Here's My Coop Plan but a Few Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Patinas, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. Patinas

    Patinas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All,

    I'm a new member on this site and new to chickens but have been doing my homework and have come up with the following plan for a coop. I currently have 21 chicks that will move into the new digs when it's built. Construction starts next week so would appreciate any input.

    My main goal here is ease of maintenance as well has a happy/healthy/safe home for the chickens. With this many chickens there will be a lot of poop so I'm very maintenance orientated in my planning.

    Structure Size: 12 x 8
    Chicken Run Size: 12 x 20
    Nest Boxes: 6

    1. I've decided to pour concrete for the yard floor. Get a lot of rain here and can't handle the thought of a muddy/poopy chicken run. Run will be covered or at least half covered for shade and a dry area. I am planning to let them free range the property when we're home during the day but I want a big run to keep them in if I start losing too many to predators while they're out of the run. Run will be screened with 1/2" hardware cloth to keep out critters and predators. I have seen posts where people say concrete is too hard on their legs but I will put down straw/shaving over the concrete.

    2. Nest boxes: I've seen ideas online to use plastic tubs in the nest boxes. I'm liking this idea for ease of cleaning them out. Any thoughts on this? I'm not keen on the idea of having wood bottoms in the nest boxes. Seems that would be hard to clean over time.

    3. Roosts: I haven't seen a whole lot of ideas on this. I am planning to use 2 x 4's but am worried about mites and cleaning them. I read online that 2x4's can be painted with boiled linseed oil which will deter mites so I'm planning to do that. My only other issue is cleaning them. I know the poop can pile up fast so I'm thinking linseed oil would keep urine from soaking in and the only other issue would be scraping the poop off them as needed. Anyone ever treated their roosts with boiled linseed oil? Would paint be a good choice vs. the linseed oil?

    4. Coop Floor: Using 3/4 inch marine grade plywood and then covering that with vinyl flooring and then putting shavings on top of the vinyl. The floor will be built on raised blocks. Should I also put hardware cloth on the bottom of the plywood before nailing it down to keep rodents from trying to chew through? Is that just overkill?

    5. Coop Walls: Planning to insulate them and interior walls will be 1/2" plywood. I was thinking I would paint the inside walls and caulk all the seams where the plywood meets the vinyl flooring. I read that painting the interior can help with keeping the walls cleaner. I also read that running strips of remnant vinyl a couple feet up the walls helps too.

    6. Coop/Run Roofing: I started out thinking I would use metal roofing but I read on here recently that someone had an issue with mice getting under the metal in the ridges. So now I'm going with asphalt shingles. Just seems that would be better at keeping the rodents at bay. Also probably quieter for the chickens than rain beating down on the metal.

    7. Chicken Door: Using an automatic door.

    8. Windows: I'm leaning towards using hardware cloth screening for the windows and covering them with wood shutter type doors that can be closed at night. Are glass windows the better way to go on this?

    9. Poop Catchers: Under the roosts I am thinking of putting plastic deli trays that could easily be scraped/washed.

    I think that's it for now. As you can tell I'm planning to build a resort hotel for my girls!! LOL I just want them to be safe and happy and keep it as easy as possible for me to clean it.

    Any advice is appreciated since the plan is still flexible at this point. Thanks!

    -Patinas
     
    NavyVetVetTech likes this.
  2. RichM

    RichM Just Hatched

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    It sounds like you've done some research. I've heard around here that vinyl floors don't really last that long in a coop, and a lot of people just use bare wood. Pouring concrete for the whole run sounds like a lot of work/expense, and I"m sure you'll still end up with poopy mud on top of the concrete, though I guess you could hose it down.

    Don't trust the automatic door too much at night. Chickens occasionally doddle a bit about going to bed, (treats at dusk can be a source of this) and then end up stuck outside because they can't see in the dark. Do a head count at night.

    Make sure to put complex locking mechanisms on everything openable. I lost my first flock when a raccoon carefully removed the egg door and killed all the chickens. They have hands! I didn't realize how clever they are and also how murderous!
     
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  3. Patinas

    Patinas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2017
    Washington
    RichM,

    Thanks for the input! I decided on concrete when a friend of mine recently had one of her chickens literally get stuck in the mud in the hen yard. She thinks it had been out overnight and she had to give it a bath to get all the mud off. That's when I decided to just do concrete because in theory, although it is more expense up front, I thought it would be easy just to hose it off when needed.

    I also figured the vinyl is fairly cheap if you get remnants or one on closeout. I have one 10 x 12 that I got for $50. If it doesn't last, it shouldn't be a big deal to pull it up and just replace it.

    Good advice on making sure all the latches are secure types. I have seen a couple raccoons on the edges of the property over the last few months. I'm sure once they know there are chickens to be had they'll be trying hard to figure out a way in. Also recently had a possum in the yard. Someone told me they will kill chickens just for the sake of killing them.
     
    NavyVetVetTech likes this.
  4. KoopersCoop

    KoopersCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Patinas, I sure hope you will be posting your building of your chicken resort! It sounds really nice!
     
  5. Patinas

    Patinas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2017
    Washington
    Yes! I do plan to take lots of pictures of the build and I'll post them on here. Many of the ideas I got were from looking at pics of other coop builds on BYC so I'll share mine too.

    I looked high and low for plans for building a large size coop and finally bought plans from www.homegardendesignplan.com. Kind of a funky site but the plans are ones I can actually follow. Very visual. I have no experience with framing so that's why I felt I needed actual plans. I've done lots of fencing and roofing but no actual framing. Hubby is handy but even he has little experience with framing walls. I'm actually modifying the plans I got. Need to add an extra entrance door and some extra venting high up but shouldn't be a big deal since the basics are displayed in the plans. Also, it shows the nest boxes at ground level but I'm going to raise them up off the floor as that just makes sense to me. It's shaping up to be quite a project!
     
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    The benefit of actual windows for the coop is light. In the weather there can still be light without letting in wind, rain and snow.

    I think you will find that the hens will gleefully target any and every flowerbed. You may find the need to contain them in the run to give the gardens a break. That being said I am against a concrete run. There is no way for them to do what they are designed to do.....dig. Can you imagine trying to dig a hole to cool off in finding only a very hard surface that destroys your nails? Or trying to eat small bits like scratch but banging your beak into concrete?

    If your run gets muddy there are way to help the hens. Putting roosts in the run and laying pallets so they have non muddy places. Building in the high spot of the yard aids drainage. Roofing part or all of the run will not make your chickens mad at all. They would have dry dirt AND shade!

    If you have to build in a low spot adding drainage around the run can help divert water away.
     
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  7. Patinas

    Patinas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2017
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    Responded but apparently I can't add links so I'll try this again. I will post pics of the build since many of the ideas I have I found on BYC looking at other coop builds. I actually bought plans at a site called homedesigngardenplan. Not trying to endorse them or anything it's just that I looked high and low online for actual building plans for a large coop and found that site. The plans are very visual so they look easy to follow. Need to modify them a bit but totally doable.
     
  8. Patinas

    Patinas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2017
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    Thanks for the input 21Hens. Good point about them pecking with their beaks on the concrete. I do plan to let them free range a lot so I hope that won't be a problem. I'll give it some thought and maybe only concrete half the run and figure out if we can add drainage. The ground just gets so soggy around here.

    Also, good point about the windows for letting in the light without having to actually open them if it's cold out.
     
  9. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    Making windows is not hard and can be done with 1/4 inch thick plexiglass.
    I made mine and had some smoked lexan even.

    A couple pics to perhaps give you ideas.
    [​IMG]
    This shows how mine open. The pvc and eye bolts are very secure when I have them closed.

    This shows the framing pretty well.
    [​IMG]

    And the joy of dirt. This rescue hen spent at least 3 hours bathing when we got them home. The others took turns as well.
    They had been living where dust bathing was not possible.
    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. KoopersCoop

    KoopersCoop Out Of The Brooder

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