Here's my plans for a coop, let me know what you think.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bocephus, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. bocephus

    bocephus Out Of The Brooder

    46
    0
    37
    Feb 8, 2012
    Outside of Ann Arbor MI
    I'm planning on starting a hobby farm and want to start with dual purpose chickens. I'm on 10 acres in southeast Michigan in a ag zone.

    Currently there is a 8x8 shed with full electric, a water spigot and lamp post. Some of floor, walls, etc... are rotted but the frame seems pretty solid. My plan is to gut it and reuse just the frame. I also want to make another frame of the same dimensions and put them together to have a 8' wide, 16' long coop. I was thinking of using the current exterior door as an interior door. I would mainly keep this door open but thought it would give me flexibility in the future if I need to segregate and chickens or raise chicks. I would also leave the empty window frame to allow for airflow.

    My neighbor has a lift and I'm going to put it up on cement blocks. I planned on fencing a 75x50' area on each side with a separate door on each side so I could rotate the flock as they wear out each area.

    Should I insulate with traditional insulation between the interior/exterior walls? Nice thing about not insulating is I could not bother with interior walls and leave the 2x4 frame exposed which would make it easier to change things around on the inside if I wanted to. Say I wanted to put nesting boxes in a different spot or change something like that.

    I plan on putting in screened glass windows that I could leave open in the summer but what about ventilation in the winter. Would roof vents be enough?

    Any problems you see with my plan so far?


    Here's the basic setup currently. Near that large tree on the right would be the back corner of one of the fenced areas. I would also have an area of the same size to left side. That window was just a plexiglass window which is broken, I'll remove that plexiglass and leave the frame on the interior wall.

    [​IMG]

    Below are just some pictures of the current rot
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,235
    111
    201
    Jan 16, 2012
    Texas
    It seems like you have a pretty good plan. All you need to do is patch holes and replace sections of rotten wood. Raising it up on cement blocks would prevent the water from rotting the floor any more.

    You will have a lot space for chicken runs with trees for shade in the summer. Do you plan to have an open run?

    What breed or breeds of chickens are you planning to have, and how many chickens do you plan to have?
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    174
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Certainly a nice start. I'm getting ready to start building (from scratch) a similar project. Mine will be 10x14 because there is a concrete slab on my property that will hold a coop of those dimensions. I haven't decided on the insulation yet so can't advise you on that. One thing to keep in mind is that without internal walls, the exposed studs will be pooped on quite a bit. And, in Michigan I imagine it gets quite a bit colder than it does where I am, so having internal walls that are insulated may be a good idea.

    As for ventilation, I plan to put in a vent on each end, and I am considering a roof vent as well. I would like to have windows on all four sides so that I can open in a variety of ways for ventilation depending on wind direction. (You'll notice I keep saying "would like to", "considering" - that's because I'm a novice builder and while I have been studying how to do all of these things, I don't want to start too ambitious a project and then not be able to complete it. Nevertheless, its good to have an idea of what you want, right?)

    I plan on dividing mine internally, similar to what you are describing except that my interier will be divided into a 10x10 space and a 10x4 area. The internal wall will be chicken wire since it only needs to keep the chickens on their side of the wall. The 10x4 area is where I will keep bins of feed, chick feeders, waterers, heat lamps and so on.

    For ventilation in winter, a roof vent may be enough, depending on how many birds you have. The mainest thing is you don't want them to be sitting in a draft. And, it seems that it is humidity rather than cold that causes frost bite. If you have a large number of birds in a small area, their exhalations can raise humidity enough to cause frostbite. So if your number of birds is reasonable for the space, and you have a roof vent to allow ventilation, you might be okay.

    Hope some of that helps you to formulate plans for your own building. The run area looks neat and having a tree for shade will be great in the summer. Is there a similarly shaded area for the left-side run?


    Oh, and [​IMG]
     
  4. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,235
    111
    201
    Jan 16, 2012
    Texas
    I do see a tree on the left side of the coop. He can fence around the tree if he wants the chickens to be able to get under that tree.
     
  5. bocephus

    bocephus Out Of The Brooder

    46
    0
    37
    Feb 8, 2012
    Outside of Ann Arbor MI
    Yeah there's that little tree to left, I want to plant another one over there too.

    Right now I'm leaning towards Buckeyes as the breed I go with.
     
  6. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,235
    111
    201
    Jan 16, 2012
    Texas
    Buckeyes -- That makes sense. Southeast Michigan is right next to Ohio. [​IMG]

    There are many chicken breeds named after states. Are there any breeds named after or bred in Michigan?
     
  7. bocephus

    bocephus Out Of The Brooder

    46
    0
    37
    Feb 8, 2012
    Outside of Ann Arbor MI
    I did a bunch of research and ended up with a list of about 15 dual purpose birds that I thought could work. I was going to research it more to find the ONE but lately I was thinking screw it, lets just go with the buckeye. Kind of a gut feeling and I figure being only an hour from Ohio, a bird developed in Ohio should do well here. Also in the latest issue of Hobby Farms I got, there were some ads for mail order farms in the same area code of Ohio that I visit every few months. So I thought I would call them and see if they'd just let me pick some chicks up.

    I haven't seen any chickens that were developed here. A lot of streets here have the name Wyandotte but I believe that chicken is from NY.
     
  8. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    174
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    The Buckeye sounds like a great choice to me. Its a breed I've been wanting for quite awhile, mainly because of their fame as mouse-catchers. I never had mice until I got the chooks but once they heard there was a steady supply of chicken feed here, they all moved in. I used to have a RSL who loved to catch mice, but my neighbor's dog got her, and none of the rest have shown any interest in the mice.
     
  9. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,235
    111
    201
    Jan 16, 2012
    Texas
    Wyandot is a Native-American tribe originally from what is now the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]"Huron was the French name for the Wyandot tribe. It means "wild boar" in French. The French thought that the Mohawk haircuts of the Huron warriors looked like the bristles on a wild boar's neck."[/FONT]


    While the Wyandotte chicken breed was named after the Native-American tribe and not a state, Michigan seemed to play a part in developing the breed.

    Maybe you should try Wyandottes also since they have a Michigan connection.

    Here is some information I found.



    http://www.raising-chickens.org/silver-laced-wyandotte.html

    The Wyandotte breed was developed in the 1870's by four breeders from Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York.

    They first named the breed the American Sebright, but when the breed was accepted to the APA they decided to name the breed after the place it originated like many other truly American breeds. The name Wyandotte is named after the similarly named Indian tribe of the area.

    The roots of the Silver Laced Wyandotte are somewhat uncertain as the breeders did not keep records. Experts seem to agree though that breeds such as the Dark Brahma and the Spangled Hamburg were included in the mix.

    The Silver Laced Wyandottes have a well-rounded body that is supported by stout legs. Many people use these birds for show, but they are very effective meat and egg birds. A dressed Wyandotte will be very similar in size to the Cornish Rock bird that is found at the stores today.

    The Wyandotte was first admitted to the APA in 1883.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  10. marty8587

    marty8587 Chillin' With My Peeps

    138
    4
    81
    Aug 15, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    I wouls skip the insulation. Chickens are hardy birds , and the fact that you are getting some bred to your region should make it unesessary. Dry and draft free.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by