Coop 2.0 - Nearly Complete

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tmarsh83, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The last ten days or so, as weather has allowed, I've been working on what I've been calling coop 2.0. I got my first four birds last September, and chicken math soon set in. I currently have 13 birds in the brooder with a coop for four birds. So here we are. I just wanted to share the build with you as I am quite happy with how it came together.

    The basic idea of the coop is an 8x12 structure with 8x4 area for humans, and 8x8 for birds.

    This was the start of the materials but not enough. It's never, ever, enough.
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    I'm not anchoring the coop as should I move, I want to take it with me. It should be able to be winched onto a trailer and transported, so I built up pilings for the corners and middle to rest on. The Rottweiler puppy was less help than you'd think.
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    The original plan was to stick build the entire thing, but the EZ-frames from Menards saved materials and the headache of the math of a gambrel roofline, which I preferred to gable because of the ability to add ventilation without it needing to be windows or doors that can allow in weather (more on that later). I had wind issues during construction, which meant setting 8' tall frames by myself was a chore, but I managed.
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    The golden retriever was even less help than the rott.
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    The frames suggest a 2' center, but they are also assuming you are using sheeting/shingles/siding. I opted for steel, so I went with 4' centers, but that is far too much span for the floors, so I did need to add in additional floor supports.
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    I used 1/2" treated plywood for the floors It's a little thin for the "human portion", but I have doubled it up in there, for the chicken portion, that will be holding chickens for 360 days of the year, I opted for the cost savings. It's still stable, just not as rigid as you would want for human traffic.
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    I mentioned ventilation. We get nasty wind and storms in northern Indiana, and between work and play we travel a fair bit, so I wanted a coop that provided adequate ventilation without relying on windows or doors that would let weather in, or that temporary caretakers had to worry about in our absence, (or even my wife in my absence really). Using steel on the gambrel style building allows for three major air flows that accomplish this. The eves, the roof break, and the ridge cap.

    The eves will be open with hardware cloth inserted to prevent birds from gaining entry. The ridgecap is gapped to allow airflow. I also added gable vents at both ends of the structure. These are fairly standard and could be accomplished with a gable roof as well. The gambrel however allows for ventilation at the roof break as well. I had two pieces of vented soffit in a garage attic that as it happens were a perfect fit for the bird section of the coop. I wrapped the roof break in this soffit, and allowed a longer than normal overhang from the upper roof segment to prevent rain from being blown back into the coop. We've had two windy rain storms since this was complete and it functions perfectly. Even on the two days there wasn't a breeze, I was amazed at how air flowed up and through the upper third of the structure. Mission accomplished.
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    Again, I mentioned travel earlier. Occasionally family members need to watch our birds for us, or we are gone for a long weekend. Even when it is just me that is gone, the birds are more my adventure than my wife's so I do my best to make it turnkey for my wife. Also, I hate wasted space. So when planning the dividing wall between the human and chicken portion I knew I needed to incorporate a bulk bunk feeder, but in only 8', with nesting boxes as well, where could it go. I decided the feeder would also be the door.

    This picture shows the front of the feeder, It swings off the vertical support for the nest boxes. I doubled this support to provide stability and also to allow for the door to swing. The wall is 2x4 lumber, while the feeder is 2x6, so I had to make allowances. It is right at 30" wide, and I estimate it will hold 75-100 pounds of feed. I plan to used feeders outside as well, but this is the primary.

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    From the human area. The front face is lifted and provides a natural funnel for pouring in feed. The latch is a standard stall door latch.
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    Feeder open looking into human area.
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    When the door is open, the bunk swings under the nesting boxes which overhang onto the floor space of the coop. I built rollout boxes so the eggs can be collected from the human portion. I plan to sell and give away eggs, and while I don't mind a dirty egg, I wanted to try to keep them clean. They still need carpet installed. They measure 12wx15d and overhang about 15" into the coop.

    I'm toying with, at least during warm times, a cup watering system that would hang on the yet to be installed hardware cloth, under the nest boxes.
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    Door closed. Angled roof on next boxes to discourage roosting.
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    A look from human area into chicken area from above the nesting boxes. The pop door is installed and functions with a pull string that goes into the human area. There is a stopper on top of the second perlin that prevents the door from coming out of the track. It's tough to see, but inside the 2x4 support on either side, I simply nailed a strip of plywood with 1/4" gap behind the door. This allows for it to travel easily, without binding, but not get mangled so it won't slide. The plan is to eventually install a motor on a timer. The door is 3/4" plywood and quite heavy. The door sits behind the perlins and the nailer on the bottom of the structure, so prying raccoon fingers can't get under the lip. It's also quite heavy.
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    The original plan called for a ladder style roost that hinged off the back wall for easy access when cleaning. That has been eschewed for the time being because I ran out of lumber needed to accomplish it. Also, you will notice that the top two roost bars sit basically at eve level. Any higher (as the ladder plan called for) would means birds are roosting above the primary inlet of air. I prefer this not be the case. Also, this allows for more roosting area at max height, hopefully reducing bickering. So we are going to try this for the time being.
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    The human area behind the nest boxes. Again, still need carpet and foam padding around the collection trough (5.5" deep) but it gives you idea. Each corner here has a small shelf as well, as the door in this end required support and bracing. Dual purpose construction. You can also see where I've doubled the plywood in the high traffic area.
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    Hanging steel is just hanging steel, so I left those images out, but here is the almost finished exterior. I used clear panels on the lower portion of the roof to allow for maximum light. This facing of the barn points south, so all available light will funnel into the coop. There are a couple pieces of trim to finish, and the run still needs built. It will be 12x20. It will also have a swinging lower half on the 12' facing to allow for a large door for ranging. But the coop is essentially done, and I wanted to share.

    Thanks for looking!
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for feedback...[​IMG]
     
  3. MamaChick0708

    MamaChick0708 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thats amazing!
     
  4. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Go Habs Go Premium Member

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    Beautiful coop, very well done. [​IMG]
    -Banti
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Some great design features in this coop.

    The human/chicken divider wall is great for egg gathering and storing supplies...tho I don't care for bunk/bin feeders.
    Is there a door between coop and storage area? Could put a feeder under nests and add a door.

    I love how you've built 'eave' ventilation midway in the gambrel roofline.....lack of higher ventilation always a distinct disadvantage of gambrels for coops.
    Tho 1/2"hardware cloth may have been more functional than the perforated soffit material.

    The clear panels for light is awesome....are they on both sides?
    Any concern with heat gain in summer with those panels?

    Are there any operable windows?

    Are floor joists 2x6?
     
  6. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The door actually is the feeder. It's on hinges. A cup watering system will be going under the nests.

    I was concerned with rain/snow blow in with the cloth. The soffit actually moves more air than I thought it would. I'm installing panels above the Eve's this week to reduce drafts, it will create more or a draw at the soffit as well because of the airflow being directed to the back side.

    Light panels just face south. Love the function. Hate the aesthetic. I don't have to look at south side but maxes interior light. They don't radiate heat like the metal does, and in the afternoon sunlight is filtered by trees to the west. I'm a little concerned but not overly. Airflow has been great. I'll add an interior panel to reduce radiation heat if need be. The door can be opened , but i didn't want Windows that we're going to let weather in. Plus the low walls make good placement an issue. There are two places I can add them if I need to but I'm hoping not to have to. It's why I built so much ventilation into the Eves, soffit, and peak.
     
  7. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry. Forgot the floor. The frames were 2x4. Not ideal. I doubled up the sheeting on the human side and it's fine. Eventually I'll double the other side as well. But my time on that side will be limited.
     
  8. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wanted to address the heat gain that was brought up earlier in this post as summer is drawing to a close and we've had some heat.

    On the very hottest of days, if the coop door was closed, the coop could be 5-7 degrees warmer than outside. With the coop door open, the different was negligible.

    The ventilation seems to be doing its job well, and as stated above, I like that there isn't anywhere for weather (rain/snow) to get in and cause wet bedding, etc.

    Overall, there is very little I would change about the coop to this point. I've not used the door/bunk feeder much, but may as winter sets in. We had such a dry summer I didn't often have to remove the outside hanging feeders. I was a little concerned about the roost setup, as it wasn't what I had envisioned when I started the process, but it has worked very well, so I won't be making any changes.

    I'm happiest with the roll-out nest boxes, and won't ever be going back to standard boxes. I didn't put as much slope in as some folks do, but rarely have to deal with a hung-up egg, and I haven't had the problems that some people report with getting the girls to use the boxes either.

    That's all, just wanted to update how the coop is working out. Hindsight is always 20/20, but a lot of good information from folks here took a lot of the guesswork out of this project.

    I'll be converting my old stilted coop to a ground level coop for a few ducks I think.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Great update.
    Whenever I see a gambrel roof shed, I think.... "they should do what these folks did"

    What is your climate?
    NEIN on giving your location, huh?
     
  10. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice looking coop and a nice size...roomy The 8x12 footprint is what I'm shooting for, though I'm planning on the full use of the area for chickens...it will be a simple shed roof type and I'm still debating the raised-floor/dirt-floor choice. [​IMG] I'm glad the venting is working out for you, so many people don't take this in to account in their construction phase and it is one of the biggest health impact aspects of poultry housing. I'm interested in that clear plastic that you're using...do you recall the brand and style that you used?...seem to be working out well?....any problem with it splitting at screw/nail holes?

    Looking at your coop build, though, I would be *very* cautious on moving it. I see several (4?) of your floor joists that look like they were spliced together and 4x8's are light-duty to start with for floor joists. The header/band boards that the floor joists are attached to are also undersized and would be small to drill a bolt-hole through for connecting a tow cable...there needs to be substantial wood to hook to. Before trying to move it I think I would want some 4x6 or at a minimum 4x4 skids/runners beneath and attached to it. In the meantime you might want to get a 4x4 and slide beneath it in the center to keep the flooring from sagging over time...gravity is relentless. Push a couple of bricks beneath the floor and wiggle, finagle the 4x4 on top of them...might have to *carefully* jack up the building a little to do that. If needed you needed to, you could cut a 4x4x12 in half and come in from each end. Getting some support in the center of the run of the floor (especially beneath the splices) would be good. What ever you do, don't get beneath the coop with it temporarily blocked/jacked up!

    Hmm, I just went back and looked at the pictures again. Seems the coop might be too low to squeeze a 4x4 and a brick beneath it. A better choice *might* be to get some solid 4" cement blocks and using a 2x4 piece of wood push the blocks at least beneath the spliced areas...might still need to jack up the coop a bit to do this. Paint the topside of the blocks with a heavy paint to keep from moisture wicking up through it to the wood...or, if you can, slide a piece of tin or tar/roofing paper between the block and wood (better way). Of course, I might be seeing things and those spots might not be splices...if not splices then just disregard my mutterings. [​IMG]

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     

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