Coop Design in Southeast Georgia

Aug 19, 2019
148
292
126
Statesboro, GA, USA
So FINALLY, we have completed my ideal coop! Kinda. I do have a few details to finish (paint nesting boxes, add more roosts, sew curtains for bottom nesting boxes, etc), but it's functional and usable!

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Total cost: roughly $1000
Dimensions: 12' x 16' x 7'
Time to build: 5 weeks with two people. My husband works full-time, I have days I can't move due to Fibromyalgia, and we have two children that are demanding, so you can probably get it done faster. 😂

Design: I wanted something permanent and sturdy that could double as shelter for goats in the future, if I decided to move the chickens. Winter's are mild here, but summers are extremely hot and humid, so I wanted something with good air flow. For predators, we have foxes, snakes, and hawks in our immediate area, so safety was a large factor in design.

These are only meant to house chickens at night and to provide shelter for laying eggs, eating, and drinking. For now, they free range during the day, but pastures with chicken tunnels (for easier pasture rotation) will be added beginning this week. Each side can hold up to 48 standard chickens per side, but I'd like to keep it no higher than 35 per side. I still have a coop for up to 8 that I plan to use as my extra rooster "bachelor pad", so I can vary genetics every six months or so. Or figure out which ones belong in the pot. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Chicken tractors will also be built to grow out chicks and young pullets.

Construction:
We placed 6 4x4x10's two feet in the ground. Four corner posts, then two in the middle of the 16' sides. On the back left corner, we hit what we *thought* was a water line. Turns out, we hit a tree root that had hollowed out and ground water was rushing through it. None of us had ever seen anything like it! Unfortunately, this caused some grief. The hole we had dug was completely filled with water, and we couldn't get it to stop. I ended up running to Lowe's and buying a concrete tube form and two bags of 80 lb concrete mix.
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We placed the post in the center of the form in the hole, placed dirt around the outside of the tube, and filled the center with both bags of mix. We didn't add water, because we obviously had plenty. We supported the post, and left it only for three days before covering the concrete with dirt or doing any excessive hammering.

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We added 2x6's along the top and bottom, hardware cloth along the outside a foot out, and additional 2x4's to frame out the doors and add support on the 12' sides. More 2x4's we're added 2 ft and 4 ft from the ground. We have 1/2 in hardware cloth nailed and stapled along the bottom, and poultry wire on the top half.

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The roof is supported by 2x4 beams two ft apart, and 1x4s (untreated) running across every 18 inches. The roof is galvanized metal, and we used metal screws with rubber washers.

The doors are pretty standard, but they were awful to put together, and that's all I want to say about it. 😅 We did do larger exit doors for the girls, because I like big butts, and I cannot lie. I wanted to make sure it was easy for them to run into in case of a hawk nearby.
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The nesting boxes are made from treated 1/2 inch plywood, held together by screws. The back is supported by 2x4s running horizontally, and the bottom is supported by 4x4 blocks. A bar was put in front of the top row to prevent the girls from flying in and breaking eggs. They will be painted for aesthetic, and curtains will be added on the bottom boxes for privacy. We had discussed doing a slanted roof at the top, but I decided I wanted to add a roosting bar across the top, and leave sand on the top for easy cleaning.

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Speaking of roosts, I started to get concerned about cost, so I cut down some small trees around the property, sanded down the rough spots, and divided them into sections. Sturdy, thick parts of the tree with strong branches are used to support the center of the roosts, larger parts are the bottom roost (2 ft high), and the thinner parts are the top roosts (4 ft high).

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Let me know if you have any questions!
 
Aug 19, 2019
148
292
126
Statesboro, GA, USA
Looks good! I'd lay a egg there if I were a chicken! :D :thumbsup Where will they roost at night? Is it protected from blowing rain? I know in the south we get lots of thunder storms.

The roost on top of the nesting boxes (soon to have an official roosting bar above it) which is protected from blowing rain, and the other roost is in the corner (where the tree branch is) which is not protected from blowing rain. My hens aren't finicky about the rain, though, and it'll be covered by a tarp in the winter. 😊
 
Aug 19, 2019
148
292
126
Statesboro, GA, USA
Looks great!
I love seeing a tiny prefab dollhouse coop in the background of a larger structure being built!! That little coop may come in handy for adding chicks later, will it fit thru the door of the new 'coop/run'?

Thank you! The smaller coop won't fit through the door, but it'll be moved into the pastures, so it'll be close by. 🙂

Great pic, love me some SLW!

I do, too! I'm thinking I should add 2-20 more. 😂
 

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