Coop questions!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hokankai, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,734
    84
    203
    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    Hello, my dad and I are in the planning stages of building our coop and I keep changing my mind about different designs. We have 8 chicks right now, and we were planning on building an 8x4 coop that is 8 feet tall and is a walk-in building (because it's the size of plywood and my dad wants it to be a semi-simple project). However, every time I try to draw pictures of the interior there is never room for anything! I initially wanted to put the roost along the back long wall with the door in the front long wall...but with a roost and poo board we'd only have 2 ft inside the coop to maneuver. Then I looked into putting the roosts/board along the short wall and make two roosts...but that's still half the coop when it's done! So now I'm looking into making it 8x6, but am worried my dad won't go for it. [​IMG]

    So my questions were, how much more difficult is it to build an 8x4 and it is an 8x6 (nest boxes are located externally)?
    Is there a way to build a walk-in 8x4 with a poo board and room to get in the coop?
    Do any of you have pictures of 8x4 or 8x6 coops that I could look at? I looked on the coop site, but they don't always put the dimensions down...
     
  2. joletabey

    joletabey SDWD!!!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    western NC
    I am doing an 8 x 4 also, and am going to put two roosts diagonally in two corners, as my BBS Orp girls seem to have paired off at this point- that leaves the Roo having to make up his mind who to sleep with, but it does work in that space. If it is a stand up coop, you should be able to put them high enough to clean under them without a poop board - I honestly don't think 8 chickens are all that much to clean up after- scoop the nightly poo right up in the morning if you can.

    OR make a drop down roost that you can hook to the ceiling while you clean, and drop it back down afterward- I have seen a picture of that somewhere here. . . . . It looks more like a ladder, with one roost bar being higher than the other and it seems to save room.

    With an 8 x 6, you would just cut one more piece of plywood down the length to add to the 4 foot walls, so it shouldn't be that much harder or that much more expensive; I had to stick with 8 x 4 because I am adding it to an existing run, and that's all the run space I dared use. You would need two more uprights, also.
     
  3. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

    738
    5
    131
    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    Mine is 8x6, but we made the whole building 8x12 and turned half into a garden shed. The roosts and poop board are along the 6' wall. Both are removable for cleaning. I only take them out when I clean out the whole coop. With the feeder and waterer, it's a bit tight in there when I am scooping the poop baord and adding feed/water, but it's not bad. I think you could manage in 8x4, as well, especially since you are making it tall. For me, it's easier in small spaces if I can stand upright. My nest boxes are external to the coop part, too- they extend into the shed half.

    Picutres are here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=45630
     
  4. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    You could do an 8x8 as easy as a 4 x 8. YOu can buy most lumber pre-cut - look for 'stud' lumber & use 2 sheets of ply for the floor instead of 1.

    In my experience though - coops are never that easy or cheap.

    My coop is an 8x10 prebuilt shed I got from Menards for $500 (w/o the floor). Works great & I have a ton of space.

    Figure 1/2 plywood is $20 per sheet. You will need 9 or so to build an 8ft tall 4x8 shed with a roof. thats $180 before any studs or nails or anything.

    Pre-fab was the best solution for me.
     
  5. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

    738
    5
    131
    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    Oh, yeah, I didn't mean to imply the thing was cheap to build! [​IMG]
     
  6. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,734
    84
    203
    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    Oh yeah, I don't expect it to be cheap, but he insisted on not just buying a shed kit and rigging it to fit our needs so...he'll have to pay the price! Haha

    Well, good news! Looks like we got the go-ahead to make an 8x6! My mom has a bad back and didn't want to be cramped/crouching in such a small space, and now the girls will have more wiggle room. Still need ideas on where to put the roosts/ poop board. I wanted to make it 4 ft high because I've got a BO and heard they can have some troubles with heights taller than that. Do I need a ramp for that height?
     
  7. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

    738
    5
    131
    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    My roosts (two, side by side) are not quite 5 ft off the floor, poop board is about 4 ft up. Poop board sticks out 2 ft so it covers both roosts well. I do have a ladder from the floor to the roosts. The chickens use the ladder to get up, but just fly down in the AM. I also have one or two that fly from the roosts up to the high rafters to sleep. They have no trouble getting down. The nest boxes are only 2 ft or so off the floor to discourage roosting in there.

    I have Dominiques, Red Stars and WC Polish.

    I sympathize with your mom. My back is not the best, either, so I also wanted a coop that was not only chicken-friendly, but old, achy back-friendly, too! [​IMG]

    If you want to see what the coop looks like all put together with feeder/waterer in place go here:

    http://koopkam.homedns.org

    username: guest
    password: chicken

    No guarantees you'll see chickens, as they are outside most of the day, but if you look around 7:30-7:45, they should be in! But you can see the coop layout pretty well.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by