Design and what would you do differently?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by naadarien, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. naadarien

    naadarien Chirping

    Feb 10, 2013
    Central Vermont
    My Coop

    I am a newbie to chickens so forgive me for sounding naive, but...

    I have an old sugar house/shack on the property that I'd like to turn into a coop. I believe it is just about 200sf on a concrete slab, and structurally sound. I will need to do some renovations (replace the windows, add insulation, create a door out to the run, etc), but I am wondering about the layout/design of the interior of the coop.

    If you could re-do your coop, is there anything you'd make sure you would build this time around? Is there anything about the placement of the areas in the coop you would change (would the nest be closer to the door or the brooder farthest away from the door). Is there anything about storing or dispensing food/water that would be easier if you had built x? Know what I mean?

    To me, the shack is a blank canvas with so many options that I was hoping for some input that might help me focus.

    BTW...I am quite handy and have plenty of power tools (I grew up in a construction family).

    TIA. [​IMG]

  2. Aphrael

    Aphrael Songster

    Jan 21, 2013
    Sounds like that will make a great coop starter for you! One thing I definitely recommend is having an outside access to nest boxes. When I got my first chicks last year I built a cute little coop that had a row of nests attached at the side with a hinged lid on top. Super easy to check for eggs. Sadly, shortly after getting the coop finished and my girls moved in we had to move and there was no way to take my coop with me. Now my girls are in a temporary house and run while I build their new home and the nests are inside where I have to go into the coop to get the eggs. It is a big pain. The one thing I intend to change about the outside nest access on the new coop is to have doors on the side that open out rather than a top lid that lifts up. That thing was heavy! [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  3. Crazy Mitch

    Crazy Mitch In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2012
    It sounds great! ! ! do you have pictures we can see?

    That is big. . . . how many chickens are you planning to get?

    I agree with Aphrael hinged door from outside for your egg collection. . and use OPA's design. . . it is a great design for nesting boxes.

    Post pictures. :)

    Crazy Mitch
  4. naadarien

    naadarien Chirping

    Feb 10, 2013
    Central Vermont
    My Coop
    My MIL has 15-20 hens. That seems to be a good amount. They produce the volume of eggs we'd be looking for.

    I was hoping that some of the space could be used for storage of any feed (if we use it), any tools and implements needed (rakes, shovels, pliers for repairing wires, etc), and maybe a cistern or something to hold water/catch rain or snow so I don't have to haul water over there (the shack is about 400 feet from the house though I can see it easily from most windows in the home)...etc etc. So I wasn't expecting to use all the space just for the chickens. Plus I'd like to do composting of their manure. I have lots of garden space that could use the stuff so I figured I'd need a place to put any items I'd use to manage that process. The garage on our property is about a 1/4 mile (down hill) from the house. It is not convenient to go there every time I need something so the coop needs to be able to hold its own supplies.

    I like the idea of the door for the nest boxes. I also like some of the "inventions" in the invention thread. Exactly the kind of quirky stuff I was looking for. [​IMG]

  5. Tigertrea

    Tigertrea Songster

    Feb 10, 2012
    LaSalle Ontario Canada
    I always say the main thing I'd do different is build bigger. Sounds like that won't be much of an issue for you.

    I like going into my coop to collect eggs. It gives me a good chance to see the condition of the inside and take a good look at anybody who happens to be in there. I use deep litter (more or less, one of my mistakes is not making my door high enough off the floor LOL) and like to turn over the shavings now and then as well as add stable dry.

    My other "mistake" is planning interior space. I should have planned my space better. I wish I'd put their feeder and waterer under the ramp up to their roosts. I like using a ramp but, it does need routine cleaning.

    the one thing I like about my layout is that I have roosts at 2 different heights. Instead of doing the lower one further in then the higher one against the wall (ladder like) I did it opposite. This way I can get under the higher roost to clean without having to duck as much1

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