Design ideas for building a coop and covered run to allow weekend getaways

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TNchicknewbie, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. TNchicknewbie

    TNchicknewbie Just Hatched

    Feb 15, 2017
    Middle TN
    Hi everyone, I'm new to posting but have been reading your posts for a long time! I need some advice/suggestions for building a chicken coop to house up to 20 chickens. This is a new farm (2 patient years in the making) with about 8 narrow acres of land with some hills and a few tree lines. I cannot wait to get started with chickens but my husband is a little concerned with their care given the fact that we are often away on the weekends during the summer. I can have my son-in-law or the neighbor check in on my birds when we are gone but I'd like to build their area so as to be as self sufficient as possible in case someone forgets to check on them.

    The current plan is to place the coop along the back side (South side) of my large fenced in garden (64x80 ft). What I thought we would do was build the coop with openings both east, into a long enclosed run with netting on the top that runs the length of the garden (64 ft) and also doors that open south into the "pasture" that we will enclose with electronet that we can move around to avoid overuse. We would normally keep the door into the enclosed area closed and only open that when we plan on being out of town. We could install an automatic door on the enclosed run side as well as automatic feeder and a waterer. I just wanted to know if this is not a good idea or if anyone had any suggestions. We have not built anything yet so now is the time to change our plans:)

    I also cannot decide on a dirt or a raised wooden floor. We are in middle TN so the winters are not terrible but it does get cold as well as HOT and we get a good amount of rain. So many things to think about and I don't want to make any expensive mistakes:)

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Chickens can handle cold much better than heat.
    The coop needs shade.
    For weekends away, they need outdoor access so the pen needs to be completely predator proof. That means no way for predators to dig under and no opening larger than 1/2". Mink and weasels can get into 1" holes.
    They can't go without water so an auto water system is something to research.
    Bulk feeders can take care of feed depending on how many birds will determine the type.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  3. Fairview01

    Fairview01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2017
    Dallas, TX
    I live in TX. We can get cold, mid 20s, sometimes teens but those periods are measured in hours not days. Heat also is my enemy. Consider constructing the walls in Amish barn style. Skin the inside with vertical planking allowing for a reasonable gap between each plank. WHen skinning the outside each vertical plank is centered over the gap between the inside planks. Think its called clap boarding. The advantages are maximum ventilation and minimum to no drafts. The disadvatage is it can take up to 50% or ore wall material to get full coverage. I used cedar because I can chose to seal it or chose to allow it to weather to a soft grey finish.

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