Hello - asking for advice on our coop we are going to start building

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickyfarm, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. chickyfarm

    chickyfarm In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2015

    We are starting our coop pretty soon and getting the design up and ready right now.

    We have a barn, and are going to convert a stall into a coop. The floors are dirt and we are planning to put a door on the open part of the stall to seal it up and for easy access, and cut a hole in the outside wall that goes into a run.

    The run will be covered by hardware cloth, and we haven't decided what we will use as covering over the run. We do plan on letting them free range when we are outside, but there are hawks and eagles, (and maybe fox as the kids found a cat's chewed off paw in the yard yesterday), so we need to keep them in the coop/run when not supervised.

    We plan on burying the hardware cloth a good 12 inches below ground. Not sure what we need to do inside the coop on the bare floors. We were thinking concrete, but that can get expensive. Wood maybe? We just want to make sure critters can't dig under the stall inside and get to the coop. I'm intrigued by the deep litter method in the coop, and may go that route. Is that just under the roosts and nesting boxes? Or the whole thing? If that's the case, we will need to hang feeders and waterers right? What about winter, when we need a heated waterer? Do those hang as well?

    If you have any tips or advice or ideas, I welcome them!

    Thank you!

  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    The hardware cloth can be put under the sod flat. Digging a trench to place the wire vertical is not needed. Animals will dig at fence line and hit wire so move along fence digging, they don't think to back up and dig so wire 12-18 inches flat under sod all that is needed. Then the fence can be 2x4 inch welded wire. Though weasels can easily get in but you'd shut the coop door to stop them at night.

    I'd do a wood floor in the coop and yes the entire floor would be litter. To manage waste many people use a poop board under the roost. It's exactly what it sounds like. A poop board catches all the waste when the birds are sleeping which is scrapped off into a bucket for the compost pile. The board is easier to scrap if smooth, old counter top or vinyl tile or similar. This virtually eliminates the need to clean the liter.

    I put my heated water on a cement block.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  3. We are doing something similar. Only we are building a semiportable coop in a front stall of our 3 walled Amish built barn. The coop is raised on 4x4 posts and stands just under 3 feet off the ground. The floor is enamel painted wood. The run will be made of dog kennel panels and will be protected by double strands of electric fencing. We have winged preditors also so the run will be covered and the sides netted to cut down on wild bird infiltration. No free ranging but we will employ a tractor so they can safely forage for bugs in our orchard. I'm planning to use deep litter over a poop board under the roosts at present simply because of the coop design.

    I am planning on part of the run being under the overhang so our flock can hang outside even in bad weather. We kicked around ideas for other coops but A) we already have the barn and B) sheltering the coop in the barn will make winter care easier and more pleasant as we have to go out to bring in wood for our fireplace anyway. The coop itself is smallish but I figured that the unutilized area under the coop could be converted into coop space in the future.

    I'm going to post pics when the project is finished.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by