Coop Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by EricaLee, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. EricaLee

    EricaLee Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all. I am new to chickens, we've had goats in the past but this is a whole new ball game. I have 6 pullets, they are all for now still in the brooder since they are just about 4 weeks old. We have been working diligently on the coop and I've run into a couple questions that I need more experienced people to help me with. So I have attached a picture of our coop and run, it is in total 5'5" wide x 10' Long x 3" tall. I bought a coop in a box as the starting point and then we built a run. Now that we are in the final stages of set up (getting the run attached to the coop and all locks in place) when I get roosting poles and such in the run I am baffled as to where to put the food. It needs to stay dry and looking at my set up I don't know where that will be. We have a PVC set up for the feeder (I posted a picture of what I plan to do below as well) Any ideas of how we should set it up? Should I build some type of mini food shelter within the run? We plan to so a self watering chicken nipple system as well. I'm just concerned now that my set up it too open for them leaving little to no shelter from the rain, we plan to tarp 1/2 of it in in the winter months but open in the summer months, we are in NC. Also, am I going to regret not being able to walk in, I feel like I might be regretting that seeing so many others with walk in coops? It's already really done so not sure I can even go back on that now. My husband made it top opening when I thought I was clear I wanted a side door, am I going to regret that as well? I guess I'm just looking for some help as to how this will all flow when in use. Thanks for the help form a new chicken momma!

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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Youi could build a dry box for the feeder. Another thought would be to put wire around the base of your coop and include that as part of the run. You could put the feed down there. It would also increase the size of the run and provide a shady place in the summer. Maybe some solid sides instead of wire to keep rain from blowing in and to increase the shaded area. That cover helps but rain, snow, and sun come in from the sides too.

    Either the dry box at one part of the run or boxing in underneath the coop should work and solve several issues.

    One problem you might have with that type of feeder is that rainwater may run down the outside of the pipe and get your feed wet. I’d think if you put some type of collar around the bend, maybe nothing but a few wraps of duct tape, to stop the water from running down into the feed.
     
  3. EricaLee

    EricaLee Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2012
    I will look into some dry box ideas, I have plenty of plywood laying around so I for sure can build something, it's just what to build that had me stumped. The coop has wire all around it do you think that sufficient or should I cover another area of the run? I could make that area below the coop solid for sure if that would help! Thanks for the insight on the feeder, I hadn't thought about that. I was trying to user the best "feed from outside the coop" idea I could.

    Here is a close up of the coop under area, it's been 80's here so letting them play outside for a bit here and there
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  4. PapaBear4

    PapaBear4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote: You’re right on the edge of big enough for 6 hens. It’s certainly doable, but you will need to be an involved and attentive Flocker. Watch them for at least a few minutes every day so that you notices behavior changes before they become problems. Add/Change bedding regularly, you can tell by the smell.

    Quote: The picture you posted didn’t show it very well, how much ventilation does it have? Box coops tend to need more, especially if you’re in a warm climate. Doubly so if your stocking density (chickens per square foot) is high, and it sounds like yours is.

    Quote: If you’re going with that design for the feeder you will for sure need something to keep the rain out. Maybe put a roof or tarp over the section of the run that it will be under?

    Quote: I have used both and each has its ups and downs. My experience with the watering nipples is that you get what you pay for. Buying the cheap ones may cost you more in the long run.

    Quote: Chickens don’t mind rain so much. You may want to consider tarping it off in the summer as well to provide shade. Chickens can withstand wet a whole lot better than heat.

    Quote: Don’t worry about it. More accessible is generally better, true. But it’s not worth rebuilding. See how you like what you’ve built and make changes when you start version 2.0.

    Quote: Either way you’ll have to crawl in there if you need to get at anything in the furthest corner. I prefer top open to side. Top opening makes it easier to get in and out of it in my mind.

    Quote: You’re doing great! Keep moving forward and asking good questions. You’ll probably love having hens and may want more in the future. As you raise these 6 up and take care of them. be taking mental (or written) notes about what works for you and what doesn’t so that when the time comes you can make good improvements.

    Welcome to BYC!
     
  5. EricaLee

    EricaLee Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for the feedback. SO much helpful info there! After a ton of stress yesterday and just thinking about logistics, food, water, shade, everything I decided to ditch the storebought coop all together and sell it locally to recoop my $$. I don't like it, it's too small, it's ugly, I don't like how it looks or flows. It's only 2'x2' inside the coop itself and that is just not gonna fly, not with 6 birds, there is only 24" of roosting space in there. So after pitching a huge enough hissy fit to get my husband to build me what I want, we are now well on our way to something MUCH more practical, maybe a little on the large side but I wasn't going to risk being too small again. So my NEW coop is now 8 feel long by 4 feet deep and sits about 6 feet high with a slope to the back. I will enclose the bottom with hardware cloth like my run so they will have all that shaded space underneath. I think I will be much happier this way, not only do they have 50sqft run, they have a 32sqft coop. I will have a full height front door 24" wide to get in and clean and I will have an additionalside access to get to the side where the nesting boxes will be the full length of the width. I think the ramp to go to the run will come from under the house, not totally sure till we get the old coop out of there and the new one against the run. I think I'm happy... think... LOL. We shall see when it comes together.

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  6. PapaBear4

    PapaBear4 Out Of The Brooder

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    I think you made a wise decision. I didn't realize the inside of store coop was so small! Now you'll even have room to expand, which is usually a good idea. Best of luck!
     
  7. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "I think the ramp to go to the run will come from under the house"
    If it's not to late, you will be happier with the ramp (pop door) coming from the side of the coop that is attached to the run. This way you won't have a hole in your floor, with the bedding falling through and your chickens won't be navigating the ramp in the floor. Also you won't loose any coop space.
     
  8. EricaLee

    EricaLee Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2012
    It is not too late! Thank you for the feedback! The only reason we were thinking of doing that is how high the new coop is compared to the run we already built. Once I get them next to each other we will have a better idea of if we have enough space for a side door. I could always build the run up higher too so that it will work.
     
  9. EricaLee

    EricaLee Out Of The Brooder

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    So this is where we are at! I still need to add a couple of windows and bury hardware cloth, but all in all I'm WAY happier with this than that store bought box coop. We also need to get the permanent feeder/water made, right now they are still using the one from the brooder box. I also need to get the roosting poles in there and nesting boxes too. I think they are super happy. I just knew I'd never be happy with that tiny box coop. I also had a bunch of plywood we repurposed, so I sold that box coop for $150 and was able to build this one for $175, so for $25 more I got a 32sqft coop. I don't LOVE the paint, but when you're thrifting you can't be too picky! It was on the return rack for $9.
     

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