Coop & Run Building Advice for chickens & ducks

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by katieducklady, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. katieducklady

    katieducklady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    Hello all!
    First of all - We have 8 chickens - 1 is an Australorp the other 7 are bantams; and 6 ducks (3 Pekins, 1 runner, 2 muscovies).
    I want to build a coop that is big enough to house them all together and keep them warm during our Northwest Indiana winters.
    I want one that I can go inside to clean and is tall enough for me to stand in comfortably without having to hunch over.
    And something that gives my ducks enough floor space and chickens enough roosting space (and so they're not pooping on my ducks heads, ha!). Predator proofing is huge to me because I'm a nervous nelly about my feathered babies.
    We are going to build an attached run and I want it to be predator proof as well and large enough so that my ducks & chickens can all get along together. I want to include something for my ducks to swim in inside of it as well (right now we use kiddie pool but I'd like to upgrade to something bigger and easier to clean). I give my ducks supervised free range time now when it's possible (they were free range sunup to sundown for the longest time until we had a few close calls with coyote coming into my yard - very thankful that nothing happened but I'm obviously too scared to let them be free range unsupervised now!!)
    I don't want to go broke over this project either, I have been twisting my husbands arm for about a year and a half to get to this point so keeping the cost as low as possible would be great :)
    I also want enough room for more if the opportunity presents itself. Not a necessity (and hubby says we have plenty) but you just never know what might happen ;)
    Questions - how big is adequate spacing for the coop? And how big is adequate spacing for the run? The area we are looking to put it in is about 26 x 18 feet for the run and the coop would be attached to the outside of that space (not inside the run to take away from the square footage). Is that big enough or do I we need more room?
    Things to include in the run to keep them occupied & happy?
    Best place to get building materials on a budget ? (My husband works at his family's farm and we do have access to a lot of scrap wood, etc. so we are hoping to use as much of that as possible).
    I know there is tons of information on these forums and I've been pouring over them but my head is spinning. I know there are lots of experts out there and I am not one of them so any advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you in advance :)
     
  2. CHICKLOVER69

    CHICKLOVER69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cheapest way would be to connect pallets together for the floor and walls. Can get them free from most stores.Then put whatever siding you want on the exterior. I'm building mine from bought lumber at Lowe's and costing way more than I expected. Draw up a plan and price out the lumber. May be cheaper and easier to buy a storage building. As far as size, I want to say the rule is 3-4 square feet per bird in the coop and 8-9 square feet per bird in the run. Hope this helps. You can get designs on the coo build forum which also show some thrifty pallet coops. Square footage also can be found by typing key words in the search bar. Search opption is awesome
     
  3. katieducklady

    katieducklady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    Thank you! After I posted this I was searching for pallet coop ideas, my husband can get tons of pallets through the farm so that would be perfect! :)
     
  4. katieducklady

    katieducklady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    Ok I'm really excited - found a very well built coop on craigslist for a great deal, my husband should be trailering it here today!
    It is 8x12 which I'm assuming is plenty big enough for my flock. It has the chicken/duck door, a walk in door for me (the building is tall enough for me to go inside), 3 windows that open and close (they are covered in chicken wire now but the first thing I'll do is change that to hardware cloth). Has a solid wood floor covered in vinyl and the walls are covered in shower stall material (I forget what it's called) to make for easy cleaning. Built to last and just needs some fresh paint when I have time! We have an old fashioned 12 hole nesting box (way more than we need but it was free) and will need to add some roosts for the chickens. I keep seeing to use 2x4s with the 4" side up...is this still fine since I have mostly bantams and just the one large chicken?

    Then the run construction will hopefully come soon. The area is actually 28 x 18 ( a little bigger than I thought ) and we are deciding on building materials. I wanted to cover the sides and top with hardware cloth but its really not in our budget at this time. Wondering if we can do the sides in hardware cloth and cover the top with aviary netting as long as we close birds in coop at night to keep them safe from predators? I'd really "prefer" a covered run but down the line maybe it will come. We might just use a tarp for now on at least part of the coop to cover it. I know this won't hold up but we have some laying around and hoping it will do for now. We do live in Northwest Indiana so snow and rain are big around here so I know the run won't stay dry this way but they will still have plenty of room in the coop to get out of the elements if needed.
    Oh we're also planning to do an apron around the bottom sides to prevent predator digging.



    Any suggestions or things I've missed??
     
  5. CHICKLOVER69

    CHICKLOVER69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used a vinyl roofing material from lowes. Just like tin but made out of vinyl/pvc type material. Not that expensive but dont know if it would hold up the weight of snow. In SW Louisiana we have to deal with heat. The white vinyl roof is much cooler than tin. Just put mine in the coop/run today. Still have to put up the trim work and finish painting, but had to get them out of the brooder. Getting too big and really hot in the garage.
     
  6. katieducklady

    katieducklady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    Thanks ChickLover69 for your input!

    Everything is coming along here and I'm so excited for it to be ready to use!

    I'm in love with my coop and will be even more when it gets a fresh coat of paint on it!

    Hubby has the posts for the run all cemented in the ground and the hardware cloth came in yesterday (got a great deal with free shipping on ebay, came in in ONE day too!) and he started putting that up. We got all the other wooden materials from Lowes and ordered the netting for the top so as long as I have them in at night I'm sure it will be fine (right??!) It's going to be much safer than the situation they have now, that's for sure!
     
  7. CHICKLOVER69

    CHICKLOVER69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 13, 2014
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    This is my first shot at raising chickens, but as long as the coop is secured, they should be safe. Mine slept in the run last night. Put a light in the coop today, but they still didnt go inside at dark. They let me grab them one by one and put them in the coop. They seemed a little relieved to be inside with a light. Guess i'll have to take it day by day until they go in on their on. Happy your coop is coming together. I love sitting out watching them scratch around
     

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