1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Help With Coop Please - NOW WITH BETTER PICTURES :)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ekafns, May 20, 2016.

  1. ekafns

    ekafns Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Apr 10, 2016
    Hi Guys, bought this coop off craigslist for 75 bucks. Obviously nothing fancy, needs some improvement so I was wondering if you guys could give some opinions on the important improvements to make. The pictures doesnt show the ramp or roast. There is only one nesting box on the inside of the coop, so that obviously needs to be addressed.

    We have 8 bantams and 4 large size, about 8 weeks old.
    Located in Va.
    5 acres to free range.

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  2. danielkbrantley

    danielkbrantley Chillin' With My Peeps

    169
    4
    81
    Jul 9, 2011
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    Looks pretty cool to me. Wish mine was higher off the ground.

    My thoughts:

    You may not need more than one nest box. I've never had more than 8 chickens at once, but they pretty much all lay in the same box. Adding a second isn't a bad idea, but may not be necessary.

    The only thing I see it needs is a ladder so they can easily get in and out of the coop, something more solid for walls in the cold months, and if it's not already in the coop, I'd find a way to keep the food in the coop. That way, it's less likely to be found and devoured by wandering rodents.

    Good purchase and happy chickening!
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    So 12 birds total? You didn't mention the dimensions. With 12 chickens, you'd want about 10 linear feet of roost space (normally you want about 12" per bird, but some of yours are bantams. Remember...it's not about just roosting - they should have room to flap up/down/turn around, etc. while roosting. I'm thinking that might be a 4x4 structure, in which case that would be a TIGHT fit. But maybe it's larger than I'm thinking - hard to tell in pics.

    Also, if this will be where your birds roost at night, it's basically a dinner plate waiting for a predator as it stands right now...since you mentioned free ranging, I'm assuming you won't be using a run at all??? If no run, then you will need to make this thing super secure...hardware cloth anywhere there are no walls. And the roof overhangs would need to be much larger, to keep rain/weather off the birds at night.

    Are you in an area of Va. that basically does NOT get winters? Or are you up closer to DC area and DO get winters? Your answer should guide you on how much of your wall space should be made solid...
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. ekafns

    ekafns Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Apr 10, 2016
    We are in the "winter" area of VA, so would you suggest plywood on the sides and back? What type of materiel to extend the roof?

    I was thinking of enclosing the area under the coop as well, for food and water, making a mini run, use hardware cloth? But yes they will be free ranging most of the day.

    Thanks so much for your insights!
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well...I was mostly talking about expanding the roof line if you were planning to leave it mostly wire. If you're going to box most of it in, then keeping the rain and snow off won't be an issue, so I'd leave the roof as is.

    Can you get some better pictures of the structure? When I click on your pics, they stay small, so its hard to give advice.

    But in general, if you get snow/winters, I'd add plywood to most of it, other than a small area at the roof peak to leave for ventilation. I'd have "window" openings on two sides (wired with hardware cloth, NOT chicken wire - chicken wire is great for containing chickens - but NOT great for keeping raccoons and other critters away from chickens). Fender washer and screws work well for securing hardware cloth. I'd screw plexiglass over the screened windows in winter time.

    Will you be able to get that much roost space inside and still have space for them to flap up/down onto their roosts??? Ideally, for 12 birds, you really want a coop that's about 48 sq. ft. although folks in mild winter areas are often able to get by with smaller coops, allowing only 2 sq. feet per bird. So you might be able to swing a 24 sq. ft coop. If that coop doesn't offer enough space (not NOW - but when your birds are adults) - you might remodel to make the coop wider now - easier to make changes when the coop is at the rough stage as yours is now...
     
  6. ekafns

    ekafns Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Apr 10, 2016
    Some better pictures, hopefully this helps. My plan is to take the left side and attach a nesting box to it. Maybe hardware cloth underneath and expend a small run with hanging food and water? Any other suggestions please let me know.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    863
    53
    98
    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    isn't the coop a bit small for 8 hens? or maybe because of the pictures?

    how cold can it get in your area? you don't have to worry about ventilation that is for sure.
     
  8. ekafns

    ekafns Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Apr 10, 2016
    Yes it is a bit small, they do free range all day, I will have to expand the coop, maybe on the right side eventually?

    I can get cold here Shenandoah mountains in VA.

    Thanks !
     
  9. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    863
    53
    98
    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    any natural predators in your area? since those chicken wires might not be enough

    it's nice where you are. You will not any house with that much grass or wide space around here.

    after joining this site and saw various pictures from other users making me want to move to the rural areas.. if not at least county land

    more space + more property rights vs some city area regulated by the hoa..
     
  10. lcertuche

    lcertuche Chillin' With My Peeps

    Possibly a tarp around and over it in the winter for cold nights. I live in Arkansas and we can have a few freezing nights but except for a few combs getting black around the edges they seem to do well without any heat. I believe the mountains might be more challenging. Make sure they don't have any winds whipping through in the winter. Summer the air would be welcomed. It might do well to put some steel mesh wire over the chicken wire for predators. If possible maybe you could use the same design to extend the size of the coup. Maybe a larger overhang to make sure rain doesn't get in. I think you got a bargain and now you can copy the design with your own improvements. I have a saw mill down the road that gives us all the scrap lumber we can carry away so I may try to use some of the design elements from your coup. Thanks for sharing.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by