Coop design. Pic heavy :>

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Anjeey, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Anjeey

    Anjeey Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2010
    Here are a few pictures of our chicken coop. Should be done soon. Just need the chicken wire...

    This is our first attempt. Have a group of five chickens--hopefully all hens--any suggestions to the design while in-progress? It will be painted with house paint and have wheels for portability. I wanted to give them a run so they can come out in the morning before I let them out to free range in my yard.

    Dimensions are approx. 8' long x 4' wide x 3 1/2' tall--is this adequate for five chickens? If so, can I add a couple more if I choose to in the future? Keep in mind that they will be out in a large backyard for the majority of the day.

    Thanks in advance. Happy Chickening...? [​IMG]

    [​IMG] -- side view. There will be chicken wire on the bottom of the actual coop part, along with a layer of hay. Figured this would give ventilation and be easy to clean. There will not be enough of a gap for any animal to get under there -- and I plan to use sturdy wire. Run will be entirely enclosed with chicken wire(not the bottom) and I'm going to extend the roof and sides a bit more with wood near the front of the coop. I read that a solid corner is needed in case something tries to grab at them when they run into the corners.
    [​IMG] --inside view I'm going to sand the roosts a bit so there won't be any uncomfortable corners on their feet. Nest box is an old milk crate that I will slightly modify and attach to the coop walls. Probably will saw the front down a bit so they can jump in easily. There will be a finishing board placed on the front so only the pop-hole will be opened. Will put a ramp up to the nest box for easy access.
    [​IMG]--other side. The top will be attached to hinges so I can swing the whole thing open to grab the eggs in the morning. Same with the front of the run.
    [​IMG]--this is a temporary play yard for them until they get a little bigger. They spend around four hours a day outside now. They really seem to enjoy it. They are a little big for their brooder now.
    [​IMG]--peek-a-boo! Heh, just threw this one in for fun.

    Updates will follow.
    Another thanks for advice. [​IMG]
     
  2. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] looks great!
    When you say "chicken wire" you mean "hardware cloth", right? [​IMG]
    chicken wire is only good for keeping the chickens in, not so good at keeping predators out.
    You need minimum of 20 sq. ft for your coop and 50 sq ft for your run for 5 ladies, but since we are doing math....you had build a couple more because of chicken math!
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    I suggest you use welded wire (sometimes called hardware cloth) rather than chicken wire. Welded wire is stronger and more resistant to predators. Chicken wire will keep your chickens in but won't keep many predators out. They ought to call it "chicken death wire," which would be a more accurate description.

    The usual rule of thumb you read is 4 square feet per chicken of indoor space, plus 10 square feet per chicken of outdoor run. Your setup will be giving five chickens considerably less space than that; you may end up with problems from overcrowding. I certainly would not be thinking about putting even more chickens into this space. Even if the chickens are only spending nights in the covered coop part, once your chickens are full grown they're going to be seriously crowded in there, with hardly any room to turn around, or even to hop down from the roost. Figure about a foot of width per bird on the roost, with enough space between the roost so that the chickens have at least a foot of room laterally as well.

    It also looks to me like it would be difficult to clean out the area under the roosts, which you plan to cover with hay. Night time droppings build up very fast and that area under the roosts will get very nasty very quickly if you don't have a way to clean it out easily. Have you considered using a poop board or tray?
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  4. Anjeey

    Anjeey Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2010
    Yeah, I will use the heavy stuff...just didn't know what it was called other than 'chicken wire'. And yeah I know it's a bit small, but I wanted it to be easily movable so I can roll it under our patio in rainy weather.

    I am up at around 7am every morning (or rather, my toddler is -.-) and that is the time I will go outside to open their run for the day.

    This isn't their permanent home--just where they will roost for the night. I have a huge fenced-in backyard that will be their world until they decide to go back in for the evening. I just wanted to give them a little run, so they can leave the coop in the morning before I let them out for the day. Should I still extend it? Or is this adequate for sleeping arrangement?

    If anything, it was easy enough to build so this can house them temporarily if and when we build a bigger one.

    Here are some pictures of my backyard--is it big enough for five chickens? We have no other pets, and other than the occasional cat, no predators.
    [​IMG]--there is a long dog run on either side of the house as well.
    [​IMG]--this area drops down into a hill. At the bottom is where we will have the compost heap.

    So this is their world with the coop at night for sleeping. All together will it be good enough, or should I plan on building a larger coop?
     
  5. Orchid

    Orchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    I hate to say this...but...unless you're going to fence it off, that pretty deck and patio and swing are all going to be covered with chicken poo, and your potted plants are going to be decimated, if you allow them free run of your yard. [​IMG]
     
  6. Anjeey

    Anjeey Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2010
    Hrmmmm...mkay.

    Good good. So, seems like a good idea to pen off part of the yard for ze chickens. Can do. I still have time so all this is good advice. Please, keep it coming.

    Thank ya thank ya...
     
  7. Orchid

    Orchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    I'm so glad I didn't offend you! I just remember one of my relatives trying to free range chickens in their rather small yard, and um....let's just say it wasn't pleasant to walk through the yard, never mind trying to sit out anywhere in it! [​IMG]
     
  8. hudsonhousechicks

    hudsonhousechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm with elmo on the hardware cloth. If I had one thing to do over on our coop it would be to use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. The coop will be great with wheels though; you'll be able to move it around the yard.
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
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    Quote:If it is at all possible, I'd try to give them 4 square feet per bird of coop space. The way you have it now, the coop space can't be much more than about 12 square feet, right? That's less than 2.5 square feet per bird. Kinda tight quarters, especially if there's bad weather and they end up having to spend the day in there.

    One thing you could do is put what you've built up on legs and enclose all of it. Then down below could be the "run" part. You'd have room to move those roosts wider apart, more room for the nestbox, etc. Design it so that one whole side wall opens up for easy access and cleaning. Honestly, I think both you and your chickens will be much happier with more space.
     
  10. Hen Mistress

    Hen Mistress Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2010
    I should also think your weather would impact how much time they will spend in the actual coop. If you are cold, rainy or snowy, they may not get enough forage time and need more protected coop area. Nice workmanship on what you have there.
     

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