For the naysayers and those who need it cheap...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Yonaton, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Yonaton

    Yonaton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The frame is wood, of course. I used a bunch of old saw mill lumber we'd had laying around for years, 4 4x4's and some 2x6's I'd picked up at construction sites (just stop and ask and a lot of times they'll give you all the scrap you want and they throw away a lot of good stuff too...I know, I used to work construction).

    All the tin is old and stuff we've had for years also or just scrounge for it, even 'small' pieces will work just fine.

    After the frame was done, I wrapped it in some weatherproofing stuff that's used on house frames, sort of like a tarp, but water can't get through it. It was a little that was left on the roll they used for our re-built trailer.

    The coop itself is 8x8 and the front is 9 feet high and the back is 7 feet high. I did it like that so that in the summer, the heat is way up above their heads even when they're on the roosts and in winter I just cover the vent with a piece of paneling I found in an old trailer (I leave a couple of small openings in it to let air circulate though, even in winter).

    There's one hardware cloth window and the glass window itself that closes for winter weather and the door for winter and summer, the summer door a hardware cloth door for a nice breeze and strength against critters.

    On the tin on the roof, *ALWAYS* put your screws in the ridges, *NOT* the valleys. Why? Because in rainy season, the valleys will have a *LOT* of water running down them and even the smallest hole will drip inside badly. If there's a hole on a ridge, it *might* drip if a raindrop actually hits the hole dead on. I squirted a little silicon in all the holes I saw at the time we were building, but missed a few and they haven't dripped yet, so I just left them (besides, I'd run out of silicon...an old tube that had maybe a quarter left in it and I was lucky it hadn't dried up).

    The floor is the most expensive part...I splurged on treated 2x6's because even with the amount of cleaning I do and changing of the hay, some things get through to the wood. Sometimes the waterer might leak, etc. Treated wood is the way to go for the floor if you can afford it. If you can't afford it, get saw mill lumber and let it season one summer long at least. Once it's seasoned, it won't shrink so bad on you and you won't have such huge gaps between your boards 6 months later. It will last just about as well as treated lumber, but it's a lot harder to nail into. (I'm disabled and most of the real heavy lifting and bending and such was done by a couple friends, but I can still swing a hammer and I know about trying to nail saw mill lumber...it's better to drill a hole for the nail first).

    I took a sawzall and cut the portal in the side of the coop and found an old cabint door and used it as the 'cover' for the portal. I found a piece of rubber roofing mat and took an small hand wood scraper (it looks sort of like a hand planer, but instead had something akin to a cheese grater looking thing on it instead.) and roughed up one side of the rubber piece I cut to the size of the portal door. Roofing nails, 6 of them, were all that was needed to keep it on. Just the right amount of traction now for them.

    The coop is about 75 yards from the house, so I ran some 10/3 wire from underneath the trailer down to the coop. Yeah, it's sitting on the ground, but I've done this for years at out other house and it works fine...if you can afford to have the electric company come out and put you up a pole or and private electrician do all the stuff the correct and pretty way, then you don't need to be reading this particular post to do it on the cheap.

    I've got one wall plug-in and keep a radio playing 24/7 and the fan in the daytime during the summer and when they were chicks, the heat lamp, of course.

    The fencing I just did. My friends weren't around to help, so it took me almost 3 weeks. Again, the 4x4's were something we had laying around and the same with a lot of the hardware cloth (I brought as much as I could from tearing apart the old coop at the old house and bringing as much 'stuff' with me to this place as I could). I spent a few dollars on a couple of rolls of hardware cloth and chicken wire because I wasn't sure how much I'd need for the new run. I've got two rolls left of the hardware cloth, unopened, and two of the chicken wire. Not bad, now I'll have something for 'just in case'.

    The fencing itself is the bottom half as hardware cloth with about six inches bent *outward* from inside of the run. Then I overlapped the chicken wire about six inches on the hardware cloth and used a bunch of electric fence wire to twist things together (electric fence wire is pretty much weather proof, don't use any other wire if you can help it, or it'll rust on you). I got the wire from this place we moved into. We've been here four years and I finally got to put it to use.

    The fencing is kinda loose and wobbly a little bit, which I hope will make it a real bear for any of the 'climbing' critters. Even foxes, who jump, still like to use the fence a little doing so and if it wobbles underneath their paws as they're pushing, it *should* make it more difficult for them to get over. The fence is about five and a half feet tall too, by the way.

    The pictures can be blown up (if you have that ability in your operating system...my linux does) to get a closer look at details and will/should remain pretty clear up to about 256% of their normal opening size. I'd have left them at 1024x768, but even compressed the file size was still just a bit too much for me to upload on my dial-up. It's a shame more people don't do this too. Oh well.

    Here's the site with the pictures Right here
     
  2. GardenGal

    GardenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western WA
    Good for you! We built our coop, run, and tractor out of salvaged wood. Just had to buy fencing and nails. It's gotten to the point where I can't stand to get rid of the smallest piece of wood. Do you have any flying predators around? Hawks, eagles? If so you might want to cover your run with some extra wire. Some people up the street from us had an eagle swoop down right in their yard and take their cat.

    BTW, what are we supposed to nay say?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  3. Yonaton

    Yonaton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West TN
    Quote:Yeah, we've got plenty of hawks. If one can actually sneak in close enough to get into that small spot, he deserves a chicken. The 5 week old chicks are already vrey good at spotting things in the trees and manage to all get in the coop without actually getting all caught in the portal, lol. I'm not too worried about it, the hawks have to eat too and we usually have a small murder of crows around that keeps the hawks away for the most part. I've raised chickens for the past twenty years and have yet to lose any to hawks...there's always a first of course, but as I say, I'm just not worried about it. Besides, I just don't have the oomph left nor any more wood or anything else I can think of, to put a chicken wire roof over the run anyway. 3 weeks to do what I could've done in 3 days before I'd crippled myself. I lost 5 pounds in those 3 weeks from sweat loss (I'd also had two bouts of heat prostration and now sweat almost as soon as the sun is up).

    The naysayers are those I've read that say making coops out of metal aren't the best idea. One thing I do know, I'd rather be in that coop than in the trailer if a tornado comes around. It's solid! lol
     
  4. GardenGal

    GardenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's interesting about the hawks. Makes sense. Deer can jump fences, but won't if they feel they'll be trapped, must be the same sort of thinking. I know what you mean about the pain - after a weekend of working for the chickens it's nice to go to work and recover.
     
  5. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    When I was a kid, my dad kept our chickens in a metal pole barn. We had about 40 birds. Never had any issues with heat or anything. My horse barn is metal- I must not have been around on this board long enough to hear complaints against metal. I think your coop looks great! In fact, I really like all the pieces being worked together, sort of like a 'Crazy Quilt'. I swear when I saw your coop, it reminded me of the stuff that Silver Dollar City builds (branson, MO) for their outbuildings. It is actually really charming and has a lot of character! You are so lucky to have all of those trees and cover around you! I'd be worried about the lack of wiring on the top too- but as you said, you know your own place better than we do. Enjoy your birds! [​IMG]
     
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Good job! [​IMG]
     
  7. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Milner, Georgia
    If I could have I would have. You're so lucky.
     

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