1. fachento

    fachento Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2009

    I'm new around here - but I've always had a fascination with birds. We kept chickens as I was growing up on the farm, and when I graduate and get a place of my own (conditions permitting) I'd love to have some birds again. I kept chickens before, I think I'd like to try pheasants in the future. I love the look of Amherst Pheasants, Golden Pheasants, etc.

    It may be years before I'll be able to do this, but I figured I'd do what I could. So, I've been working out some designs that I originally sketched out in 2002. I put it into Google Sketchup (cool and free design program). And I got the following.



    I've never built a coop of my own - just helped my dad build his. I've seen a few coops here and there, more for chickens than for pheasants, though. I'm not sure what design principles to include here, so I've tried to err on the side of safety.

    Any improvements you guys would make, right off the batt? Something else you'd put on?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Welcome to the forum. Glad you are here.

    This thread is a sticky at the top of the coop construction section. It may help you.


    I don't personally do pheasants, just chickens, so I'll leave most comments to the experts and some of mine may be wrong.

    A couple of things I would do for chickens. I'd add a people door (gate) directly to the run(s). I find it handy to not have to go through the coop to get to the run. I like the extended overhang over part of the run. You can feed under that and give them some shade. That's where I'd put the run gate so you can enter the run where it is a little drier. When it rains your run can get muddy. I don't see a human door directly from the coop to run. I'm guessing from your drawing that you have the building sectioned into two different coops, both with separate runs. Not knowing how your coop is sectioned off and your reasons for separate coops/runs, my "doors" comments may be totally off base, and I know doors add to the expense evenif you build your own and take up room in the coop, but I find convenient access convenient.

    I think you are showing ventilation all along the 20 sides on both sides at the top of the coop under the overhang? I think that is a great idea.

    You are showing 7 vertical supports on the 20' side. That leaves 8 sections at 2-1/2' widths each. Most building panels and materials in general come in 4' and 8' dimensions. I'd modify the upright supports spacing to accommodate the 4' dimension, say put them at either 16" or 24" centers. And I'd make the out to out dimensions of your building section come to some number divisible by 4', say 20' out to out on the long side. A very commom mistake is to use the 4' multiples as centerline dimensions. You do extra cutting and waste material doing that.

    I don't see any windows. I'd put windows to allow natural light inside the coop. You will get a lot of discussion on this forum as to which wall to put them in. In reality, it probably doesn't matter that much whether it is a north, south, east or west wall. In a hot sunny climate, I'd stay away from the south or west walls, but you'll have to decide what's right for you. A relatively inexpensive way to build windows is to get a sheet of plexiglass or similar material from a Lowe's or Home Depot and just frame it directly into your wall. If you have the ventilation I think you do, you have no reason to be able to open a window.
  3. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Ridgerunner nailed it pretty good. But I would do windows that open and likely on all but N side. You will want them open from springtime until autumn for the most part. I am in Tenn and I have windows on 3 sides open all day and night in warm weather. Heat is a bigger chicken killer than cold is by far.

    The ventilation on the plans looks really good. Any doors must open outwards except in HUGE coops. Mine is 8 x 16 and it opens outwards. You might consider bumpouts for nests, located around 16" or so above inner floor of coop With a long skinny coop like that, you will always be glad you did it for the saving of space inside. Bumpouts require a roof overhang or extended soffit to keep water off of hinge area. Or they require flexible flashing for the hinge area. Some do over sized extensions so that they cannot get wet if it is raining when they collect eggs. Have to consider a gutter for front and back because roof as drawn will dump water in both run and on other side of bldg too. Can use it to trap rainwater for the flock.

    Be sure to run water line and 20 amp elec line to site. Set yard hydrant too. You will be glad you did. Do not use chicken wire for anything except the top if even there. It will not keep preds out. Do plan on electrification of run AND coop. [​IMG]
  4. dacdeihl

    dacdeihl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2009
    NorthEast, In
    First, thanks for the info on the google sketchup. I didn't know about that program. Downloaded it today. I will have some learning to do. Anyways, I'm in the process of making plans for our second coop. Things we don't have in our first one is...

    1. Water supply - such as a underground spicket that is freeze proof.
    2. insullation - even if it's the cheep styrofoam stuff.
    3. Seperate enterance for collecting eggs so my daughter can collect eggs without threat of roo attacking.
    4. Food storage

    I agree with a seperate walk in door to the run. You may want access to a problem in that area. You also might want to see about the height of the run netting. That seem short???

    But all said and done,,, it's your run and coop. Build it that way you want it and functional for you. RiGHT??? Goog luck and happing egg collecting.
  5. fachento

    fachento Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2009
    Thanks for all the replies thus far - I've already come up with a list of a dozen things to change around in version 2 of the design. I looked through the stickies on coop design, and those will come in handy, thanks for posting the link to them!

    I think instead of putting a door directly from the outside going to the inside of the indoor coop, I may just put one going into the overhang-section of the run, and one door going from the overhang area inside the coop. I'll still have access to the run, and the coop ... I don't remember why I originally put the door doing directly into the coop in the first place. Maybe just for observation purposes?

    I had originally drawn in pop-out nesting boxes on the opposite side from the run. I'm sure I could fit them on the side where the door is currently, if need be, but I think along the back my be better design wise - it'd be easier to collect eggs. Any input as far as dimensions on those? How to put a safety latch on there (predators).

    I hadn't put in any 'fixtures' into the design yet (like feeders, water, electricity, etc.) - I'll probably finalize all the larger dimensions before (keeping in mind the need to put in fixtures later) working out all the small stuff.

    Making it more construction friendly was something that is definitely lacking in this design. I could save myself a lot of cutting and eliminate potential for costly mistakes if I alter the dimensions a little - as ridgerunner suggested. If you look at the roof, you'd notice it's a little piece-meal as it stands right now. Trying to take the coop from an on-paper 2-d cut view to a 3-d dimensionally accurate computer design revealed a few design flaws - human errors on my part. I already had to re-design the trusses, and do some re-adjustments on the over-hang area. There are (as has been pointed out) some kinks yet to be worked out of the design. It's much easier to do it electronically than physically!

    As for Google Sketch-up, it really is a neat program - and they've got tutorials online that can give you time-saving techniques, and they really make it easy to use. If you haven't already, try something simple. I've already designed and built a couple of things with it. :)

    Having seen first hand how ineffective chicken wire can be, I had planned to use a sort of netting, or even aviary wire - but I don't have experience with either of them. What kind would you use on a coop of your own design?
  6. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    good work so far, be sure to let us see your updates.
  7. woodenart

    woodenart Out Of The Brooder

    As has been mentioned the Run can get muddy, therefore; look at putting guttering under the roof overhang to channel the rain water away, or, turn the roof through 90 degrees.

  8. fachento

    fachento Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2009
    As has been mentioned the Run can get muddy, therefore; look at putting guttering under the roof overhang to channel the rain water away, or, turn the roof through 90 degrees.

    I hadn't taken that into consideration - something that would definitely be a good idea to include. As far a using the water that is captured in the gutters, I ran across the following design for a rain-barrel capture systems... about 100 gallons worth.


    Has anyone out there had experience with rain catchment systems?

  9. Roy

    Roy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2007
    Central Illinois
    When I put new windows in my coop this year, I put them in reverse so that I can open them from the outside without having to enter coop. Just a thought...
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009

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