Catawba Coop Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by happyhens, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. happyhens

    happyhens Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    KY - I ordered these plans yesterday, and after looking at some pictures it looks like my dual-purposed chickens (buff Orps and EEs) might be a little cramped in the top part. Do these size chickens fit ok, or would it be a big deal to make it about a foot or maybe two taller and give my chickens a little more space in both the run and the roosting section? I also plan on making it 2' longer, so hopefully I can put a couple more hens in it.
    Also, if anyone has ever used these, what do you think? Are they predator proof, easy to clean? Are they sturdy? It looks kind of like the side sliding doors could be shaken off by a larger predator, such as a big dog. Do they come off as easily as it looks? I may use hinges there instead... Any other advice or experiences about these coops would be great. Thanks!
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  2. moetrout

    moetrout Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    How many chickens do you have? That coup is not going to hold too many. I do think you could up size that if you know what you are doing.
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I personally am not a big fan of A frame coops because of the limitations of the space at the top of the A. As you note, it's very cramped in there headroom wise, no place for a real roost with droppings board or tray underneath, and no place to put ventilation that won't be blowing straight onto the chickens as they try to sleep. Fine in warm weather, but potentially deadly in cold weather. For the run part underneath, you still need to do something about the potential for predators digging under the edge and up inside the run (a wire apron solves this problem).

    An A frame is a perfectly good design for a day tractor, though. I have one, and it works very well.

    What you might do is use the Catawba plans to build an A frame run, and then build a basic cube type coop with a simple shed roof.

    Something like this one, only sized appropriately for the number of chickens you want, and with proper ventilation on the top of the wall at the front (and maybe at the top of the back wall too):
  4. lauriruth

    lauriruth Songster

    happyhens! ok, THIS I can respond to with some knowledge!!!! I bought the same plans 1.5 yrs. ago and built as shown. i had 4 standard hens in it for almost a yr. Three months into their lease i decided to build a walk-in coop with a people door! not only is the catawba too small for standards, but unless you have a john deer to pull it around you'll have issues moving it (which is why i wanted it in the first place!). built as shown that thing weighs about 200lbs. i'm by myself, so hmmmm....didn't think that through. It's also difficult to climb in and out of the run area unless you're 4 yrs. old. now the 4 girls are in their new, beautiful coop with a PEOPLE DOOR!!!!!!! i use the catawba as a grow-out coop. it's still a pain in the #%[email protected]^* to move! i'm starting a veggie garden this spring, so it's currently parked in that area where the 2 new girlies can help me cultivate!

    Just my opinion.

    Have fun with your peeps![​IMG]
  5. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Quote:I would not keep more than 2 chooks in that thing, and I would want it a lot taller to keep the heat away from them. Needs ventilation up top when sides are on it too, full time. Also, I would want a portable run that I could drag to wherever I had that tractor.

    Why not look at building a coop on a small trailer chassis? Then roll that to wherever your portable run is and move it about as the grass disappears. The run can be very lightweight for it's size since it is only going to be welded wire and a lightweight frame. Just be sure to close the coop up at night every night because a moveable run will not be predator proof to digging preds, and if chicken wire, will not stop anything but your chickens.

    Gerry [​IMG]
  6. farmer_lew

    farmer_lew Hi-Tech Redneck

    Jun 29, 2010
    In the hills
    Personally, I don't care for the A-frame chicken tractors. They are hard to get in and out of for maintenance, etc. Life is easier when you can get in and out without gymnastics training! [​IMG]
  7. SJchicks

    SJchicks In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2011
    I have 3 hens in my Catawba coop and love do they! I think it's easily maintained. It is heavy to move...2 healthy backs would have no problem, but I have back issues, so my husband slips a hand truck under one end to give it wheels and lifts the other...rolls easily! The sides are heavy but He lifts them easily. It's a little more work than a stationary walk-in coop and yard, but I like moving it around. Pics pn my BYC page...

    I should add that I live it northern heater needed, and it was fine in hot weather last summer.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  8. happyhens

    happyhens Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Thanks everyone! Since I already bought the plans, I think I'm going to go ahead and try it. I have 10 layers right now, but they are in a much bigger coop. The Catawba will be used either as a breeding pen for just a few chickens, or a grow out/ broody hen pen. I still would like to make it taller so there is more headroom though. And thats a good point about ventilation, I probably won't even be using it in the winter, so getting it ventilated shouldn't be too difficult.

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