Hidden Forest Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jetpad, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. Jetpad

    Jetpad Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wanted to get some chickens a few years ago and bought the plans for TheGardenCoop.com . I then went down to the county permit office and discovered they didn't really want me to put a coop on my property. So after thinking about it for a while, I decided to go ahead and just build it anyway. My back yard has about a half acre of un-landscaped forest and isn't fenced. I picked a spot in the middle for the coop that'll be hidden from my neighbor's view for most of the year. Unfortunately, it'll be visible during the winter so I'll have to come up with someway of hiding it when all the leaves drop off the trees.

    The basic GardenCoop is roughly a 6'x9.5' covered run with a 3'x5' coop. I'm expanding it slightly to 6'x12' and adding on some external nesting boxes to the coop. I'm hoping to have enough room for about 7-8 chickens.

    Another twist to this is there isn't a flat spot in my yard. The coop will be on a slope. Here's looking downhill on the spot I picked.
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    And this is looking at it uphill.
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    The foundation will be solid concrete blocks.
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    I had to dig down into the slope to make a level spot for it. The uphill side of the coop has the blocks on their side 4" deep.
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    The downhill side has a mound of gravel covered with some hardware cloth and two layers of blocks. I ended up needing a lot more blocks and gravel than I originally thought.
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    I've kept some of the small trees that were already growing in the middle of the run for now. I know the chickens will probably tear them up but maybe I can protect them.
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    The basic pieces of the frame went together fairly quickly using the garden coop plans. I picked a dark color to paint it that matches the trim on my house. It's called "Dark Forest" and hope it'll help hide the coop in the trees.
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    Here's my painting crew at work.
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    This is the frame on the block foundation. Yea! Unfortunately, I had to make a few adjustments to the frame after I discovered that I didn't make the foundation wide enough by 4".
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    Crooked Chicken likes this.
  2. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    Cool!
     
  3. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    This is and going to be a first class build. VERY nice attention to details, someone knows there stuff on this one.

    RJ
     
  4. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Building it in a slope will actually work to your advantage, it will drain a lot better, especially with all that gravel you've got there. Looks good!
     
  5. Jetpad

    Jetpad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's a few more pictures of the frame.
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    So, next is the roof. These are the rafters cutout and almost painted.
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    The coop/run is going to be a little over 12 feet and the roof will have a one foot overhang on one side and a three foot overhang on the side with the nesting boxes. That means the roof will need to be about 16 feet wide and so the purlins that'll go on top of the rafters and under the roofing sheet will need to be that size. I made the purlins by splitting a 8' 2x4 down the middle and joining the two pieces on the end. I used some glue and screws to hook them together. It ended up not being real strong but it was strong enough.
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    Somehow I managed to not take a good picture of the roof frame going up. Here's a fuzzy picture of it.
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    I'm using SunTuf corrugated panels for the roof but when I went to Home Depot they didn't have the right spacer strips the panels use when attaching them to the purlins. I did see some plastic ones that I might have been able to use but they were a tan color and thought they would stand out a little too much compared to the "Dark Forest" color of the frame. So end up using a hole making attachment (not sure what's the right name for it) for a drill and made a couple hundred 3/4" thick circles out of wood that I could paint and use as spacers. It took way too much time.
    [​IMG]

    The SunTuf panels come in a few different transparencies and colors. Since this'll be in the woods, I went with the totally transparent panels to let a lot of light and heat in during the winter. Hopefully it won't be too much. Right now, during the summer, it's perfect under the shade of the trees. You can see my spacer through the panel.
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  6. tracecom

    tracecom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice going. I wonder what the fall is on the property. I am building a run on a hillside with about 2" of fall per foot, and am having trouble deciding how to go about it.
     
  7. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    This is coming along nicely. Looking at the pictures, it really is a steep slope. You might want to build some sort of rainwater diverting wall above the coop so everything doesn't pour through your coop during heavy rains.
     
  8. Jetpad

    Jetpad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Tracecom, one thing that really helped was putting the thin part of the run along the slope instead of down it. My slope drops 2' over the 6' width of the coop so the rise to run (slope run and not chicken run) is 2:6. Your slope of 2" per foot would make the ratio 1:6. Not too bad but still makes it a little difficult. You have the choice of cutting into the hill and making a small retaining wall on the high end OR making a high foundation wall on the low end. I think I ended up somewhere in the middle. I don't think there is any way around having to remove a lot of dirt to make the plot flat.

    One thing I ruled out for myself was doing a sonotube foundation although that may be an option for you. It seemed like more work and just couldn't figure out how exactly to work the hardware cloth into it for predator protection.
     
  9. Jetpad

    Jetpad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Vehve, thanks, this is the first time I've built anything on a slope like this so I'm definitely learning. You're right. I had a good rain since I got to this point and a lot of water ended up flowing down the side of the hill into the coop. Now I understand all the people who have houses on the sides of hills complaining about water in their basements.
     
  10. Jcbdc

    Jcbdc Out Of The Brooder

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    Nice coop!
    Put in a V above your coop to channel the water away.
     
    Crooked Chicken likes this.

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