drawing out coop...need some help

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by goodolsurvival1, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    41
    Jan 26, 2015
    did a lot of searching around on coops and runs... we like the concept of open air and deep litter.... our open air concept through is having a framed in area that is 8x4x6 the one end will have 3 & 1/2 walls (plywood roof) and the rest of the area will be fencing with the other end having a plywood end. the one side will be along the garage so it will have its own wind blockage if we would happen to get some wind. So we have wind control under control lol.

    we have 6 buff orps (all hens we do believe there maybe one that is a roo we are unsure of still) and will have a pvc tractor made for them to go about the yard when we are out with them.

    with the construction of a few things I have a few questions:

    if the nesting box is about 3ft up from the ground do the hens need something to land on before getting inside the box or can they just fly up and make it no problem? we will probably convert an old cat litter box with a divider in the middle of it that makes it two (this is the actual litter pan style not the container the litter comes in).

    if we have a roost bar ladder outside, to roosting corner bars within the walled area, and 2 4 foot long roosting bars inside the walled area would that be enough roosts so to provide enough space and personal space if they want it? also from the roof area (6ft) how high up can you go with a roosting bar with out them hitting their heads and having enough fly space down from the roost if the didnt get down by going to the lower level roost bars?

    with the feeders if we made pvc styles how high do you raise them so they can only eat out of them and not rest on them potentially getting poop in their feed? we plan on doing two- one for feed and one for oysters (we are mixing up our own food when they are old enough of all flock and an wild bird seed of all qualities that are good for chickens).

    with the water system we are going pvc with an elbo and open mouth area (if that make sense i saw the concept on here) and make it so it can get hung from a nail (we will have a few so during the winter can easily take the frozen one off and let it sit in hot water to unfreeze but they would have one that could have fresh water in it in the mean time) how high up would they need to be places so their water stays clean the best it can?

    the last thing what type of homemade chicken toys can we make to help entertain them? we know we can hang a cabbage head etc. but is there anything else we can do?

    during the winter time we plan on covering the whole thing (minus some small uncovered areas for venting) tarps to block out most of the cold air and snow. we live in ohio so snow and temps can vary gotta love ohio weather lol.. but summer weather can get hot at times with the humidity and low air flow and that is why we decided on the open air concept with our own twist.

    also anyone else that lives in ohio have you used chicken wire as the fencing on the run and had no problems? (were we live we just have to worry about maybe a raccoon which we havent seen any personally in our yard and we feed the birds and squirrels, our silky pups but they are trained and our oldest one would probably try to play with the chickens lol - but we will be training them that they cannot be allowed around them unless we are there, the occasional neighbor dog but we think they are finally keeping him/her contained to their yard that is blocks away since we havent seen it, and the neighbor hood cats that i don't believe will be too much of a problem cuz our neighbor feeds them well they dont even try to kill the wild birds or get into our trash. )

    and where is the cheapest place to get hardware fence or a cheaper alternative to that if we find that chicken fencing isn't ideal?

    ty in advance
     
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

     
  3. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    41
    Jan 26, 2015
    Wegot our hands on some pallets so are able to do more and i plan on adding 8-12 inches of a runner over top the bottom part of the fence sides cuz i figured most get ins would be thru there.

    On the goat fence how much does that usually run? I found a welded wire that is 2x4 in the sq

    Ty on the info for the roosts...

    Our coop is kinda going to be open concept to the run as the 4th side will just have half a wall and ive been told around here the buff orps for some reasons still will use outside roosts then inside ones .... with this ohio weather i wouldnt lol but we will see...

    I thought of a feeder with a pan bolted to it and holes in the bucket where the feed comes out. Does ur trashcan style cause them to leave a lot of food on the ground?

    I also thought about the rabbit style bowl that we can bolt to the wall for oysters but wasnt sure if that wpuld be enough or if we would have to fill it multiple times a day...

    Im still trying to figure out with the water id like to do something like the style of rabbit bottle but with a chicken nipple so we can have backups that we use while one dethaws in the winter.. i thought of the bucket style but can figure out how easy that would be for winter time ...

    Ty for ur tips

    Once we get to building ill posts some picks we also plan on doing a little tractor for summer time during the day.
     
  4. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Oh yeah! Tractors are great! The only thing is that they ALWAYS end up being way heavier and harder to move than you thought they would be. I recommend using something sturdy to take all the weight... in other words build it on top of a garden cart, or other EASY to pull around something.
     
  5. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    41
    Jan 26, 2015
    i figured 2x4 stripped to a 2x2 (as as close since the measurements arent true) for the framing etc. or doing a pvc tractor as they will only be in it if we are outside too this way we know they are safe and nothing (wind animals weather etc.) can bother them.

    ---Fencing

    if chicken wire is doubled up where its ran one way and then ran another (across and then ran from top to bottom) making a cross pattern like would that cause it to be stronger or still just as easy to break through?

    I found a deal on 1x1 mesh (welded cage wire) fencing at 15' but is only 2' tall at an okay price ($14) but is still cheaper than hardware mesh that the longest i have been able to find is 10' at anything over 2ft tall. i found at lowes black plastic/polyresin hardware cloth thats 36'x25' and it felt just as strong as the metal stuff but wasn't sure if it would be a good alternative its about $17.

    I cold make the coop/run 4ft (be a bit bent over when it in) that would cut on fence cost but leave us with tons of 1 ft boards from the 4x10 pallets... so thats why i was going 4x12x5 so to utilize the pallets more efficiently. the 12ft length is the run like area being 8 and the area that is the 3 1/2 sided coop is already 4 (we got a shipping box free that is about 4x4x4, will have to add 1ft leg lift on the main frame with pieces of treated 4x4 but that isn't a big deal since doing deep litter and all areas will be on the actual Earth).

    ---Roosts

    do you sand the to sides of the 2x4 so its not so square on the side they perch on? i read a recommendation on here to do that but I have seen many coops designs and the 2x4 perch isn't sanded like this, so does it really matter?

    ty for sharing the trashcan feeder and I was thinking of the rubber feeders as a water bowl... do you find that it gets soiled multiple times throughout the day? with us only having 6 i figured 1 -2 bowls should be good.

    ----

    is there a list of food/plants that chickens should/cant eat or are they pretty good at instincts of knowing what they can and cant eat?... since we are doing the deep litter I figured could also do a dual purpose of composting with adding used coffee grounds, greens (but they would get ate up lol), peelings (bananas, potatoes, other fruits), and left over veggies. so i guess theyd be getting treats also all in one and a more balanced diet along with the dry feed.

    ----
    would making a 2x3 8" high area with just DE in it be good for a dust bowl or would they dust in the deep litter? the deep litter will be DE (mixed in and added when needed), sand is the bottom layer (till it gets scratched around), pine shavings, straw, and grass clippings during the supper would be the extra added litter.

    ---
    ty again... cant wait to get started building past few days sun has been out but it also snowed light again last night, hoping snow start melting... we switched the chicks over to our second lrg plastic dog taxi (since our silkies use one as our one pup milo was abused and hates to be alone so rockie keeps him company when they are crated at night and if we cant take them when we go grocery shopping etc.) till we get the coop built and i think till there is a wk of double digit temps cuz i figured if i can stand to be outside since ohio hasnt decided to get rid of the snowy weather yet early like it did last yr in our area then the all feathered chicks should do okay with the transition (we would keep an eye and bring back in if we really would need too).
     
  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

     
  7. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,534
    175
    186
    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I see you've gotten great info and I really don't have much to add. I see you reference doing deep litter and want to mention one thing. I apologize if someone else has already mentioned it.

    You ask how high to install things, such as feeders. When doing deep litter, keep in mind that the height of things will change as your deep litter grows. Deep litter can get 8 - 12 inches deep depending on what you use, how often you add to it, and how cold it's been. Mine is getting pretty deep as it's been really cold so I've been adding more litter with each cold snap.

    Subsequently, I've had to raise my feeders as the girls are now walking on about 8 inches of litter. I keep my waterer on a wooden box that allows it to be up and out of the litter. The roosts and nesting boxes are now 8 inches closer to the "floor" than they were in spring.

    When constructing your coop, make sure that anything you've placed in there at a specific height - feeders, waterers, and such - are adjustable so that you can move them up as the litter gets deeper during the winter.
     
  8. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    41
    Jan 26, 2015
    thanks... we are getting into backyard prepping more and we don't use chemicals on our plants usually just put DE if we need to for bugs seems to work, and knock on wood haven't had to deal with mice but there is enough neighborhood cats that i don't think they would have a chance lol... we put up a protection box like on the ground for the 2 wild rabbits and they actually use it under our one pine tree so the cats wouldn't get them... their offspring we find in our garden each year doesn't bother us cuz the little things don't each much of the plants and just use it for hiding out.

    I am trying to setup things so we don't have to use electricity in the run, id rather be greener but also you never know what could happen and don't want it to cause any issues/fires etc. I have been looking at solar powered flood light to use during the winter time in side the 3 1/2 walled area where the nesting box is (decided to use our old cat litter box that is domed with a lid since we dont have a cat anymore and it is just sitting around) to see if it will help with winter egg production... i also found a solar powered motion light and thought of putting that in the coop/area so if a raccoon, cat, or dog came up etc. it may deter it but don't know how often that would work.

    when we got the chicks we guessed that they were about a wk or less old cuz RKO didn't know how old the chicks were (they were bad that it took for ever to find out if the chicks were pullets or straight runs and then someone finally said they were layers so its like they didn't know what the word pullet meant lol) but weve only had them for maybe 3 wks 4 at most and they already have 90% of their feathers in minus their heads all the way and their butts and i thought this didn't happen till about 8wks on buff orps. i was also told that at 10wks fully feathered they could go out in the coop and stay out there even if we still had our cold weather.

    I am still trying to figure out if we are the lucky 1million person to get a rooster out of a supposed pullet run. there is one we call runt he/she is no where close to the size of the hens (can diff. tell the other 5 are hens) feathers came in slower the tail feathers are finally coming in but lucky if they are half an inch and are coming in with an upward turn where the others are probably an inch maybe two long and go straight up with some bushiness to them. the runts feathers are also redder, the comb is a little more divided but seems to be the same color as the others but don't sure if the color has a variation as i read that buff orps hens have pink combs but the 5 that you can tell their combs are more of a flesh/peachish color than pink. i also read that roo feathers are pointed, but didn't fully understand if you could tell cuz they came to an actual point or were just techn less rounded.... i got some pics of him/her to try and post on here to get opinions ... but so far there are no spurs, no crowing sound, but there are times that it does some louder chirping then the others (our chicks make more of a blue jay whistle then a normal chicken sound lol unless you are picking them up until they realize you are just moving them or holding them then they stop all but our Pita (aka pain in the ***** one lol) shes a bit more vocal and have to get after her sometimes cuz shes a bit of a bully we figured will have to keep an eye on her once they are older to see if we can even keep her in the flock) and tends to be a little more skittish.

    our buff orps tend to have some creative names the biggest one that had a growth spurt a wk after having them and is the one that is the tamest the hubby named her Mamma lol (i sometimes call her big burtha , but she answers to mamma pretty good), then we have Pita, Runt, Minnie (for the fact that its a mini me to pita if pita gets her started), twilight sparkle, and tinkerbell .... lol the last two our 8yr old and 4yr old girls named our 2yr old boy calls them all chickies lol Mamma still comes to him no matter what he calls her. She seems that she is going to be our head hen
     
  9. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    41
    Jan 26, 2015
    good tips... and ya i thought about that ... so the only thing we will have to adjust is the oyster bowl that we will mount but thinking about it we could use a smaller rubber feed bowl for that too and would just have to level out the deep litter and read that to its box along with the water bowl and the feeder (will be doing the no waste feeder style) on their boxes so makes adjusting a heck of a lot easier... im also adding a wood skirting over the fencing at the bottom that will be 12" high so that will work out nice as i figured once the litter gets that high it will get changed out and the old used as fertilizer on the garden areas.
     
  10. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I think the idea of a motion activated light would be useful.... not that i think that it would help scare away a predator, but you would know that something was gong on, and THAT would be very helpful.

    As to your chicks.... often roosters are the slowest to feather in... so yep, that one might be a boy.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by