Feeling a little stressed about coop build

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Gladstonechicks, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Gladstonechicks

    Gladstonechicks Hatching

    Mar 21, 2017
    So I know we have done this backwards and that's part of the problem, but we bought 6 chicks before having a coop built. We have an idea of what we want but are not very experienced with construction and have limited tools. The chicks are outgrowing their brooding box faster than I thought!

    Can someone give me an idea of an easy half-way house for growing chicks? Or should we just go with a store-bought coop even though what I've read about them isn't so great? We need to buy some time before having the "official" permanent coop built.

    Thanks so much for any advice! I'm getting stressed out about getting them into a bigger space Soon!

    FYI: we live in Louisiana and temperatures are getting warm enough for them to be outdoors, with a lamp of course.

  2. homestead 101

    homestead 101 Chirping

    Jan 31, 2016
    Build it yourself, you should definitely build a coop right away
    1 person likes this.
  3. Hoop coop, search for it in the search box. Better than halfway...

  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Hoop coop would be perfect for your climate. Great ventilation for hot muggy nights. No need for it to be an intermediate coop.

  5. AllynTal

    AllynTal Songster

    Aug 22, 2014
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    If you HAVE to get a store-bought coop, they suck, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. If it were me in this situation with little or no building skills, I'd considering getting a premade shed instead of a premade coop. For the price of a premade coop that will actually hold 6 chickens (take the number of chickens the advertising SAYS it will hold and divide in half to get the real number), you could be looking at a small premade shed and still have enough left for fencing for a small run. The shed is built more sturdy and it's easy to convert into a chicken coop -- add a pop door, some roosts, and get a couple of 5-gallon buckets from Home Depot (not Lowes, the dark blue buckets are too dark inside) for nest boxes. Depending on the shed, you could use hardware cloth for soffets instead of enclosing them. That will help with ventilation. Anything you can leave open and cover with hardware cloth goes to ventilation. I'm next door to you in Mississippi so I know about the heat and humidity you face in the summer. I would definitely recommend doing a roof-over to keep the coop from turning into an oven, no matter what you decide to get.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Coykoi

    Coykoi Chirping

    Sep 6, 2016
    I was in a similar place as you a year ago - uncomfortable with my building ability and not looking to invest in a lot of tools, so I went with a kit. On the good side they are (sort of) easy to put together with minimum tools, and by having something that was so poorly made it gave me a chance to see what worked and didn't work for me. You'll get a year or two out of it (hopefully) and you'll be able to scour the coop section of this site and YouTube for ideas. I'm settling into an A-Frame coop but even then I had to tweak the most understandable plans to fit my needs. I've got drawings and shopping lists all over the house and I keep looking at more "how to" videos to get different perspectives. I figure that since I probably can't build it quickly I'll plan to buy the parts in segments. I hope to get most of the cuts done at Home Depot for free or cheap.

    I agree 100% that if the coop kit says that it'll hold 8 chickens, that it really will hold 4 or less, depending on the size of the birds. The kit I went with was really unsatisfactory for even the four chicks that I started with, without making some major changes to the design, so I found out a lot about my own ability to make it work in spite of myself.

    Good luck with whatever you decide on.
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    A garden shed, kid's playhouse, or hoop coop, are all much better choices! An A-frame isn't user friendly either; no roost space, human head space, or chicken fly areas. It's way too $$$ for the usable sq. footage. Mary

  8. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Must hatch more Premium Member Project Manager

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    You do not need a lamp for them to be outdoors this time of year....it is plenty warm enough for them already.
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I did not notice you giving an age or a number of chicks. Letting us know you are in Louisiana helps but the more info you can give us the better we can help. Without knowing age I don’t know if you can put them outside without heat or not. I regularly have chicks less than 6 weeks old in freezing weather without extra heat. It may not be as bad as you think.

    One thing to be concerned with is predator protection. If you have a place available, maybe a garage or an outbuilding, an easy way to make a larger brooder is to get a cardboard appliance box or tape two together. You could probably pick up what you need at a place that sells appliances. That may at least buy you a bit of time.

    A lot of people do buy those prefab coops and make them work, though pay attention to what others have said about them. I’d only do that in absolute desperation. You can probably build your own (lots of designs at the top of this page under the “coops” tag), get a prefab shed and convert it, or find a building on Craigslist you can relocate and modify and wind up with something much better.

  10. Yaychicks

    Yaychicks In the Brooder

    Mar 20, 2017
    Short term- cut a hole in your brooder box, and tape another box to it. You've doubled their space! I like the big watermelon ones at the grocery store.

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