Double Decker Design? *Edited & Pics Added 10/31

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JPinVT, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. JPinVT

    JPinVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    * Edited for clarity and to add new photos

    I have a large (15'x20' or so) existing chicken coop for my mongrel flock, but I'd like to get into breeding heritage birds next year, so I'm planning to build a separate coop for a separate flock. Here's my existing coop (newly battened for winter, so it's quite stylish and striped now, haha):

    [​IMG]

    There's a little area to the outside right of the coop that's just begging to be turned into my breeding coop:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This little bump-out thing is 4'x5.5', 3' off the ground.

    I'm looking for ideas and opinions on whether I should simply have a 1-level coop raised off the ground, or if I should make a double decker coop (aka 2-story coop). Either way, the run will be built off the back of the coop to share a wall with my existing run back there. The nesting boxes will be built on the outside so I can access them without opening up the coop, and I'll use a hopper feeder that I can also fill without opening the coop doors. I plan to have 1 roo and 2-3 hens in there, and they'll be large fowl, heritage breeds. Also keep in mind I live in Vermont, where there's already 4" of snow on the ground, so they'll be primarily inside for a big part of the year.

    So which option (1- or 2-stories) would give the birds the most room? I'm leaning toward a double decker design, but I've read in some threads that people don't think their birds really use both levels of the coop. What's your experience been? Can you post photos of your double decker coops? What would you do if you were me? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Wow that is huge in there and you could do anything you wanted. I am sold on the hanging nest boxes by Fowl Stuff they seem to be offering a fantastic idea in the sense everything is up off the ground and in 5 gallon buckets http://fowlstuff.com/Products.html I am so stuck on this idea I can't tell you.

    How many do you have and how many are you going to add? You have the space no doubt about it!
     
  3. JPinVT

    JPinVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The existing coop is about 15'x15' I think - it used to be used as a sugar house to turn maple sap into maple syrup. I have 17 chickens in there now after cutting back in preparation for winter (and losing a pullet last week to a hawk... grrr). But I want to keep a breeding trio (well, 3-4) separate from those guys in this new addition, so the giantness in there doesn't really count [​IMG] Those hanging nest boxes are definitely adorable!
     
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    JP,

    You have the corners and all you have to do is frame a "L" into one of the existing corners with 2 wall there already and make a 3rd wall and the 4th will be the door to enter. Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  5. MadChickensVT

    MadChickensVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm really tired so my reading comprehension is poor at the moment. Not sure what you mean, but I suggest being sure that there's enough height for people-access.

    Beware of weasels getting in holes in that nice old building. They can fit through anything that a hot-dog can fit through. 1/2" hardware cloth should keep them out.
     
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    just use a corner you have inside and build 2 more walls for the new room

    [​IMG]
     
  7. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the only problem with double deckers, is that human access is always limited...

    personally, I have an idea that will be constructed, as soon as I can get around to it... It'll be hard to explain, but I think I can do it, PM me and I'll try.
     
  8. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is there someone reason why you can't use the space inside that coop? Or maybe that is what you're talking about? (i may be a bit confused) But I'll tell you what someone I know did with their breeding pairs... They bought cabinet frames and cut out the middle of the doors and put in wire. Stacked them and each single unit cabinet were screwed together so they are double decker. Because she has four cabinets and doors along the top and bottom- she has the option to have 8 breeding pairs (she's breeding seramas, so they are small). However, this is the COOL part of what she did with this system-- she cut out large holes between the cabinets in their sides so that they can all open up to each other on the top row. Same thing on the bottom. The slider between the "boxes" can be removed to give them more space or put back in to have more pairs if needed. That is something you can just hang up on the wall! Oh- and somehow before she screwed all the cabinets frames together, she made them have pull out pans under them to clean. Wish I had a picture of it. She posted it on this board-- going to see if I can hunt it down. As far as water and food- a large rabbit water will work great. Not sure what she did about the food bins.
     
  9. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here are the pictures of the breeding boxes.. Isn't this the coolest? It shows the dividers, too. Like I said, this was built for seramas, BUT with the dividers out, you could put in Large Fowl breeds, I think. Anyway, if you built something like this, then you could use the space inside your coop that you already have. [​IMG] It looks like you have a LOT of space in there.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  10. JPinVT

    JPinVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ohh, those cabinets are really cute!

    I don't want to use the space inside the existing coop because I plan to fill it with more layers in the spring because I have waaaaay too many people requesting (buying) eggs from me than I can fulfill right now. So that space will be maxed out. I asked my husband to build me an entirely new coop ("pretty please with sugar on top" did not work, btw), but he suggested building off the existing one since there's already a frame of sorts there. So that's what I plan to do... somehow...

    Thanks everyone for your replies. I'll take better pictures this weekend when I try to formulate a design plan [​IMG]
     

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