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Discouraged, lost and confused.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Eme, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Eme

    Eme In the Brooder

    Jul 13, 2010
    In the past little while, we have been working on an 8' by 8' chicken coop/house. We have the frame for the walls and roof done (see picture below), however we have talked to numerous people and keep getting different advice of what we need from here on, etc, and it is getting a little expensive, not to mention we have not even started on the run. This has sort of put a damper on our project.

    We put plywood for the flooring, but apparently it is the wrong type of plywood, and we need to remove the frame from the floor and re-do it. People say the moisture will rot away the plywood in a couple months (even if we put linoleum over it)-in that case, what do we use on the floor?? We were told also that we need to insulate it (I don't even know what type of insulation), and have some plastic and also some black paper against the insulation and also that the roof must have a different plywood under the shingles as well. However, in many photos, there are many sheds not insulated. We live in Vancouver,BC, and the winters can be pretty cold, so I guess they may be right.

    Also I keep reading about ventilation and the proper place/direction to put them (north and south - though we are planning to put windows in east and west), and it is all getting very confusing for me. Does that even matter?

    Also for the run, how do I keep coyotes from digging under? The ground is very difficult to dig the wire into, so reading that we need to dig the wire a foot into the ground seems virtually impossible by hand.

    Any advice or words of wisdom/motivation/personal experiences would be great. It is very difficult to keep searching for information, when many people/sites are saying different things. I really want to get this done, but I'm reaching my wits end, so I really hope people can help me get these factors sorted out here.

    Thank you.


  2. katheria

    katheria Songster

    Apr 8, 2010
    Ema, i dont think honestly there is a right or wrong way to build a coop....

    some people ( like me) just throw them together LOL........

    ill have to show ya some pics later......

    the wood floor is fine............. yes eventually it will rot, but all wood does............even a house eventually falls down.....

    looks excellent! and a well done job (alot better than our coop LOL)

    if you want the wood to last longer........ paint it right now at this point with a good vinyl exterior paint...........
    your at the perfect time to do this......
    as you can paint the entire frame and roof rafters.......
    then if you want u can put down the vinyl tile........on top of the paint.......or not......
    just be sure to let the paint dry atleast 72 hours before you put any chickens in the coop...

    honestly design it like you want it, and dont worry about so much of this is wrong ect...

    there are 10000000000 ideas on how a coop should be built

    we dont have cold cold winters here for our coop is not insulated in any way...and only 1 side is actually a wall...the rest of the sides are wire........

    insulating i understand in colder climates....i would just buy the cheapest insulation i could get...the roll type and put it in the walls...

    as for the run...we free range our girls during the day.....for we have no run.........

    digging is the hardest part in the world......the coyotes can dig even farther than a foot down if they are that determined to get the chickens...... they can also go through wire, ive seen it.......all we can do is try to protect them as best as we can....

    one hint would be to water the area with a soaker hose overnight....would make it alot easier to dig....
    electric fence is also a option around the coop bottom....
  3. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    You're worrying too much. from what I see your doing fine. Your venting can be 2 louvre vents in the gable ends with soffet vent under your rafter overhang, but the soffet vent isn't really nessesary. You have your floor system on what looks like 4x4 treated lumber. Just make sure your sheathing runs an inch on to that to keep moisture from wicking into your plywood flooring. If you are using vinyl flooring this will act as a moisture barrier. I just went with paint ply wood and when I clean out the coop the floor is bone dry. One thing I did see was a center gable pin under your ridge. If you go withh a louvred gable vent you will have to remove it and frame either side of the vent. Insulation is a matter of choice. I have 33 Rocks in a 10x12 and their own heat will keep them warm. New Jersey winters are usually wet and cold and they do fine. I had a RIR roo that would roost in a tree next to the coop and didn't suffer any frost bite of his comb. To much advice is conflicting and discourageing, again, you're doing fine.
  4. chick_magnet

    chick_magnet Songster

    May 25, 2010
    you coop looks amazing. also about the paint that was mention earlier it is a good idea because nontreated woods will rot around two years. If you got treated woods you have nothing to worry about. so insulation is not a big deal really. most people that have problem with their chickens being frozen is because of insulation. cold air in the coop just gets colder. I live and TN and our winter is about 20 degree at night and they do fine. I just start building a coop. before i didn't even have a coop for them and they survive winter and snow. Chickens are smart bird. That can live without our help really.
  5. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    May 18, 2009
    It's terrible - pack the whole thing on a truck and bring it to me!

    No really, it looks like you're doing a beautiful job. As far as the wood floor, we don't even have floors in our coops, just dirt. We live in Florida so it doesn't get as cold here, but our winters do get into the teens and everybody does fine. You are going to have them in a run during the day so they will get plenty of ventilation, just make sure they will have some shade in the run. The windows look fine.

    Our run isn't dug down into the ground, either, but most predators are nocturnal and our chickens are closed up in the coops at night, so we've had no problems there, either.

    Any self-respecting chicken would be proud to call your coop home!
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Aint' nothing wrong with that coop!
  7. vstoltzfus

    vstoltzfus Songster

    Aug 10, 2009
    Lancaster County, PA
    I'm just going to say "amen" what everyone else has said. There are many ways to build a coop. My suggestion is to do the research and then pick out what you like and what you can afford, and then go for it! I chose a wire floor for my henhouse, which most people say not to use. It works for me and the hens don't mind. No bumblefoot here! I live in PA and winters can get below 0, but I didn't insulate my coop. The girls haven't complained yet. So just do your best and enjoy yourself and your hens. Good luck!

  8. tjweaver84

    tjweaver84 In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2010
    Winterville, NC
    I have built dog houses with nothing between the siding and plywood for the walls and no paper between the shingles and the roof. The dog house I have now is about 5 years old and the only rot is right around the door because rain gets in there and that rots isn't too bad except the floor...I used plywood which was too thin and the dog's weight combined with the water made the floor only last a year or so. Really though if you side it and trim it and install the shingles right leaking shouldn't be an issue. Plus if there are minor leaks its a chicken coop. Chickens shouldn't care. It looks really good so far though
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Don't take your plywood floor up...as someone else mentioned, all wood (well...except petrified wood I guess...lol) will rot eventually. Paint the floor with porch paint or put down vinyl (and even THIS is not needed, but will help keep dropping from soaking in/make it last longer).
    Place a few vent openings up high (above the roosts)...pick two opposing walls, or all four walls.
    IMO, I would probably insulate in your area, but as you've read, some folks in cold areas get by without insulation (make sure you have cold hardy breeds). Get whatever insulation is cheapest.

    I have a very nicely built coop, but didn't use the moisture barrier stuff...
    As for your run, you don't have to bury wire...use wire skirt instead (apron some call it). It's much easier than digging down into hard soil.
  10. Beekercat

    Beekercat Chirping

    Aug 23, 2009
    Gainesville, Florida
    Your coop looks AWESOME! I can't add much that hasn't been said about the coop - folks on here have so much experience and share their wisdom so freely. They're the best. [​IMG]

    And I second the idea of the "apron" for the run vs. burying the wire. To save money on our run we used 4 x 2 galvanized welded wire all over, including the top, but then doubled up with 1 x 1 (also galvanized) on the bottom three feet or so. They've been out there for three months and have had absolutely no issues with predators - and we live in the jungle.

    Again, your coop looks fantastic and really well built. Your chickens are gonna love it! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010

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