Coop design so easy a girl can do it?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LuvMyRoo, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. LuvMyRoo

    LuvMyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello, we are new to chickens and my husband has made it clear they are my deal. We just have one roo and he safely roosts in the barn, but my son (5 yo) and I think chicken coops are cool and want to build one. We might add about 4-6 hens in the spring. I would really like to impress dear hubby by not asking for his help, so I will ask for your's instead :)
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    You really don't appreciate how hard this is to respond to. You could write many books on this topic. I certainly don't buy it that because you are a girl you'll have problems. I've worked construction. Girls are not limited in what they can do unless they want to be.

    I suggest first you decide on what you want the coop to do. What is your criteria? How will you manage the chickens? Will they be locked up most of the time or free range? Will you have a run? What are your winters and summers like? Will you be hatching chickens? How pretty does your coop need to be? In suburbia especially that can be really important.

    I'll give you three articles that might help. I think the ventilation and muddy run articles should be required reading for anyone building a coop. The cold weather one may or may not apply to you. Heat is usually more dangerous than cold for chickens, but if you live where it regularly gets way below zero Fahrenheit, cold might be a concern.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Ventilation Page
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION

    Pat’s Cold Coop (winter design) page:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-winter-coop-temperatures

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-fix-a-muddy-run

    Space is a huge issue. I've never heard of anyone complaining about having too much space. Chickens have died because of having too little space. In spite of what you read on this forum, there is no magic number for how much space you need. How much space you really need depends on your individual chickens and flock makeup, your climate, and especially on how you manage them. I find the more space I give them, the fewer behavioral problems they have and the less hard I have to work. If they have access to a lot of space whenever they are awake, they really don't need much coop space. However, if they cannot get outside when they are awake due to weather or your management techniques, the coop needs to be bigger. I encourage you to build it bigger than you think you need it and provide more roost space than you think you need so you have flexibility in case you want to hatch chicks or need to respond to a problem.

    Once you decide on what you want the coop to do, you have many options. You can get a prefabricated building at Lowe’s or Home Depot. You can get a kit from a lumber yard or maybe a hardware store to build your own. Those are actually pretty easy. You can get a book on building sheds from your library or maybe Home Depot or Lowe’s. A coop is just a shed with ventilation, roosts, and nest boxes. There are designs in the coop section at the top of this page.

    You can build it out wood, metal, plastic, or in many climates mostly out of wire. The number of options is just tremendous. The good part is that the chickens really don’t care. Humans are the ones that care, not the chickens.

    I don’t know if this helps or not. I’ve probably made this sound more complicated than it is. What you want to do is certainly doable. Your son can get some good experiences from this. I really wish you luck.
     
    3 people like this.
  3. LuvMyRoo

    LuvMyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I do appreciate how complex this is, my thread title is sort of a joke. I am leaning towards the prefab designs. Great articles, thank you!
     
  4. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Don't let being a girl get in your way!

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. nissa_loves_cats

    nissa_loves_cats Chillin' With My Peeps

    For about 100 dollars I've bought second-hand calf hutches of heavy plastic to use for chicken coops (and sheep/goat housing). I put in an old sawhorse for a roost (when I want to bother with roosts) and old covered cat litter boxes for nests. Right now I've got 14 hens sharing one calf hutch and there is room for more (they have an outdoor run made of cattle panels (stock panels) covered with chicken wire.)
     
  6. justdeb1107

    justdeb1107 Out Of The Brooder

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    This past week my friend, Erika, and I built a coop from scratch. I had never built anything in my life! I got a copy of, "Building Chicken Coops for Dummies" and we went for it. You can do it, though it will take longer if you've never done it before. My biggest advice would be to use a power drill and star deck screws to put it together. When you use the star head screws they won't strip like a Phillips head screw, the box contains the bit you use to put them in, you won't need a pilot hole drilled, and (best of all) you can easily take them out if you make a mistake. This coop cost $300 to build. You could do it for much less (probably $200) if you don't use pressure-treated lumber, but I didn't want to go to all the trouble and have it rot apart. Gender has nothing to do with construction ability, but women are generally not taught basic building skills in our society. I promise you if we could do it, you can!

    Here is our coop:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  7. justdeb1107

    justdeb1107 Out Of The Brooder

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    P.S. My hubby said the same thing about our flock. He doesn't mind me having them, but he's not going to be out there feeding, either. Additionally, he's NOT the builder type, so we were on our own. It really was fun, and I am super proud of the coop we built, even if it's not perfect. :)
     
  8. feather13

    feather13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Go for it! I bought a cheap coop and small run off eBay (it was an auction item) that came in pieces that were easy to assemble. It didn't get good reviews, but it was easy to assemble in a few hours with a power drill (every woman should own one of these wonder tools!) I put wood stain on it and really like it. All the other hardware came with it, so I didn't have to run around finding screws and such.

    I put the coop up on an old wooden door supported by four concrete blocks so it would be easy to access (that took all of five minutes!) Then I enclosed everything with a used dog run I purchased cheaply from craigslist and used a tarp, hardware cloth, and zip ties to secure the top. I found a mesh screen in the garage that I use on the sides to provide some shade. Then I put rocks around the sides of the coop to secure it from predators (5 minutes max and your 5 year old could help you). I definitely needed help with the dog run since it came unassembled, but that's what friends are for. I'm still working on the design and aesthetics (don't like the look of the tarp and have since trimmed the zip ties and added hardware cloth to the door after a possum came in and killed a chicken), but the whole thing was pretty cheap and easy to assemble.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Joe Jordan

    Joe Jordan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hardest part is starting. Once you do that its just all up to finishing it. THAT, seems to never be complete. (lol) :)
     
  10. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    I found this on youtube

     

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