Help Me Build My First Coop---Your Imput Needed!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JP33, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2009
    Southeast, Louisiana
    Looking at building my coop this morning. I keep hearing 3 sq' per chicken with 4 sq' even better. I'm thinking of making it 6' tall and 4' wide but depending on feedback I may go larger. I will be housing no more than 6 laying hens.

    Is length better than height or just over all space in sq' the main consideration?

    My nest box/boxes will be uptop with a perch above the floor. Perches will most likely be 1 x 2's spread apart and will be utilizing (deep bedding method).

    There will be windows and an easy access door for clean outs. Nest boxes will be externally located.

    So how about some feedback chicken people and hopefully looking for quick responses as the day is wearing on.

    Thanks!


    ...JP
     
  2. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    First of all [​IMG] and it sounds good to me! I love mine being tall enough to walk in! My nest boxes and roosts are chest level which I will have another pen for my broodies! So this works great for me!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  3. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please keep the ideas, hints, suggestions coming. Thanks!


    ...JP
     
  4. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    JP, sounds like you've been doing some planning and research. When I was planning mine, I used the coop section of this site to help think everything through, and being able to look at pictures really helped me. Check it out if you haven't already. I will say, I really like being able to stand up in our coop, which is a shed roof style, 8 feet sloping to 5 feet (we get a lot of snow here, needed a good slope) with an 8x14 footprint. Height is also helpful in allowing for ventilation up high, without being drafty. We made ours big enough to have a separate feed and supply area where everything stays chicken poop-free, which is very good! (Most of those pretty pictures are taken before or just shortly after the chickens move in, without poop everywhere!) Also, really take environmental factors into serious consideration - sun position at various times of year, what direction the prevailing wind and weather comes from, surface water drainage, etc. That can make or break you. Oh, and be sure your nest boxes are lower than your roosts. Or they'll become roosts. Good luck!
     
  5. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    My best advise would be that you view everyone's coops on this site and gleen what ideas you can.
    A few things that were important to me were; Build the best that you can afford, that is to say it is easier to build with quality materials rather than to be out in the rain trying to fix shoddy construction and cheap material. Build it to keep the weather out and your girls warm and comfortable.
    Get creative in your design, take your time, and most of all enjoy yorself. Here's what I did,
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=40971
    I am a printer by trade. I have NO buildng experience other that small projects here and there and following my Dad around for years.
    Welcome to the ADDICTION we'll be looking forward to seeing your finished masterpiece.
     
  6. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Phil I saw your coop the other day on here and I love it!
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:That is really one of the more intelligent questions I've seen asked [​IMG]

    The sort of most fundamental consideration is that you have to be able to get in enough length of roost for your birds, at *least* 8-12" per bird depending on breed and how much you want to depend on their getting along with each other. This should not be a problem in your coop no matter what shape it is (but sometimes *is* for people wanting to pack lots and lots of chickens into not much coop space). Although in a smallish coop remember that chickens are not helicopters and need a fair bit of horizontal room to get onto and off of the roost... so (imaginary example) it would not work well to run a roost 6' long and 5' above the floor down the center of a 4x6 building.

    From a management perspective, you want the narrowest dimension of a walk-in coop to still be wide enough you can comfortably get in there and work - 4' is about the narrowest you'd be comfortable with. For a reach-in coop, OTOH, the narrowest dimension needs to be narrow enough you can reach all the way in there, making 4' a (somewhat uncomfortable) *maximum*, 2.5-3' is much less awkward.

    From a ventilation perspective, a square coop will hold its heat best up north, whereas a long narrow coop will be easiest to cool as early in the evening as possible in the South (although in a small coop such as you are planning the difference is probably negligable).

    Finally, from a construction perspective you are best off designing according to the materials that are readily available -- 4x8 sheet goods if you're buying them, or if you have a stockpile of odd scraps, then whatever size *they* are.

    Also of course everyone SAYS "I will be housing no more than..." but unless you legally restricted to that number of chickens, it is a good idea to build as large as you can stand to, because chances are extremely high that you will change your mind about #chickens after a while [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  8. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southeast, Louisiana
    Great design Phil!

    I have been looking through oodles of designs and have printed out 4-5 that I will draw from. This is the one I will most likely draw from most: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=32956

    I
    may even make it mobile for free ranging. My main goal now is to get the coop done. From what I've read I will have time to build any type of protective run as I want to coop the birds up the first week or so, so they can fall in love with their new home, lol. Then getting them to go back in will be easier, so says the general consensus.

    Ok, nest boxes lower then their roosts, why so? If the nest boxes will be external does it matter that the roosts will be higher?


    ...JP
     
  9. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bump
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:It might be wise to have a run (even if it is temporary and for use only under supervision) when you do that, as they may get *real* grumpy with each other if they're on 24/7 lockdown for a week.

    Ok, nest boxes lower then their roosts, why so? If the nest boxes will be external does it matter that the roosts will be higher?

    Yes, it still matters. All they care about is sleeping in the highest places available. And don't expect them to get out their tape measures, either - it's better to have an *obvious* height difference [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     

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