Coop and run for 30ish chickens: what would you do?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Stormimay, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Stormimay

    Stormimay In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2014
    upstate South Carolina
    Well, much to my absolute shock, it looks like I will have $900 to build a coop and run for chickens in my yard within the next month or so. I built a coop two months ago, a ramshackle affair that even though it was ugly, I was sure was sturdy. It wasn't. It only takes one small flaw, and 14 of my 23 birds were killed in one night. So this time, with this unexpected blessing of money to rebuild, I want to do it absolutely right.

    So, um, how do I go about doing that? I want to make this money stretch as far as I can to make the the best coop ever for my chickens. I don't care if it's pretty, but it must be comfortable and safe. I want my chickens to have a large secure run. I am perfectly willing to use scavenged materials to stretch my budget, but will not cut corners on "impenetrable-ness." I have an old shed that I turned into a coop on my property already, and I'm trying to decide if it would be better to patch it up (that would be a LOT of patching) or just start from scratch. (in which case what do I do with my shed?) All building will have to be done by myself and my 14 year old son, with a lot of help/interference from my younger children. We don't have special tools, but we do have a circular saw and power drill. My ground is gravel and clay, for the most part; it used to be a parking/storage unit area. Grass is beginning to grow there. I would like to plant some hardy fruit trees and pest-repellent herbs in containers.

    Any ideas, suggestions, or even plans you can give me/point me too? I plan on filling this coop with 30 chickens, and maybe someday geese/turkeys/geese, and we are wanting to raise rabbits too so the more multipurpose it is the better. But my absolute limit money-wise is $900.

    I'm very excited. Thanks in advance for any inspiration you can offer!
  2. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    Well I might suggest that you plan on a 12 by 16 foot building, 10 by 14 could work but the lumber size favors the larger in this case. In most things chicken, bigger is better. Put the money into a good roof first, you can sheath the walls with most anything, even hardware cloth and use tarps in the cold weather if you need too. Decide on what type of floor you like, cement, wood, dirt, gravel or what have you. Dirt you most likely have, so build in a manner that you can put some gravel in there and at some point cement. You could even pour it in sections from hand mixed concrete, using your son to help. Or, just what ever works for you.

    I like cement best, I have dirt, wood, and cement. Or plan to put in a wood floor at some point down the road. Any and or all will and can work. Use what suits you best, and leave yourself a back door to upgrade. Everything other than a good roof can be upgraded as means allow, used windows or one or the other of the plastic materials work fine, plywood door or used. Tin on the roof, or shingles if you prefer one over the other.

    I don't usually advocate chicken wire, but if you had to, well, even if you only added a plywood or OSB sheet every two weeks, you could cover what you don't want to be open. Where you live I would look a making one or more sides open anyway.

    Anyway these are some of my thoughts on this, I hope within it you might find something useful.

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I've thought on this a little more over night and today, and since you were amenable to my prior suggestions I might venture a few more. When you frame the walls, plan and place all of the doors and or windows you may wish, but just sheath over them, with wire or OSB, etc. until such a time as you can put them in. It is easier to fill in a too big hole, than to have to cut the studs and mangle the section to get it in.

    I am building a new coop as well, and I was in Lowes today, in the roofing section. I saw something I did not know they even made still. Asphalt in rolls, about 3 feet in with funny little colored rocks embedded into the top layer. I have seen a fair amount of this from the 1950's and 1960's. It would or could make an ok roof for several years, if you wished to focus some of your funds elsewhere.

    Despite whatever setbacks you have suffered, you will make a fine keeper of birds,

  4. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Sound's like you're describing bitumen roofing. Super easy to install, pretty cost effective too. And as long as it's installed properly, and you keep leaves and pineneedles brushed off of it, I can tell you from experience that it won't leak for 20 years. We expanded our cottage at that point, and redid the roof, but it really would not have been necessary. It comes in rolls, that are the quickest to install, but also in different shingle designs.
    1 person likes this.
  5. jamesjr

    jamesjr In the Brooder

    Dec 5, 2014
    polk county fl
    Wow I wish I had that much for a coop lol. I use alot of recycled materials and end up only having to buy chicken wire but give me 50 bucks of sheet tin 100 bucks in wire some old fence panels and a few 4x4 and 2x4 my options are limitless also I have slowly broken down and rebuilt broken down and rebuilt alot of my stuff to only improve. With proper planing unlike what I do you wont have to do that lol. But to me building the coops and runs is half the joy of raising chicke s

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