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Feedback on my coop design wanted

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dozer183e, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. dozer183e

    dozer183e New Egg

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    Oct 28, 2013
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Hello again,

    I have been trying to research this as much as possble on this board. I have an existing "shed" I will be converting to a living space for about 6 chickens.
    ---> https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/834170/complete-newbie-here

    I was originally thinks just wrapping it with hardware cloth and putting in the chickens and calling this a coop.

    Now I am thinking I need to do a bit more - I am planning to make a "coop" separate, and calling this existing enclosure the "run". I will replace the tin sheet roofing with translucsent plastic for more daylight. (thanks thomasboyle)

    Basically, inspired by this one: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-triple-c-the-crouches-chicken-coop , I plan to build a 4'x8' coop next to the 11'x11' run. The "Run" part is existing, the "coop part is new what I am building next to it.

    Here is my current plan.


    [​IMG]

    So I'm really looking for input on these thoughts, location of things, sizes, etc. I could put some roosts in the "Run" for instance.

    TIA,
    Dozer
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I like dirt floor coops so if I were building it, it would be walk in with probably a hardware cloth apron aorund the outside to prevent critters digging in. But you can do it your way as well.

    You may not actually need the wall between the coop and the run, unless you live where it is very cold. You have an ideal setup for most of the US, where breezes can keep it cooler in summer.

    the trouble with the clear roof is it does not provide shade -- and in summer in most any climate, they badly need shade and breeze to survive the heat. They are much more tolerant of cold than heat. Where I live, for example, even though we get down to 20F a few nights a year, we really don't have anything that feels like winter to a chicken. And 100F can actually be lethal to them. I'lll give you a link to some open type coops for ideas. Also a link to the woods coop, an expensive project, but worth looking at for how open it is in a snow area; it is a very successful coop.

    If you go into your profile and add your general location, it helps folks a lot when answering a variety of questions.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/163417/please-show-me-your-hot-weather-coops/0_20

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/445004/woods-style-house-in-the-winter/0_20
     
  3. dozer183e

    dozer183e New Egg

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    Oct 28, 2013
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Thank you, this gives me some more things to think about. I live at high altitude in Addis Ababa, where the temps range for the low 60's to the high 70's - low 80's at the hottest time of year. So the sunshine in the run will be okay, and it is broken up because of surrounding trees. So could I just take the existing 11' x 11' dirt floor shed and use for the chickens without an extra side room? what do they need to be comfortable - sleep at nigh- and lay eggs?

    Another factor here is predators. We have mongooses that come out at night, I am thinking I should use sheet metal siding up about 3' from the ground around the sides so it won't visually intimidate the chickens at night. I will make a wire mesh apron around the sides to prevent digging.

    Back to the temperatures, since it doesn't get very low here, is there any need to use solid walls anywhere? I mentioned the mongoose, but solid up for 3' then wire mesh (hardware cloth) everywhere else should keep them out. I thought maybe the walls gave a sense of feeling enclosed.

    Dozer
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They won't actually need any protection from weather, except perhaps from full sun; they will sunburn ang the ground can get hot. The do like a place to get out of heavy rain or very high wind, though. It sounds like your main challenge will be predators. We use a fine, heavy guage wire mesh usually called hardware cloth. Walls can be buried straight down about a foot or more, or laid on the ground around the coop, to prevent digging -- you will need to secure them to the coop itself if you use the "apron" style.

    Obviously we don't have mongooses here. I guess the material will depend on how strong they are, and how well their fingers can work a latch or lock. Here the raccoons have no trouble opening most doors if determined to do so. For our worst predators, an electric fence may be the answer,

    We do have a thread for members in South Africa, here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/595787/chicken-breeders-or-folks-in-south-africa/0_20 Maybe talking with those in your end of the world will be useful for you!
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    CENTRAL MAINE
    Mongoose are excellent diggers, aren't they? You'll have to do some research on how best to keep them out. Are there other flock keepers in your area who can tell you what to expect? If you have Mongoose, you also have some pretty nasty snakes to worry about, don't you? Snakes would be able to enter the structure/area through that stone wall, at least the way I'm envisioning it. Though he's not near you geographically, you might talk to Ozexpat. He's in the Philippines, and might be able to guide you in setting up and predator proofing that space.
     
  6. dozer183e

    dozer183e New Egg

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    Oct 28, 2013
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Okay, so here is where I am up to. I'll build a 4' x 8' "coop" like the plan above, but leave the one side adjacent to the run open. The other 3 sides, and the roof will be solid. I'll fix the existing "run" enclose to have solid metal siding up about 3' from the ground, and hardware cloth everywhere else. I'll replace one or tow the the "run" tin panels with plastic o let some light in. I am not afraid of too much sun, as it is usually cool here, and there are trees around for shade too.

    As for the predators, I have not witnessed the mongoose digging, but I don't doubt they can, and that's my biggest fear. how to best prevent that? I suppose I'l need to put about an 18" strip of hardware cloth around all sides of the coop and run, buried about 4" deep. This seems like a pain to do, but at this point my best strategy. I can also put some concrete curb/base around the perimeter too so seal any gaps. No snakes that I have encountered in my 7 years here. Maybe the elevation is too high, or climate too cool. The Mongooses live off rats. Most flock keepers here are in areas more protected from the mongoose, because we are in a city, but I happen to live on a wooded property that has them...

    Here is an isometric of the coop I will build to go adjacent to my old shed / new run.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014

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