Coop ideas for someone with physical issues

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Wise Woman, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Wise Woman

    Wise Woman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    The Enchanted Forest
    I am finalizing my coop plans and think I have it all worked out. While I am not disabled or anything, I am in my 50's and have arthritis and sometimes a lot of pain. So while I try to not let it stop me from doing things I love, there are certain activities that I would rather not do. So I am planning my coop with ease of use in mind. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas about this type of coop?

    What I have planned so far is that the coop will be raised 24 to 30" off the ground and will have doors on opposite sides so that I can open them and just push the shavings out the other side with a push broom. The perches will be located just inside these doors and have either a poop board or a poop hammock which will be easy to reach, remove and clean. Perches will be removable for easy cleaning as well. I will have exterior nest boxes that are located on the coop wall that will be inside the run, as will their food, water and forage station. No standing in the rain and snow gathering eggs. Water will have heaters so I do not have to lug 5 gallon buckets of hot water from the house. My boss (I work at a water district)thinks I should run a water hydrant right outside the coop and wrap it with heat tape for winter use. I might check into having it run right into the corner of the coop. The guys at my work would install it for me on their day off and I could just pay them for their work and the parts. This would mean I could just sit the waterer under the hydrant and fill it and the heater would keep it warm. All food will be stored in metal cans under the raised coop so no lugging 50 lbs of feed. The coop will be right off the driveway and I will only have to carry them about 8 ft. and only if hubby isn't around. Otherwise he does it, but he really isn't into the chickens and I want a set up that I can manage on my own. The human door to the run will be right off the sidewalk going into our large pen, so there will be no schlepping through deep snow to the coop either. I will have pine shavings in the coop and sand in the run. The whole insdie of the coop will be painted for easy cleaning as well.

    Have I forgotten anything? It is mostly my knees, hips and shoulders that hurt so I want to eliminate a lot of bending, stooping, shoveling and heavy lifting. I appreciate any thoughts on this as I have to get this right and we are getting close to starting. I may be hiring someone to build this as my husband hates building stuff and is probably taking a new job which will leave him very little time. I will be doing the painting and the designing and once it is done, I will not be getting a do over. Thanks for any tips you might have.
  2. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    Have you considered a carport? They start at $595 plus sales tax. You can cover one side and the ends and add a door. Would be easy to clean. The other side can be wire with a gate. Though we are dealers for ASC, I would be happy to help you design anyone's carport to become a coop. Our website link is below.
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some ideas:

    Design the poop board as a drawer that opens / slides thru a wall opening so you don't have to reach inside or stretch, plus if it's lined with a removable shallow plastic tub it will clean with a wipe. This allows you more latitude when planning roost locations.

    How about using coarse sand as litter instead of chips so you don't have anything but poo and a little sand to haul away. Just rake the poo clumps to the door and kitty scoop the sand clean. Sand is a lot cheaper than constantly buying chips, generates less waste, and doesn't wear out or absorb moisture and uric acid. If you stick to using chips, try using a small shop vac to clean the coop, a stick attached to the end of the hose will help to reach corners. You will also need a long handled putty knife or ice scrapper to loosen the stuck down clumps that wet chips cause.

    Use a rope and pulley to easily slide shutters or windows up and down, in a slot or track, to control inside temps and fumes

    Mount nest boxes to the outside wall with a lift up lid for easy chest height access

    Use flip up doors around the coop for easy access to slide in and out the water founts and feeders, if you plan them inside the coop.

    If a waterer is planned inside, set the fount on top of a screen or grate that is sitting on a catch pan (maybe a kitty litter pan). This will prevent clumps and mess on the floor of the coop due to spillage and messy birds.

    Use vinyl for the floor and set the walls on top of in, it's easier to clean and prevents uric acid from soaking into a wood floor. Also if the walls hold down the floor covering, it can't curl or trap moisture.

    Just spitballing few ideas as I'm in the same situation as far as my back. Please post your coop pics, when built. Sounds like you're putting a lot of planning into it. [​IMG]

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