Coop questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by janet2802, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. janet2802

    janet2802 In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2007
    Elizabeth, Colorado
    Got to start off with "My Poor Husband". [​IMG] Ok, I am done. [​IMG]

    He is building the coop for the girls and boy and he has some questions. Actually the way he said it is could I post his questions on that crazy chicken site (trust me, he loves the chickens. He is the one that named them Teriyaki, Nuggets, Strips, Crispy, Fried, and Baked):
    1. We get wind and pretty strong storms that come through. Does the coop need to be insulated? And he built it with sliders on the bottom to move it around, should the chickens be moved indoors in the winter time?
    2. Should the floor be wired mesh or plywood?
    3. It is big enough for two levels (about a 4x6x10) and wondering what the height of the second level should be?
    4. Should the coop be flushed with the ground?
    5. Should the whole enclosure be covered in chicken wire?
    6. The babies are about 5 weeks old now, when is a good age for them to go into their new home? In Colorado, we have frost until around Mother's Day and are not supposed to plant a garden technically until then. He is wondering if this is true with the babies.
    Thank you again, my fellow chicken friends.
  2. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    I dont know about how old to put them outside, as I always get hens from auction, but...

    My coop in off the ground about 1 foot, I have a ramp for them but they jump in . I have a "shelf" on the inside, probably another foot or so up. They jump right up on that also. I live in CT where it gets pretty cold and my hens do okay in the winter. I have a non insultated coop so in the winter I load them up with fresh hay to bury themselves in. Despite the cold and wind, they come out and cluck around everyday.

    Mine also has a plywood floor. My friend has a mesh floor and occasionally-actually recently- something tried to pull her hens through it and injured her leg. It also keeps down the draft, IMHO.....

    Check out the coop construction forum, lots of picture there....

    As for the husband, I do the same thing with mine so I cant help you out there:)
  3. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    Our chicken coop is insulated in the floor as well as the walls. We live out in the country and winds here in our neck of the woods get strong. Yesterday in fact the wind was blowing between 25-30 mph and that wasn't even the gusts. We have a wood floor. Mesh or wire flooring messes up the chickens feet and they don't feel as secure. Not to mention, a wood floor keeps the coop warmer. Plus you won't have to buy so much bedding and straw/hay because it will actually stay in the coop and not fall through the floors.

    We have our coop up 2 feet. My hubby said we wanted to try to cut down on rodents as much as possible. The question you asked about whether you should bring your chickens in during the winter depends a lot of what breed of chickens you have. Take for instance our breeds. We have New Hampshire Reds, Rhode Island Whites and Black Sex Links. The NHR & RIW's are both prone to frostbite due to their combs. We decided to do the deep litter method for that reason.

    If you decide to let your chicks go outside for good, make sure you have electricity (we use a 50ft. orange outdoor extension cord). We put in one of the brooder lights and hung it from the ceiling and put an average size cardboard box directly below where the light is (there is roughly 3 feet between the light and the box). That way if the chicks get cold they can huddle in the box under the light and stay warm. They don't have to use up so much energy that way.

    When it comes to your question about covering the entire enclosure in chicken wire, are you talking about the coop as well or just the run area?

    This is our specs for our coop:
    8' x 10' coop
    6' down to 4 1/2 ' for the ceiling with 2 foot overhang for
    shaded area
    Human door and one window located on the south side of
    Chicken door/ramp and one window located on the west
    side of coop
    Vents running north and south
    10'x10' for the enclosed chicken run with small diameter
    netting for the top making it completely enclosed
    Human door for run located on the north side of run

    If you are going to do a second level, ensure roughly 42" for clearance of roosts, nesting boxes etc.

    Hope this helps a little. Best of luck to you and let us know how it turns out. [​IMG]

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