found materials - need idea feedback

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by greenclogs, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. greenclogs

    greenclogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2009
    I'm building a coop for our new chicks (got them yesterday!) from materials that I found yesterday at the art museum. They put out the old art shipping crates and various other installation materials when they're done with them. Here's what I got:


    Dimensions are 86x45x30 inches. It has a removable lid and is made of plywood, 2x4s and 1x4s. It is lined on the inside with Tyvek.

    and this:


    It is 8 feet long, 3 feet square with a 15" rise for the roof section. Fully welded steel.

    So my thought is to cut the crate in half and make more of a true box with it. I would leave the top open and then use the lid to make a slanted, vented roof. We live in AZ, so ventilation is more important to me than anything else. I would also cut a couple of windows and an access door for cleanout, as well as adding an external nesting box. We would raise it about 2' off the ground. The dimensions would be 60x45x43" when complete. If I use this box, raised, and attach the long metal framing to it, enclosing the framing and the underside of the coop with wire, would that be enough room for 4-6 chickens? The box interior is about 18 sf and the run is 42 sf. I want to keep them in the run until I know that my dogs aren't a risk to their well being.

    Thanks so much for any suggestions or feedback.
  2. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    I think i have to run down to the Butler Art Institute in Youngstown and dumpster dive there.Your crate with a little run would make for a nice broiler coop.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Wow, you are the queen of scroungers, I bow to you, you've found the motherlode [​IMG]

    My suggestion would be to leave the box reasonably intact (make a slightly sloped roof on top, with some sort of reasonably water-resistant material). Get a few more 2x4s -- if you found that stuff, you can find a coupla 2x4s! [​IMG] -- and make a little frame so that the box is raised on 'legs' 2' high. This will allow you to have run space underneath the box as well as inside that neat metal frame.

    So you've got yer box jacked up 2' and with a proper roof. Remove 2 adjacent sides and replace with hardwarecloth (NOT anything larger mesh). The sides you knocked out, use to make a floor for the box if it doesn't already have one. One of the open (hardwarecloth) sides, make a 12x12" opening with a ramp down into the run. This would be on the short end of the metal run, you know?, with the ramp extending down to the middle of the metal run. Enclose all the downstairs (the space under box and the metal framed part) with 1x1 welded wire mesh or hardwarecloth, preferably with a 1-3' apron extending out along the ground to discourage digging. Oh, forgot to mention, make one of the box sides openable for cleaning etc.

    In the end it would look sorta like

    roof roof roof roof
    | |_____________________
    | | |
    side view | |
    |_____________ |
    | \\ |
    | \\ |
    | \\ |
    | \\ |
    | \\ |
    ground apron ground ground ground ground ground ground apron

    This would give you 3-4 sq ft per chicken in house (depending on #chickens) and 10-14 sq ft per chicken in run (depending on #chickens), and be both functional and attractive.

    You might put plywood, rather than wire, on the sloped roof part of the metal frame, for more shade in the run.

    There are other ways of doing it of course but I think this maximizes your space and ease of management.

    Have fun whatever you decide to do,

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  4. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!! [​IMG]

    The general rule is 4 sf of coop space and 10 sf of run space per chicken. So you could fit 4 (standard size) chickens in the planned space.

    Looks like you are on your way to chickens!!

  5. greenclogs

    greenclogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2009
    Thanks very much! Your diagram looks similar to what I was thinking. Now I have to design the inside space for easy cleaning and happy chickens.

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