first coop build - suggestions welcome

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by luncharm, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. luncharm

    luncharm Out Of The Brooder

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    We are adapting one of Vanh Nguyen's design's from his website. Here's the link: http://www.homegardendesignplan.com/2013/11/m105-chicken-coop-plans-construction.html?m=1

    Architect friends have told me this one is designed like an Asian temple. I don't have the master carpentry skills to do it, so with some help, we are redesigning it in a more American construction style of framing. Plus I'd rather it stand up to tornadoes rather than earthquakes, which they told me are mitigated by the design's literal flexibility.

    The footprint is 10'x20' (3m x 6m roughly). There are also some design curiosities that conflict with our research on what a flock needs, and we may try to claim some of the 5'x10' coop area for storage. I've only just got the posts in concrete yesterday, and had no idea what batter boards were until a couple weeks ago.

    More about our flock at my hey post https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1140250/hey-from-alabama. I'm thinking of posting specific questions on this thread as I go, or should I separate them out into individual threads?

    First pics below and more to follow. Freely offer advice.

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    The batter boards. I've seen batter boards done only on the corners, but this gave me more confidence in placing strings that crossed where posts should go.

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    Strings and flags for posts.

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    Flock inspection.

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    My 7yo relieving me on the posthole digger. He did pretty well, actually.

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    Squaring up the posts. Consider making your batter boards slightly taller than your dogs so the dogs don't keep moving your strings around. Also, bracing the posts higher up is more secure. These are low because I was trying not to interfere with the strings, which I could have done by placing the braces on the non-string sides of the posts. Anyway, we are in a drought, so with no rain or even any wind to speak of, I wasn't too worried about the posts tipping. Each is resting on top of a plate of cured concrete.

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    All 12 braced in.

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  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Get those posts plumbed good.

    Impressive plans.
     
  3. luncharm

    luncharm Out Of The Brooder

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    Hopefully I did. They're in concrete, now. Those plans are definitely more impressive than what I'm actually building.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome! Simple is best; that's a very complex blueprint, not necessary. In Alabama, I'd consider a three sided shed, open to the south, with dig-proof footings, and hardware cloth over all openings. Also a solid roof for shade and weather protection, everything tall enough to walk in, not crouch. Most of us plan for four to five sq. ft. per bird in the coop, as a minimum! Build bigger! My coop and run are now all covered, and it's wonderful. Mary
     
  5. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I agree with Mary, build as simple as possible, especially since you are new to keeping chickens. Plus the part about building bigger. Just like Millard wasn't planned, the extra chicks you bring home next spring won't be planned either (chicken math). You may need something that can be easily expanded in the future.
    Depending on how far south you are in Alabama, consider the 3 sided open air coop. Chickens don't do real well in excess heat and you want as much air circulating as possible to keep the heat down in the coop. But if you are near the Gulf Coast, I wouldn't leave the south end open due to tropical storms blowing the rain in from that direction. Just my thoughts and experience.
     
  6. luncharm

    luncharm Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, @Folly's place and @Dmontgomery , the design is much simpler than the plans, but the same basic idea. There's momentum, and posts in cement, so pretty much no going back. We have city codes restricting number of chickens to 6, but should be room for about twice that according to you guys and the literature. Will take your ventilation concerns seriously.

    Below is cemented posts and batter boards cleaned up.

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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nice to be able to walk thru site without hurdling over batter boards?
     
  8. luncharm

    luncharm Out Of The Brooder

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    ha, yes! and those strings...
     
  9. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Make sure you have enough room for your broody cage. My 8x6 coop for 8 chickens got pretty small when I had to put in a broody cage.
     
  10. luncharm

    luncharm Out Of The Brooder

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    How much room? I'll research it.
     

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