Critique My Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by annampet, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. annampet

    annampet Chirping

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    We’ve been working on a bigger coop for our flock. Ultimately we’ll have no more than 6 chickens (which is a little tight for this coop but we’ll have 5 in here to start with our roo in his own bachelor pad for the next year and evaluate at that point)
    It’s 4x4 and height is about 3 ft angling down to 2 ft. We’ll add nesting boxes to the back wall, extending them out to preserve footage within.
    Roosting bars are up about a foot.
    We’ve discussed adding a 3rd door to the side that doesn’t currently have an opening to screen off in the summer months. The other side door will mainly be used for cleaning and the top will remain on hinges for easy access.
    Top 4 narrow holes are for ventilation, there will be angled vents with screen backing. And we’ll add some sort of roofing material to create an overhang.

    So, besides on the small side, what are we missing?
     

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  2. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    If you hinge one of the walls open for human access it will be significantly easier to clean. Right now cleaning would be a challenge.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Ditto Dat^^^


    Make big roof over hangs.
    Might want to add a glazed window, top hinged, for light in winter and more ventilation in summer(1/2" hardware cloth on inside).

    Do you have a good sized weather and predator protected run?
    Where will you keep your feeder and how will you keep your water thawed?
     
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  4. annampet

    annampet Chirping

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    Unfortunately, I think my husband will divorce me if I ask him to turn a wall into a hinged wall :)

    We did discuss a window last night, so I'll keep my eyes open and maybe add it above the coop door..? Or the side that doesn't have a door access yet.

    The run is good, already in use and we'll fence in the bottom portion of this coop to add to it. Feed and water will remain in the run, I'll get a heated waterer or a heated dog bowl to keep it thawed.

    We also plan to wrap part of the run in a clear tarp or thick plastic for winter and place straw bales around the bottom part of the coop to keep snow from building underneath, wind block and a little insulation.
     
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  5. dunnmom

    dunnmom Crowing

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    Where is the nesting area going to be? And, if not a swing out wall, would he be willing to put in a locking flap for a slide out tray or poop board?
     
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  6. annampet

    annampet Chirping

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    The nesting area will be built off the back. Adding it on to preserve the square footage within the coop area. I realized with your question that I didn't include a picture of the actual back. If you look at the pic with the roosts, the wall to the left is the back wall. Boards will be removed there and nesting boxes built in back.

    For cleaning, right now I think I'm ok with our set up. The top hinging open will allow me to get access and I can sweep everything out the side door. We discussed a pull out tray but decided against it for design reasons.
     
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  7. dunnmom

    dunnmom Crowing

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    Oh, and my coop is nearly the same size and shape. 6 heavy breed hens fit comfortably inside, although they really only go in to lay eggs or sleep. Unless we have bad weather, of course. More ventilation is better than less, especially in a small coop, and yeah, they do heat up quite a bit in the summer no matter what. Ours is under a big elm tree canopy, so the whole area gets more than half a day of shade and some rain protection, but it still gets pretty hot in our Oklahoma spring and summer seasons.
     
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  8. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

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    It's not bad, but IMHO it is small for even 5 chickens. You mention that it is 4x4. 16sqft. That is only big enough for a maximum of 4 standard chickens. If you're talking bantams then you're okay.
    I have a few things I would like to list out. Some are suggestions, others personal opinion and some are my free-floating thoughts written out to the best of my ability.
    1. Look at the wall with the ventilation slats. They are not bad, but more is really much better. I would suggest taking that whole top section of that wall and cutting it out with a screen cover to create better ventilation.
    2. Locate which side of the building will be facing East. Cut a window on that side; it will provide more light for your chickens and let them establish a natural light cycle.
    3. In the back wall, under the nesting boxes, add a hinged sweep-out door. It will make cleaning much, much easier.
    4. Have you considered an automatic livestock waterer? You could connect a hose to it and put mount it onto solid siding outside to conserve space indoors and not have to worry about a water shortage in the warmer months.
    5. This may not be an option depending on how you wish to maximize run space. I was thinking you could lower to the floor to ground level and expand 2-3 feet in either direction to add more floor space. Keep the roosts and nesting boxes where they will be at to save on space. It would also give you the space to place a feeder indoors.
    I hope I am not being harsh in my suggestions and opinions. :)
    Cyprus :frow
     
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  9. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

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    One other thing; you could add a hardware cloth screen over the roof, under the solid wood. That way in the summer you can open the top for even more ventilation and not have to worry about escapees or predators.
     
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  10. snow5164

    snow5164 Crowing

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    I’d close in the bottom on 3 sides for more room ... it is small but you sometimes have to pick your battles with hubby

    I’m always happy when my carpenter builds me something ... have fun !!
     

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