Getting close to final plans

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by busbees, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. busbees

    busbees Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2009
    After lots and lots of reading, I am getting close to deciding what to build, etc. I am brand new to this, so I would like any feedback on what I have decided.

    1) Will build a 8' x 8' x 8' house. Roof will be sloped from front to back so that water will drain outside of run area and to the downslope side of the hill. House will be elevated 16" on blocks. Plan on putting cheap linoleum on plywood floor.

    2) Nesting boxes will accessible from the outside.

    3) Plan on using pine pellets. Not sure whether to use deep litter method or not. (anyone with experience with pellets and deep litter?)

    4) Will use droppings board that is covered with linoleum.

    These are the basics. Pretty sure I can figure out best places for windows, vents, perches. I plan on starting with 10 chickens- can expand later if desired.

    5) Need input on good breeds for large brown eggs.

    Thanks in advance for suggestions and questions!
     
  2. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Sherman-Denison, TX
    Check out my BYC page - mine is made similar to what you are wanting. Wish I hadn't built as tall as I did, cuz I really don't spend THAT much time in the coop - should have made it bigger in floor space - live and learn!

    1. Don't make the mistake I did and use see-through plastic roofing - great for light - hail ruined it! Expensive lesson learned. Mine is sloped, elevated and has cheap vinyl - the only way to go on a floor - makes clean-up much easier.

    2. Can't imagine having to go inside a coop every day to gather eggs, so I agree on the outside nesting boxes.

    3. I use the deep litter method and it's the only way I will ever go - but you really need to turn the litter about every other day and add more DE and more pine shavings as it starts to go down. Also, I recommend the larger pine shavings - not the tiny stuff - it compacts too much and doesn't remain as fluffy for me.

    4. I don't have dropping boards: main reason is I really don't have the room for them and secondly, I didn't want to have to clean them all the time, thus my need for the deep litter method.

    5. Love my New Hampshire reds - they lay the darker brown eggs (however, not like Marans) and have fun personalities and haven't gone broody. Buff Orpington lay light brown and often, but go broody VERY easily; however they're beautiful on the lawn and friendly. My Easter Eggers lay blue eggs and as often (almost) as the other 2 breeds and never go broody.

    Good luck! It's fun collecting your own fresh eggs and talking to your chicks!

    Gail
     
  3. busbees

    busbees Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2009
    Thanks Gail ! Your pictures were very helpful. I plan on using pine pellets instead of shavings- I read lots of good things about them.

    This forum is amazing.
     
  4. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Sherman-Denison, TX
    I thought about the pellets, but the sacks are so darn heavy! I think I originally stayed with the large pine shavings cuz they were much cheaper and if the girls are stuck in the coop and run, which rarely happens now, they take dust baths in it. But, there are those who swear by pellets them so give them a go!
     
  5. NMbirds

    NMbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2008
    Abiquiu, New Mexico
    Yup! Try the French Black Marans for the dark brown, almost copper colored eggs....beeeeyootiful!
     
  6. stretchc1

    stretchc1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2008
    Connecticut
    I don't have much input on the coop plans other than jealousy at the floor space that you'll have. But as far as breeds for large brown eggs go, I have to put a word in for the Red Star Sex Link.

    I wound up with one by accident--I had a RIR chick dead on arrival and a partner who really wanted a "red" chicken. I found a woman with extra chicks through Craig's List, and her red ones happened to be Red Star's. The one I brought home began laying 3 weeks before the others in the flock (a golden-laced wyandotte, a black astralorp, a buff orphington, and a barred plymouth rock). She lays about 6 eggs/week--as large as the other hens' eggs and a lovely rich shade of brown. She's a machine--in spite of the fact that she's noticeably smaller than the others and seems to be at the bottom of the peck order. She is also the friendliest of the five--maybe because she was easiest to catch when she was a chick and thus got picked up and "loved" more than the others.
     

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