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Coop plan advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by EvansMeXo, May 26, 2017.

  1. EvansMeXo

    EvansMeXo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been looking at coop plans for weeks now and I feel like I'm drowning in them I don't know what to pick!!
    I need a coop (with or without. A run I want one eventually but they will be free range most of the time) it has to be insulated so it can weather long cold winters (snow was as tall as I was this year) good ventilation for wet/dampness we live on the coast. Size for 8-10 chickens. Plans need to be cheap (how do some cost $75+ ) and I would like for the coop to be as inexpensive as possible while still meeting my needs.. has to be amazingly predator proof!! We just bought the house on a few acres and the neighbours have told us that there's a few "big" cats in the area (and I know there's raccoons) I'm not sure exactly what they are, I haven't seen them yet and everyone says something different. So I need them to stay secure! Anyways suggestions would be amazing because I really don't know which one to choose
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I would just build a small storage building, insulate, put sand or chips on the floor. If you ever decide to sell your chickens---You got a storage building??
     
  3. Mace Gill

    Mace Gill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You want the smallest coop that can comfortably fit your birds. Smaller space makes use of the body heat. Full size chickens need about 2sq feet of floor space. A 4x4 (for instance) is just right for about eight full size birds. If you are to have up to ... say ... a dozen, go with a 4x6. A chicken or two more or less than this is fine. If there are serious predators, you'll want the run fully enclosed and the wire around the perimeter buried maybe a foot under to keep out persistent digging predators.
     
    EvansMeXo likes this.
  4. EvansMeXo

    EvansMeXo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the tips! I didn't think about burying the fencing.. the neighbours say there's bears (I know that for sure) bob cats (I guess we have one of the highest population in the maritimes ‍♀️) and cougars (lots of "sightings" but according to google no hard evidence) so I really need to make sure the coop and run are solid and as predator proof as I can make it.. I'll start trying to find plans online that involve burying the fence
     
  5. Mace Gill

    Mace Gill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We don't have bobcats in my area and bears are very rare ... but we do have fox, raccoons, weasels, etc.

    We built our run using an old 10x20 canopy frame, enclosed it with poultry fencing, and attached broadcloth fencing around the bottom ... dug an 8" deep trench around it and buried the broadcloth with cinder blocks on top of it in the trench, then covered the whole affair. Took a few friends lured with promises of pizza and beer and a few shovels, but the digging was banged out in an afternoon. Unfortunately, I can't find a close up pic of the covered over trench just now.
    coop and run.JPG
     
    EvansMeXo likes this.
  6. EvansMeXo

    EvansMeXo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh I love how you have the whole coop in the run! I've never seen that before, thank you for the great suggestions!!
     
    Mace Gill likes this.
  7. Mace Gill

    Mace Gill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was going to scratch build the coop ... but in pricing out materials, it was just as cheap to buy one on special at the local 4H fair. Saved me some knuckle busting.

    I did put some light carpentry skills to use in framing out the door of the run. The fencing is attached to the frame with uv rated zip ties. Lots and lots of zip ties. If you buy 'far too many' you'll have 'almost enough'. The run door frame is attached to the pipes of the run frame with plumbing fittings.

    Over three years standing and not a single issue! I feel the run is so secure that in warmer weather I just leave the peep door open and they let themselves out in the morning.
     
    EvansMeXo likes this.
  8. EvansMeXo

    EvansMeXo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There's a guy on my local kijiji who I was going to order a coop off of but I wasn't sure how it would hold up to predators, it looked like it had great ventilation but I didn't think it would withstand animals.. by placing it in the secure run like that it wouldn't really matter!
    That makes so much more sense than building one, it would be so much easier to do it that way... I might dig a foot down and put fencing over the whole bottom just to be sure nothing tunnels in
     
  9. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    If your birds will have to spend time inside the coop due to deep snow I would go bigger. Much bigger.
    Humidity is a problem when combined with cold. Frostbite on combs is horrid and painful. Winter combined with a small space means high humidity.

    Do you plan on having a way for them to have a snow free area in winter?

    We get bitter cold here in winter but not much snow. I keep about 20 hens in an 8x14 coop and the poo adds up fast. Poo and chicken breath both add to humidity.
    Ventilation will be even more critical for you being in a much wetter climate then us.
     
    Mace Gill likes this.
  10. Mace Gill

    Mace Gill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a very good point here about humidity. I am still a fan of a smaller coop if your flock is to remain limited, but chickens like 'dry' better than 'warm' ... whatever the size coop, venting is important. There is a little openness in my eaves, so the venting is already good. We only get deep snow a few times a year here in NJ, and so I dig it out a bit (mine HATE the snow). If it's really bad, I secure a tarp over the run ... at least in a section, and keeps the snow out, or thinner at least.

    For the poo ... that is a whole 'nuther matter depending on whether or not you're into the 'deep litter' method, or regular cleaning. A little diatomaceous earth sprinkled around will not only keep parasites in check, but will act as a bit of a drying agent, but don't over do it!
     
    EvansMeXo likes this.

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