Construction of our cold weather chicken coop...pictures too!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by salsss, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. salsss

    salsss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2016
    Adirondacks, NY
    We live in the Adirondacks, and got our six chicks at TSC. Right away I knew we'd want more (as always! ) and my husband started to build a 6x8 coop, with a 16x10 run. Here's what happened first..we had to get more help to get it all anchored while standing up!

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    Soon, we got to this: the ground is so impacted he could not dig it out properly....so he dug trenches to level the coop. We get huge frost heave here and find that floating structures work well. We actually tested this theory at our last house with a large deck.

    Here's the frame:
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    And some walls...we buried the run base 4x4's in a trench as you can see.[​IMG]

    By the way, this is why we are building a new coop: this little thing would never survive the winters or visitors up here!
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    Also, back in the basement...
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    Back to the yard...constructing run walls, painting and attaching hardware cloth.
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    Future nest boxes.
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    Big clean out doors.
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    Progress.. You can see the vents cut across the top. Hardware cloth to attach next!
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    Automatic door from ADORSTORE. Love it!!
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    Meanwhile, the pressure grows!
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    Walls are up, more hardware cloth to attach. Pullets aren't laying yet but we need to get "the littles" out of the basement! So we covered the holes up where the boxes will go. Also the tarp is there until the real roof goes over the wooden one on the coop part.

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    He made me a rolling poop deck so I can easily clean everything! We did lower the roosts before winter.
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    Roof supports going on... hardware cloth apron going in.

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    The Littles (8 weeks old) have to leave the basement! So they live with the big girls, who are about 16 weeks old. Look but don't touch!
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    Roof is on, ramp is up. Even though we have more work to do on the windows etc. the girls are enjoying their new home.
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    The small red run is for the Littles to hide under when the big girls chase them. Which they do.
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    The littles enjoy the run to themselves while the big girls free range with our supervision.
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    Nest boxes--4 of them. The big girls are laying now! Plywood standing up provides another hiding place for the littles!
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    The paving stones went over the hardware cloth to keep it down. Henry got big by now! And the big girls love him!
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    Today's picture from the WiFi surveillance camera I got for my birthday! The ladder is to remove snow with the roof rake. and those are shower curtains to keep the wind out.
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    Technology: more in another post, but we have wireless tags in the run, coop, water bucket with nipples, and outside the coop. I know by looking at my phone how it's going in there.

    My son gave us some Wemo switches so I can remotely schedule and turn things on and off from the house. We have a light, bucket heater for the water, a camera inside the coop with sound, and a flat panel heater attached to a door. (our winter temps can go to -35 and I will want to help the chickens heat the place then!)

    There is light fiberglass insulation between the walls of the coop, and some reflective bubble insulation on the ceiling and nest boxes.

    I give them 9 hours of light...I know it's not much but they are all laying--I get 10 eggs a day from 13 hens: 4 Golden Comet, 6 Easter Eggers, and 3 Cream Legbars.

    They will not step on the snow...I let them do what they want,. They seem happy!

    We have deep litter --chopped straw and pine chips in the coop, and chopped straw in the run for wintertime. In the summer I'll compost it all. Our eggs are mostly clean if we keep layering this.

    Hope you like it...
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Melrose Park Illinois
    SOOOOOOOOO MANY PIX. How wonderful. It looks like you did your homework well. The craftsmanship looks supreme. [​IMG].
    What more can I add... Oh yes... WISHING YOU BEST. [​IMG]
     
  3. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Love love love the rolling poop tray. OMG! what a great idea! Lot of good planning here tells me you did your homework and more. Someday post separately your techie advances...that is worth a whole 'nother thread!

    Also fabulous is the pavers OVER the hardware cloth for security!

    Do you feel predator proofed? In the Adirondacks? I have input on a simple electric fence for coop and run if you are interested! I have bears and everything else, and no invasion whatsoever!
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  4. salsss

    salsss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2016
    Adirondacks, NY
    Quote: My husband is the planner...this is his first large project in carpentry; that's not his line of business!

    When we got that bear (plus a few raccoons) at the little coop, we put together a small electric perimeter fence--the bear never returned, and the raccoons didn't spend much time there either.

    I'm mostly worried about the ermine--because they can get into such small spaces, and are around all winter. The previous owners of this house had lost a flock to one, which is why I wouldn't use the chicken coop already here. I couldn't find the space it gained access through.

    Coyote/fox--no problem with this coop, I hope. But if any predator starts hanging around, I'll electrify the outside of the run at night. I have the wire and a charger. Bears have gone to sleep for a few months, we will worry more in the spring.

    Every morning I check for footprints, and have a game camera pointed at the coop to see who the visitors are.

    Of course I know the day will come where we lose someone... :(
     
  5. BoyankaTheBuff

    BoyankaTheBuff Out Of The Brooder

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    Minneapolis, MN
    This is so gorgeous! Good work. Especially giving consideration to the different needs of each group of birds. I love the look of the continuous translucent roof across the coop and the run.

    That photo of the bear though! [​IMG]

    You mentioned lowering the roosts for winter. I am learning about roost setups right now, and I'm curious about why you did that.
    Thanks!
     
  6. salsss

    salsss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2016
    Adirondacks, NY
    We lowered the roosts so the vents would be higher than the chickens. The vents were as high to the ceiling as we could get them-as it turns out, I have the vents closed around the roosts anyway, and keep the ones farther away open a little.

    The temps are going into the single digits tonight--it's 15 degrees outside, and the inside of the coop is 27 degrees. No supplemental heat. So far so good...
     
  7. bigfoot11

    bigfoot11 Just Hatched

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    Dec 5, 2016
    That looks fabulous! I like the idea for the poop deck! Might have to use that one if you don't mind!!

    Awesome craftsmanship and congrats to the chicken life!!
     
  8. pioneerchick816

    pioneerchick816 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Wow!! That's awesome! All the electronic "gadgets" are cracking me up. I bet it saves lots of trips out in the cold though. They are safe & snug in heir sweet set up [​IMG]
     
  9. KrisCVT

    KrisCVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    MA
    Superb. Great design there!
     
  10. fireredcannon

    fireredcannon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where in the Adirondacks are you? And I'm might have drawn conclusions but what TSC did you get cream legbars from ???
     

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