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Help building a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by amberld, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. amberld

    amberld Hatching

    Nov 10, 2011
    Hello- I have not introduced myself... yet, but I will [​IMG]

    I am in need of figuring out how to build my chicken coop and need a lot of help. I have been rasised on a farm, but I just moved out of my parents house (they moved out of state and I stayed) so we are living with my fiance and his parents. We are building a house a few hundred feet from his parents and we are all into being self sufficient. I currently have 7 hens and 2 roosters and want to get many more.... along with some dairy goats, etc...... BUT I have been waiting for my fiance and his father to build my chicken coop for 6 months and they have started building a small coop and still haven't finished. The future mother inlaw and I are sick of it and want to build the coop ourselves, but I have no experience or understanding when it comes to building..

    If someone could give me some sort of plan on materials, a layout, etc... I could go buy the stuff and start building.

    I need a coop that will fit around 20 chickens, because that is what I am hoping to get up to. Something sturdy as we have a lot of wild animals and are house is in the middle of nowhere with coyotes that come out everynight. I want something that will be enclosed (a good sized area for 20 chickens to get into through the winter) and then a fenced in outside area..

    Thanks for any and alll help!!!!!

  2. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chirping

    Sep 12, 2011
    My Coop
    First of all, me to BYC amber. I am also a new chicken enthusiast and built my 1st coop this past summer. What I did was browsed through most of the coop plans that are offered on BYC and got an idea on how they are constructed and built mine not exactly like theirs but used theirs as an example. You can get many great ideas from the coops that are posted there and there will be alot of peeps replying to your message who will be more than happy to share their knowledge with you.

    I would suggest getting a lay-out of what you want first and take everything into consideration...run size, coop size, whether or not you are going to use the DLM, feeders and waterers. Draw it out and get a list of materials you think you are going to need. Then start building. Take pictures of your progress and post them here. You will get some awesome advice from everyone.

    Good luck and God Bless.
  3. mommissan

    mommissan Songster

    Jul 4, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  4. wolftracks

    wolftracks Spam Hunter

    Nov 6, 2009
    [​IMG] [​IMG] from California

    One thing you'll definately need to do is use hardware cloth or even something stronger. Don't use chickenwire , you'll just be upset after you lose all of your birds.

    The plans on BYC are some of the best and lots of them have material lists, cost and step by step directions with lots of pics. You can look at them and then change them around to fit your needs.

    Weather in your area is something to consider also. Where do you live? BTW you can also post on the thread for your state. That way you know what others in your area are doing.

    I hope you and your future MIL kick butt and show those guys what women can do.
  5. S.L.Swope

    S.L.Swope Chirping

    Apr 13, 2011
    San Antonio
    I just winged mine [​IMG] lol

    Really though I had no plan and mine came out ok but it is only for 4 chicks and I did make like a million trips to the hardware store. Check out the coop section some people actually put their plans and materials list on there.
  6. AnimalsComeFirst

    AnimalsComeFirst Songster

    Jun 6, 2011
    Hugging a Chicken

    BYC's home page has a lot of coop designs that have step by step instructions on how to build it.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  7. nursepinch

    nursepinch In the Brooder

    Jun 29, 2011
    I am very new to raising chickens. I built a small coop and run this summer but I wish I had built something larger. I planned for 3 or maybe 4 hens. I ended up with 5 but I want more. It took me most of the summer but then I have no carpentry skills and very few power tools. Here is a link to my pictures if you want to see. Not too bad for an old lady.

    Just do some reading and planning ahead of time. You'll be great.

  8. 20 chickens= 80 sq ft of floor space and 200 sq ft of run.

    So, I'd consider buy a prefab shed thats 8x10, or 8x12. Add roosts and nest boxes and a storage area for feed. IF thats in your budget.

    Otherwise, you need to construct a frame out with 8ft by 10ft floor... Easy part... Wood comes cut to those lengths already. SO, get 4 10ft long 2x6's and frame the floor space,on cement blocks set in the ground would be best, then start building up from there. The walls you can get 2x4 at 12 feet, and have them cut to 6ft lengths and can get the 2x4 at 8ft lengths for the centers, so you can have a pitched roof. You need to have atleast 5 studs per wall. That would be 2 ft apart... then you need exterior grade plywood for the walls. If you can get used windows for windows that'd be great. Put windows on both sides. Windows that open would be best, but make sure you use hardware cloth to cover them so that critters can not get in. Have the roof extend 6-8 inches over the walls. Can use regular osb for the roof, cuz you will need to cover with shingles or tin roofing. Leave a venting area along one side of the roof. Both sides would be good, under the slope, but make sure again to tack hardware cloth to keep critters out... this includes bats. Use a plywood floor too if you are worried about dig unders... Then cover the floor with sand about 4-6 inches deep, makes cleaning the poop off the floor easier...

    The run... I'd say free range that many but if not, you need aprox 20ftx10ft. Chickens would really be happier with more than that, but this is the suggested minimum. Or any combo of lengths that gives you 200sq feet of space. But the 10x20 would be the easiest, since you will already have a 10 wide wall of coop to attach it too. Do a pop up door in that wall, and a human door/gate to get thru. You could get fencing at 50ft and 100ft rolls, and metal stakes, and do your run that way, with lumber around the base with the fencing attached to that so it does not allow critters to push their way under. Burried 1/2-1 ft would be best though. you can get the fencing in differing heights. Chickens do fly, so be sure you get a height that you know they can not fly over so easy, or clip the wings of your chickens.

    If you want, you could even just build 2 4x8 boxes on 2 ft legs and then have a run that runs in between the boxes. This would minimize the ground digging and work for leveling a bigger coop. ALSO, plywood and 2x4s and 2x6's already come in 8ft lengths. You'd just need to build 2 outside wall frames per coop, then attach the 4ft crosses to make the box frame, add the wooden sides/doors/vents... enclose the bottems of each coop with hardware cloth... Just make sure that the back walls areat 7 ft high so you have a slanted roof for water/snow water to run off easier. (I didn't think of this when I did mine was a real pain to adjust after I u built my frome.)Get metal roofs for these. And measure from the bottom up 2ft or so, so you have a level coop floor. But a hole in the flooring large enough for a rooster to get up and down. (I made mine too small and my roo can not get out until I open the doors)...

    If you need an idea of what I mean, just look at my page... Its basic and simple and I built it myself with no help. I had lowes cut almost all my wood to length. Borrowed a table saw to cut the doors and windows out. Lowes will not do this. If you have a table saw or skil saw youre lucky, if not, you can get one fairly cheap and they always come in handy.

    Good luck and have fun. I am new to chickenses this year too.

    Check out peoples coops, see what you like, and go from there.

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