First Timer in Vermont needs some help with Design ing a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jrfromnh, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. jrfromnh

    jrfromnh New Egg

    Apr 17, 2012
    Williston, Vermont
    Hi All,

    I am a newbie and have some questions.
    I live in Northern Vermont and need my coop to be warm and draft free for the winters, but airy and breezy for the summer.
    It get's pretty cold up here in the winter sometimes -18F and in the summer can be high 90'sF.

    I plan on allowing my new pets to be roamers I live on the edge of the woods so I have plenty of shade and my lawn gets full sun.
    I think the birds will be very happy on my land.

    Any ideas/thoughts/directions are welcome!


    Julie F
  2. srd5757

    srd5757 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2012
    Manhattan, Ks

    Here is a link to the plans we just built! I like it, fairly easy to build, and very roomy for hens. We live in Kansas so we have quite the temp diff between winter to summer too. I am planning to add in a couple of windows for the hot summer, and them we'll winterize it with some foam insulation and sealing up the cracks so it isn't drafty, but from what I've read it doesn't have to be "warm" it just needs to be out of the elements for them.
    Good luck!
  3. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    Frist off decide how many chickens you want, then build a coup for twice that many! No....really....I am serious about this. Second look over the coups on the coup page decide on a style you like. Remember 4 sq feet of floor space per chicken. Don't worry about them being cold in the winter, I say that even though I think everyone does worry anyway. Chickens handle the cold better than the heat. My coup is not insulated or heated in the winter and I am in Michigan where winters are pretty cold. Plan out your coup so it is easy to clean, I can walk right in mine and shovel it out with a snow shovel and have the whole thing cleaned out in 20 minutes. In a raised coup that might be a little difficult. I like an external nest box so I don't have to go inside to collect eggs (and get poop on my shoes!). Think about placement of water and food. You don't want them to be able to poop here or even worse roost and poop! I have a current feeder that one chicken likes to perch on and poop all over it! Will you try to keep your water liquid in the winter or will you haul it out. I have tried both. My chickens never really took to the nipple waterers so we haul water out for them in the winter time. Multiple water founts make this easy by always having one ready to go in the mud room sink. Will you have electricity out there? If not then you are hauling water. Coups can get expensive and fast! Plan it out first. If you are on a budget then start trying to find free materials. I built my 6' x 8' coup for $650. It has 3 windows that all open, chicken door, people door, linoleum flooring, 30 year vented shingled roof. Ltos of free stuff to get the price down. Add in the run and I've got a grand into one setup that holds 12 chickens. I sure wish I had planned for twice that number! I have a secondary coup, that was actually the first one I built. I didn't do my research and stupidly thought a 4' x 4' coup would house 6 chickens. That setup cost me about $300. If I had planned ahead I would have had an extra $300 to spend on the big coup.

    Last bit of as much as you can here and don't get overwelmed trying to incorporate every little idea into your coup. Instead take the ideas you like best and use them.

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention, it will take you twice as long as you think! A well built coup has all the complexities of a garage.
  4. jrfromnh

    jrfromnh New Egg

    Apr 17, 2012
    Williston, Vermont
    Well......thanks I think! LOL.
    I have been reading the articles and looking at the coop section.
    Some of the coops are really elaborate and fun! Thanks for all the ideas. I definitely have a lot to think about! List making starts tonight!

    I know I want an external nest box, and I will have the ability to run electricity. I really like the idea of being able to walk in or at least have the coop up high enough that I can sweep it out for cleaning purposes...I am picturing maybe 3.5ft high with the front wall being on hinges so it can open up fully to sweep and clean the interior.

    I plan on starting with 4 or 5 birds. I also have a small trickling stream that runs though my chickens like streams?

    Wish me luck!

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