts of "how the heck am I going to build a coop"? I have some skills of building...meaning I can use a hammer, saw, screwdriver... but outside of that I've never built anything, just put stuff together. As I peruse through all the coop designs on this forum I get really overwhelmed by everything that I see. Ventilation, insulation, trusses, accessible nesting boxes just to start.

    I don't want to spend a fortune on my hen house but I want it to look nice [​IMG] Is it possible to do it myself or would you recommed I hire someone to build it? My husband, bless his heart cannot bang 2 boards together. He has many other talents, but building is not one of them. He tells me this because I have never actually seen him build anything.

    So...what do you think?

  2. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Where do you live? Is it hot/cold? More info is needed.

    You can do this. Collect your information, make a plan, draw it up, figure out your materials/budget and do it. Those babies are going to need to go outside sooner than you think. Honestly, if we can do it, ANYONE can do it. It took us all summer to build our coop, and the hens were *13* weeks old before they moved in, but so far so good. We literally used photographs from (what feels like) hundreds of different posts from this forum for each step of the way to figure out what we were supposed to do.

    If you really don't think you can do it, then consider buying something off craigslist. Maybe you can retrofit a doghouse or something? There are often pretty good used sheds available for a reasonable amount of money, even if you have to pay someone to deliver it.

    Basically, don't waste your time worrying about it. Just go for it. You can do it!!!
  3. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Songster

    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    I think your husband should help.. It's really not hard and would be a learning experience for you both.

    Good rule for you to follow since you have limited experience... K.I.S.S.

    Keep it simple, stupid. [​IMG]

    Love that saying... Anyway, there is no need to go fancy at all with the new fangled framing and whatnot. Just go with a single pitched roof.

    It's really not hard at all.. Start with the floor and then frame your walls on it before raising them into place.. Then just raise and brace them while you nail everything together.

    Considering you can use a saw [assuming power] and hammer, you're good to do.

    16d nails for framing.. 8d nails for smaller stuff like cripples and jack studs.

    This is a surprisingly good site for tips you might like to browse through.

    I did not catch where you are, so insulation might not even be required... As for the rest, it's rather simple.. Really.
  4. photo chick

    photo chick Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Essex, VT
    Here's a little more info...

    I live in Vermont. It's COLD! We are not planning on using any electricity for the chickens and have heard that this is OK. (I know that we won't be getting any eggs in the winter.) But we do have frequent visitors to our property even now with no poultry... coyotes, fisher cats and others I'm sure. We have 5 chicks (Buff Orpingtons) but who knows, maybe we'll get more next year. I don't want to build a coop too small but then don't want to build one too big that they will freeze in winter.

    Not sure what else to add. Biggest challenge will be the whole ventilation vs. freezing thing.

    Thanks for your vote of confidence!

    PS...Dark Wolf - I have no idea what cripples are [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  5. BluegrassSeramas

    BluegrassSeramas Serama Savvy

    Aug 25, 2008
    Central Kentucky
    Also, lot of people need a little extra maybe if you call some apartments--they usually employ a do it all handy man--you can find some one cheap. And to save on costs, look for free materials on craigslist!

  6. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Songster

    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    Quote:Eeeesh... Mine are 6-7 weeks old and cuss me out a blue streak each time I bring them in for the night... They spend the day outside in the [kinda finished?] coop and then I go out to get them after the sun sets when they hunker down in the corner to sleep. Then I let them back out in the morning when they start being noisy demanding their freedom from the huge rubbermaid bin.
  7. jjdward

    jjdward How bout them DAWGS!

    May 4, 2009
    Buchanan, Georgia
    How many chickens do you have? You don't have to build anything special, in my opinion. Chickens don't really require that much. Of course some people want to add their own touches. I'm in the final stages of building mine. I have about 35 chickens so my coop will have to be much different than yours. If I had to list the most important things would be:
    1. Food and water: needs to be fresh and clean. A good rule of thumb is to keep the "tray" part of the feeder and waterer at the same level as the back of the birds. I use hanging feeders and waterers
    2. Roosts : I'm not sure what kind of birds you have but if they are standart sized breeds, the roost will need to be about 2 feet off the ground. They like to roost on flat things better that round. I had no idea till I read it on here. [​IMG]
    3. Ventilation: air needs to move in the coop and cross ventilation is best. If you have a window on opposite sides of the coop. No need for anything fancy or complicated. It really depends on your climate and number of birds.
    I don't know a lot and I am not an expert by any means, but you will learn a lot on here and you will get addicted to this site, so be prepared [​IMG] If you need any help just ask!!![​IMG]
  8. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You could pick up a book at Home Depot or whatever on building backyard sheds; not much difference between a shed and a coop. If you are just feeling too overwhelmed, a handyman might be the way to go; this is certainly a good time to hunt up someone wanting some work with some building skills. Around here I would just ask at the local lumber/hardware store and they would have a list of names. Or you could look for a shed on sale at Home Depot or wherever, if Craigslist doesn't produce anything.

    Be sure you read Patandchickens' site on ventilation:
  9. Steve B

    Steve B In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    You might want to consider buying a wooden dog house, then making modifications to it. This can be a lot easier than starting from scratch.

  10. LilbitChicken

    LilbitChicken Songster

    May 5, 2009
    We are new to the chicken family, but are in the process of finishing our coop. It's taking a lot longer than expected(maybe I am picky)[​IMG] , but you really don't have to be picky! The chickens will love just about anything![​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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