Coop Advice for a Major Planner!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by swedishfish, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. swedishfish

    swedishfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi!

    I've got 12 chickens right now, 7 Black Wyandottes and 5 Buff Brahmas. Currently I've got a broody Brahma so I'm hoping there will be more on the way! (I'm excited!)
    This summer I am planning to make a fantastic coop, because the old one I have now has been up for a super long time, back when my brother kept quail, chuckers and pheasants. It is falling apart thanks to mice and one silly mule who likes to think she should be a chicken.
    I plan on salvaging the metal roofing and some of the wood, but would love ideas of how to make do with junk in my garage because I'm on a low budget. I want my chickies to have lots of sun, so I need ideas of how to make windows without glass that won't be too breezy!
    My mother wants the coop to be cute. My dad wants it to be practical (he actually just wanted to fix the old one, but we tried that last year and it hasn't worked to well)
    So, I need a mix of the two. I have tried sketching out some plans but am not the best architect (although I'd like to be, that sounds like a fun job). I'll post my sketches soon, but would like some advice on what needs to be in every coop and how it should be for maximum happiness. I was thinking a bit of a silo shape would be fun, but would love some other ideas that aren't too crazy. I want to keep my Brahmas and Wyandottes separate too so I need to make one coop that has two different rooms.

    Thanks!
    Sorry I ask so many questions! I just want my chickies to be happy and safe!
    You are all amazing!
    Oh! P.S. I live in Utah. It's got a crazy combination of desert and great snow. What accomidations do I need to make for that?
     
  2. Dr.Doorlock

    Dr.Doorlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please accept my invitation to see my coop. I believe I have focused on convenience and accesibility. Today i closed them out of the coop and gave the whole thing a good washing with the bottom out, loaded the nest boxes with pine shavings and dusted the whole thing with DE. Then when they were later closed in the coop, I dusted the run.

    Tomorrow my spoiled girls will wake up to a hanging seed bell. I had to put it up so they would go in their coop tonight.

    While your at my off-site (El Ranchita De Gallena), you may want to take a look at the movies. May as well have some fun.
     
  3. swedishfish

    swedishfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks Doc! I like the glasses you made for them, were they to stop the pecking did you say? I also like the slideout bottom of your coop. You've got a ton of good ideas! thanks a lot! I'll be roaming around looking for plastic glove displays now! [​IMG]
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Silo shape? So, are you thinking more than 1 floor? Sounds like it could be a cute addition in some yards.

    I have a coop adequate for my 4 hens but picked up a used fence gate last year for a planned portable coop. The "plan" is to use the gate as a false front to a fairly simple and small coop and pen. The idea is that the cedar fence boards would create the look of an Old West building with a false front. You know the look - the saloons, dry goods stores, sheriff's offices, etc. in the Westerns.

    Of course, a false front would only have a front on one of its sides. The structure behind may look more like a "box" [​IMG]. But this might make use of your existing shed materials in an acceptable way.

    Steve
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    The best way to proceed if you want to use all salvage is to make an inventory of what all you've got, and base your plans on THAT. Otherwise you're almost certain to wind up attached to an idea you haven't the right materials for.

    Round silo shape is going to be challenging to build, you might want to stick to versions of a cube or rectangular box [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. swedishfish

    swedishfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Haha, thanks! I wasn't thinking like a real silo I guess, just octagonal, one floor. Nothing too dramatic. I just don't like boxes. [​IMG] I'll look through what I have sitting around and what I can salvage. I went out to get eggs today and found that my chicken-mule had attacked again![​IMG] I don't think much will be left by the time she's done. I think I'll put the new coop next to my garden and take it out of the pasture. Thanks for the advice guys!
     
  7. swedishfish

    swedishfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    took me forever to figure out how to put my pictures on here![​IMG]
    I don't have the measurements figured out quite yet, but figured a foot could be 2 squares, so 4 squares would be one square foot. And I realilze that would make a pretty big coop, but am scared to make it too small. Hope you can understand my drawings! Do you think it will work okay, and where and how should I scale it down? do you get the shape now? I've alluded to where the runs will be on the arial view.

    Other fun ideas:
    use a rundown camping trailer - if I can find someone who's willing to give theirs up
    giant chicken
    outhouse
    teepee (or TP as in toilet paper, I don't know. My sister was just naming off random ideas)
    use old shopping carts from my family grocery store - I could probably get some pallets and other stuff to use too [​IMG]
    I'll make a few visits to the resale store and see what they've got to offer too.

    Thanks for your help again!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Have you worked out how you will frame out the walls, and do the rafters and roof. It will be a bit more obnoxious than you are probably thinking, to produce a strongly tied together structure. It can be done of course, but as a Challenge, not a gimme [​IMG]

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  9. swedishfish

    swedishfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've tried to figure out the roof and think it will be a little difficult, but I think I'm up for the challenge. Of course, I can change my plans without feeling too bad. As long as it doesn't look like I threw it together in a day I'll be happy. I just like to feel like I have a plan of what to do. Basically it's because my chickens are one of my stress relievers and whenever I feel like I'm inadequate I go out and take care of them to prove to myself that I can do things and that I'm important to somebody. [​IMG]
     

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