Having so much fun building my first coop!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sreihart, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. sreihart

    sreihart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello everyone and let me first say thank-you to all of you for sharing your great ideas!

    I'm in the process of building my first coop, and I've never built anything before other than VERY simple stuff! So far, this is what I have. The base is a sled, made out of treated 4x4's so I can move it around. I have about a 3-4 acre field below my house (and a large yard). I want to move them around so they can range in a portable run and not be kept in the same spot. I have red tail hawks here, who all but wiped out our bunny population, along with other predators, so I will have to keep them covered. Here is the finished base:

    [​IMG] The size is 6' x 8' and I'm going to put the nesting boxes outside the long wall to allow more interior room since I have 15 chickens.

    Since we've been having so much rain I moved the sled into the shed you can see in the photo above so that I can work on it despite the weather.

    I now have the two short-end walls constructed, and today I hope to get the back wall framed. Here is what I have on that so far:

    [​IMG] (Both walls attached to sled)
    [​IMG] (Entrance wall with door and large window)
    [​IMG] (This is where the chicken door will be and there is also a large window for ventilation. All the windows will have a permanent framed screen with 1/4" hardware cloth and then windows with Lexan glazing on the outside of the window frame that can be opened and closed. As you can see the flooring is some type of plastic (Duratuff?) sort of like they use around bath surrounds only it has a pebble finish. Now I wish that I would have used linoleum because it would have been much cheaper! [​IMG]

    The third wall that I want to work on today will have two side-by-side windows at the top so the chicks will be able to look out and also catch some breeze during our hot and humid summer days here in central Pennsylvania. Under the roosts will be a clean-out door with trays to slide out and make cleaning simple. Now get this idea: I want to make the tray large, but yet small enough to be slipped into a large plastic bag. When it comes time to clean out under the roosts, all that I'll need to do is pull the bag inside-out with the litter inside and it is easy transport to the compost pile! My only concern is that the chickens may peck at the plastic if it sticks out at all and could get it stuck in their crop. Does anyone have an opinion on this? Good idea, bad idea?

    I'm on vacation this week so I'm hoping to get a lot accomplished. I want to insulate it and also run electric through it. It will have a plug on it so I can run an electric cord to it in the winter and park it nearby the house. I'm having SO much fun with this project and can't wait to introduce my babies to it! [​IMG]
     
  2. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Looking really good so far. How tall are you making it? It looks really tall in the photo. Can't wait to see it finished.
     
  3. Crack N' Egg

    Crack N' Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2009
    Flemington, NJ
    S-W-E-E-T!!!! Very nice. Keep posting pics of your progress. Can't wait to see it done [​IMG]
     
  4. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Looking good and sturdy. You do have a large tractor to move that right??!! lol
     
  5. sreihart

    sreihart Chillin' With My Peeps

    The walls a 6'. I don't like the idea of stooping to get inside; not that I'm all that tall at 5'! But after reading tons of information on BYC a lot of people said to make it tall enough to stand in, so that's what I did. Fortunately, I guess, it's taking me so long to build that I'm able to save up money and buy materials after paydays.

    I finished the 3rd wall today but didn't have the energy to stand it up, so I'll take pictures tomorrow with the three sides.

    Yes, it is getting a little heavy but it will definitely be sturdy! There isn't a nail in the whole thing, all exterior deck screws. Heck, if we'd ever have another hurricane I just might be safer in the coop!

    I do have a Farmall A tractor, but was hoping I wouldn't have to get it running again to move it. Maybe I'll have to put wheels on the coop to make it more mobile.
     
  6. sreihart

    sreihart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, all the walls are framed! [​IMG] Now I can do a host of other things, i.e. screen the windows, work on nest boxes, attach electrical boxes, or start with the sheeting and insulation. I'll have to move it outside to do the roof because it would make it too high to get it back out of the shed so I need to complete as much as possible while inside.

    The large opening on the left wall is where I'll construct the external nest boxes.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    --- Sharon
     
  7. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Now get this idea: I want to make the tray large, but yet small enough to be slipped into a large plastic bag. When it comes time to clean out under the roosts, all that I'll need to do is pull the bag inside-out with the litter inside and it is easy transport to the compost pile! My only concern is that the chickens may peck at the plastic if it sticks out at all and could get it stuck in their crop. Does anyone have an opinion on this? Good idea, bad idea?

    I get what you're thinking but it might be easier and quicker if just use a large trash can with a large plastic bag (like for bagging leaves in it) and just empty the drawers shavings/poop into it. Then drag THAT bag to the compost pile.

    All I can see happening is the shavings/poop going everywhere as you try to turn the bag inside out. [​IMG]

    ETA: Can't wait to see more pix!​
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  8. sreihart

    sreihart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Hmm... I see what you mean. Thanks for the advice!

    I have the wiring completed, the coop is square with the top plate on and I can begin siding it. I got some really nice siding from Lowes that looks like old barn wood and is primed, ready to paint. I want to paint it red with white trim and then add white flower boxes when everything's completed. My chicks are now 3-1/2 weeks old and I'm far from done. Next week is VBS for my church so I probably won't get anything done for the week. Please send prayers my way! [​IMG]
     
  9. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    Quote:I get what you're thinking but it might be easier and quicker if just use a large trash can with a large plastic bag (like for bagging leaves in it) and just empty the drawers shavings/poop into it. Then drag THAT bag to the compost pile.

    your coop is high off the ground could you put a wheelbarrow under that section of the coop and scrap the poop into it
    or go to hardware store[like lowes and home depot] and get big black cerement buckets and you can pull it out and wash it . when i clean out my cat litter boxes i am using the cement bucket i used 5 gallon bucket to put the poop pieces in
     
  10. sreihart

    sreihart Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've rethought the idea and I'll probably just dump it into my wheel barrow and then dump it on the compost pile. It would be much faster and less of a mess. Thanks for the ideas though!

    This afternoon I finished making the screens (six all told), and I hope to squeeze in a few minutes on the windows this week before/after VBS.
     

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