help with coop construction

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bigcmcg, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. bigcmcg

    bigcmcg Hatching

    Jun 4, 2012
    I am semi new to keeping chickens and just moved to an area in town. I have an ok sized yard for being in town but would like to keep my coop as absolutely minimal as possible I only plan on having 2-3 chicken at most. I am trying to construct this with stuff I already have. I have some but not a lot of chicken wire fencing. Lots of misc long boards 2x2 2x4 etc. And some small cuts of plywood. Any ideas to keep this as basic small and cheap as humanly possible. Thanks
  2. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Well, it all depends on what you have around you in terms of predators. You can just turn the hens loose in your yard without spending anything but they'll probably be eaten by something before the night is through.

    Point being -- think about which threats there are around them and then spend the necessary amount to mitigate the risk. Chickenwire won't hold anything out, it will only hold the chickens in. So if you have dogs and raccoons which most small towns now have in town as well, you will need something more sturdy than chickenwire. Don't leave any holes in your defenses -- any predator with most certainly find and exploit them.
  3. LittleSticks

    LittleSticks In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2012
    NW Washington
    I second the post above. Chickens do fine with minimal shelter - as long as they have a place out of the sun-rain-wind with nesting material they'll be ok.

    The main worry is predators. You are pretty much guaranteed to have raccoons and dogs around. Build your coop to keep those animals out. If you can supervise your chicks free-ranging a few hours a day that would help if their run is too small.

    Honestly, I would just suck it up and build the chicks what they need: a coop with 4 sq ft per bird and a run with 10 sq ft per bird that is safe from predators. Chicks that are aggressive with each other are no fun for the owner (think 'flesh wounds') and are not very happy themselves. Contented chicks make the sweetest sounds. They'll be happy and you'll be happy.

    If the cost of materials is holding you back try Craigslist in the "free" section for fencing, lumber, gates, etc. Or pick up pallets at one of the home improvement stores. Be sure you get the pallets with "HT" stamped on them. That means "Heat Treated" instead of "soaked in chemicals."

    If the visual is a problem there are coops with green roofs. Plants growing on the top of the coop - be sure to check the coop forum for tips to keep the roof from leaking! You can place plants outside the coop and run to camoflauge it or get free/low-cost paint from a thrift store or Habistores (also a good place for low cost building materials). Pick up an old kitchen cupboard and turn that into a coop. There are a lot of designs here and on other sites to choose from. Just protect those chooks from predators!
  4. PeepsAreForMe

    PeepsAreForMe Songster

    Apr 10, 2012
    Pemberton Borough, NJ
    bigcmcg, here is a picture of our coop if you need ideas. We have 3 standard size and 2 bantams, and reading Littlesticks comment about content chicks making the sweetest sound reminded me of how mine cackle when I'm walking around inside their fence and I believe they are happy! I was constantly fretting that they would not be happy in their new home, but they have settled nicely. Now I can't wait to leave work and run home to let them out!! Good luck!! And just remember, most importantly to keep them safe!!


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: