Coop design input!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by OHchickens87, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. gtaus

    gtaus Crowing

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    My Coop
    No, not meant to be a new question just for myself. OP has drawn a chicken run in the design and others have suggested making it a covered chicken run.
     
  2. gtaus

    gtaus Crowing

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    My Coop
    Well, everything you say is true. A steep roof does not have to be as strong as a lower pitched roof. I noticed on your very nice coop page that it looks like you have a partially covered run, maybe 4x8 by the looks of it in the picture. If you keep the covered portion of the run small, it's not too complicated.

    OP lives in Ohio. I have been in Cleveland, Ohio only once, for a 2 week training program, but it was in the middle of winter during a blizzard. Lots of heavy, wet snow.
     
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I get lots of heavy wet snow too... and my duck coop, built with some good wood and some slightly rotted wood, has held up great. I just made the roof good and steep, and out of metal so it sheds snow easily.
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    What angle or pitch would you recommend?
     
  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Depends on the strength of the wood/construction used... and if you ever want to risk snow sitting on the roof.

    30 degrees or more is usually enough for a metal roof, but 45 is guaranteed to shed snow.

    With my duck coop made with some slightly rotted wood I made the roof about 45 degrees. It has held up beautifully for years now.
     
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  6. ellend

    ellend Songster

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    Vents: Think of wind whistling through at the end of January in Cleveland. You don't want their combs in that wind. Make sure your birds can stand comfortably on the roost when full grown, and still be shorter than where the vents start. Put the vents up as high as possible, imho. Make your run as large as you can.
     
  7. ellend

    ellend Songster

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    Jul 24, 2010
    cleveland, ohio
    Vents: Think of wind whistling through at the end of January in Cleveland. You don't want their combs in that wind. Make sure your birds can stand comfortably on the roost when full grown, and still be shorter than where the vents start. Put the vents up as high as possible, imho. Make your run as large as you can.
     
  8. ellend

    ellend Songster

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    I'm in Cleveland. My slide-out (pre-fab) is pretty useless; not deep enough to clear the poop, even when I'm using only a thin layer of sand as substrate. Also, I force weather stripping into it in cold weather to stop the drafts; ventilation at top--absolutely necessary. Drafts at bottom--bad for life. Likewise, exterior nest boxes are cold in winter, hot in summer. When building, I'd make them large enough to insulate all sides, bottom, & top. Insulation: make sure it is covered. Your birds will turn into geniuses when it comes to finding bits of insulation to eat. Substrate: do you have a place to compost large amounts of litter? If not, since you have nearby electric, you could install a Sweeter Heater, plugged into a plug ("Thermocube") that turns electric on around 30 degrees F. and off around 45 degrees. (They're not as accurate as the advertised 32 degrees, so don't count on it to keep your water from freezing.) If your coop doesn't go much below freezing (with the Sweeter Heater) you can do without the mess and expense of litter altogether, and just use 1/4 to 1/2" sand. It allows the poop to dry out, and produces and holds no moisture inside the house. Poop is easily scooped from the sand, just like a kitty litter box. The collected dry poop can be dropped into an empty chicken feed bag and eventually donated to a local community garden for their compost pile. To keep toes from freezing, make your roost bar flat (square, rather than round) about 1-1/2 or 2 inches. That keeps most of the foot under the feathers. (Do round off the edges a little bit, and sand them.) A coop door that opens outward to your yard (if they are to be allowed out for grass and bug chasing and fun) also helps funnel birds back into the run, and you can snap the door shut behind them before they decide to reverse and run back out! (Which of course they will, just when you are in a desperate hurry to lock them up.) TSC carries REAL Chicken Wire (not netting) which is 1/2 x 1" and very strong and predator proof. (Hardware cloth rusts really fast, in my opinion.) We use poultry netting in panels to cover the top of our run; cheaper, lighter (we have to move ours on occasion) and predators don't like to walk on top of suspended sagging netting--we watch the opossums walk around the frame of the panels. Our top panels are 6' high, and the run has impervious sides, so dogs can't jump onto it. Any areas that are impossible for you to get into, like under the chicken house, is where they will run to in order to stay out of your reach. Make those areas high enough that you can get a net in there if you need to. If I could have a solid roof over my run for winter, I would, since our snow drifts so much. As it is, I have a "playpen" attached to my henhouse: it's a very large cage turned on it's side, and Plexiglas fit into the frame over the wire on the sides, insulation under the floor mat, and Coroplast for a roof, to let light in. (My banties would not STEP in snow!) The roof to my purchased henhouse came off, and we made a framed wire top for summer, with coroplast over if (can be raised for ventilation) for summer, and I use plywood with coroplast for weather protection, for a winter roof. Insulation board can be sandwiched in between. (the rocks weighting down the coroplast look a bit....janky...but neighbors can't see it anyway... I use thin carabiners (cheap ones, even plastic) through hasps to secure the henhouse doors when I want to, and our pen door has a "lock" using a pvc pipe vertically, with two keyholes drilled into it (spaced almost 2' apart) that fit over two screw heads on the door frame. When we put the pvc piece (over 3' long) on, it clamps the door edge so that the bottom can't be pulled outward for anything like a raccoon or skunk to sneak in. Easy to open; just lift upward on the pvc pipe and it comes off the screw heads. Not hard to close, close the door wire over the frame with the screws jutting out, then line up the keyholes on the pipe with the screw heads, push the pipe over the screw heads, and pull the pipe a fraction on an inch down so the narrow slot of the keyhole slides downward over the shaft of the screw. Door is now "locked," wire clamped between the frame and the pipe. A side benefit is that if kids snuck into the yard, they'd have to figure out how to open the gate, since the pvc pipe looks and feels attached to the fence: The keyholes and screws can't be seen. Good luck with your design! You'll tweak it as you go; we all do.
     

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