First chicken coop design! How's it look?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chickens in the Grove, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Chickens in the Grove

    Chickens in the Grove Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2010
    Oregon
    This is my first attempt at designing a chicken coop! So, I wanted to know if it looked like it would work. We're going to have 3 chickens: 2 standard and a bantam. The coop is going to be built next to our 6' concrete fence. So, the left side and the back of the coop are going to be up against the fence. The ground also used to be a walkway, so it's mostly going to sit on cement as well. There are a couple inches in the middle that are just dirt, but it's mostly cement. We're going to use the deep litter method in the coop and put gravel and sand in the run.

    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the image quality! But, if you can't read it, here's what everything is:
    -My boyfriend wanted to build the coop like you would a fence, so there are six 4"x4" posts that are set into concrete two feet underground. There are one on each side of the coop and two on the end of the run. The run is going to be attached to the coop, so two of the posts holding up the coop are also going to be supporting the run.
    -That means that the first two feet are below ground, the greyed in layer is ground level, and everything above that is above ground!

    Coop:
    -The coop is 2' off the ground. We live in Oregon, it rains 9 months out of the year. So, we wanted it to be high enough not to be sitting in puddles of water. It's pretty much a 3'x3' box. The roof slopes down, so the right side is really 4'.
    -The roof is going to be made of tin. It runs into a gutter (which is the greyed in area).
    -The door for the chickens to come in and out of is 1'x1'. It will slide open and closed.
    -There's a window next to it that is really more of a very large vent than a window. It's an 18.5"x18.5" octagon. It has wooden slats and mesh between them.
    -The front side has 2' wide vents on the top and bottom as well. They're mesh.
    -There are two nest boxes on the front side. They're 1'x1'x1' each and 1' off the ground.
    -That entire wall hinges open to make it easier to clean.
    -You can't see it, but inside the coop there's going to be a roost that runs from the front to the back of the coop on the left side. And another one that runs from the left to the right side in the back.

    Run:
    -The run is 7'x3'. It doesn't go under the coop. We figured that it rained too much, it would just get messy under there and that it would be easier to coral them into the coop at night if they couldn't run under the coop.
    -There's going to be 2"x4" pieces of wood that run along the base of the entire coop to keep the gravel and sand in.
    -We were worried about gravel getting in and since the coop is only 3' tall, the top of the run hinges open.
    -We're also going to have to put a piece of plywood or something on top of the run to keep the rain out. We haven't decided if that's going to hinge open like the run or just be a piece of wood we put on and off when it needs it.
     
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    I think that's a good design. You've clearly thought things through carefully.

    Can you consider making it a bit larger? The usual rule of thumb is to build at least 4 square feet per chicken of coop space, plus 10 square feet per chicken of run space. If you make your coop 4' by 4', and the run 4' by 8', that will meet those minimums for 3 chickens, plus it will have the advantage of enabling you to use stock sizes of lumber (they come in 8' widths, so you won't be wasting lumber).

    It's usually not recommended to put a vent down low on a wall unless you can close it off in the winter. A low vent tends to generate air flow down over birds which is what you want to avoid in cold weather. It works best to put vents up high on the top of walls, preferably opposite walls so you can get cross ventilation. Aim to build 1 square foot of vent space per chicken. Also give some thought to the summertime and whether this location will get shade from the summer sun. Closed coops (especially with tin roofs) can get very hot inside if they're in the sun.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  3. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    It looks excellent!

    But I do have a suggestion.......since you're not going to allow the chickens to go under the run, you may want to consider that the run open from a side so that you can easily take a rake and pull/drag the poo and litter out rather than trying to reach over a 5' high fence and lift it out....
     
  4. sotelomary

    sotelomary Chillin' With My Peeps

    You should try as best you can to have a walk in coop/run. Believe me, it will be worth it. Can you maybe make it 6' tall? Cleaning will be soooo much easier and faster. This way you won't hurt your back or have sore muscles!

    Mary
     
  5. imusa76

    imusa76 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2010
    Rhode Island
    I would slant the roof towerds the back, so the rain run off will not go into the run.
     
  6. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Looks great, but in addition to the above suggestions, don't add gravel with the sand; you'll only be asking for problems. Use just construction sand, no rocks/gravel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  7. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

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    Indianapolis
    Looks like a good rough plan. I would suggest along with other things people have already mentioned like sloping the roof toward the back instead, putting the vents up near the highest point of the roof, adding sand to the run area, adding an additional door to the run for easy access. I would add that the nest boxes need a way for draining the water off. Maybe a pitch to it should be considered. Also, the ramp should be extended out to make it not so steep.

    Looking good though!
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think the gutter will take care of the runoff. As I understand it, the roof can't slope the other way because of the concrete fence in back.
     
  9. Chickens in the Grove

    Chickens in the Grove Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2010
    Oregon
    Because of the fence, the gutter either needs to run down to the front or to the right side. We figured, with the gutter, it would work fine. It makes it so none of the rain is going to run into the coop. I hadn't thought about rain running off of the nest boxes, though. I could add a bit of an angle on top so that it would run down.

    We could also put vents on both sides, but, since it would be up against a concrete fence, I don't think both sides would actually get air flow. Would adding a much larger vent at the top work better? We could make the entire space in the top corner, the 1'x 3' triangle where it slopes. We even have another octagon vent, like the one on the right side, that we could probably make fit there. Would two 18.5"x18.5" octagon vents on the front and right side work?

    I'm not entirely sure what to do about weather conditions. It's 50-60 degrees most of the year. In the summer, it hits 100 once or twice. In the winter it hits 20 once or twice. Mostly it's fairly mild, though. Mild and raining. And, because of the fence, the coop will be in shade half the day and in sun the other half. We could put a fan in the coop during the summer and a heat lamp during the winter? I'd prefer that the coop self-regulated, though.

    I've heard conflicting stuff about whether to have gravel or not under the sand. My boyfriend thought it would help keep the sand in place (and make it so we wouldn't have to buy so much sand). He said that, because the gravel would be sitting on top of concrete, we wouldn't have the problem of the sand just running through it instead of sitting on top of it like it's supposed to. Would that work? Or should we just get sand? We already have quite a bit of gravel. The previous owners parked several cars in the back of the property, so there's two car lengths of gravel in front of the coop, already.

    I re-measured the area and 4'x12' actually fits! An inch further would have been too far, but that means that we can have a 4'x3' coop and a 4'x8' run. So, that's perfect!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  10. Chickens in the Grove

    Chickens in the Grove Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2010
    Oregon
    I could make the coop taller. It's next to a gate that gets used a lot, so my boyfriend didn't want people walking into it and thought if it was shorter people wouldn't walk into it as much. And, if it was short, we could have it open upward. But, that might be a silly idea. He thought it would be easier to build and more efficient. It meant that we didn't have to worry about building a gate. There isn't enough space for the front part of the run to hinge open (it would hit the shed). If it swung up, it would also keep the sand from falling out when the door opened. And, we figured that we could just climb into the run to rake when necessary if it's only 3' tall. We could, technically, make the run 6' tall, though. How much head room do 3 chickens need?

    I hadn't thought about it, but, if the run is taller, we'd have to come up with another way to open and close the door from the coop to the run. We were going to have it 1' tall so that it was at the same height as the run. That way, we could just pull it open and closed. But, if the run is higher, we'd have to walk into the coop to get it open and closed...
     

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