Honest Input

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MEMama3, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your honest input is needed. I have sketched, crumpled, measured and sketched again to give my husband a guide for my "ideal coop". I want 12, but I am making sure the coop has room in case there are a few extras that join in at the last moment [​IMG] Since my 7 girls are currently in a coop that is only 4' tall on the "tall" side, this should seem like a mansion to them.

    Coop size: 6'x8' with 6' walls to an 8' peak. 11' of roost space. 4 individual nest boxes and 1 3' communal box.

    [​IMG]
    This is looking to the right when you walk in the coop. The wall measures 6'. There is a roost 12" from the wall over an 18" poop board (something I've always wanted, but couldn't do in my current coop). Under that are four nestboxes that measure 12"x12"x14". 12" in front of the nest boxes is another roost with poop board (the boxes actually sit on the board). My thought is that it creates a little walkway with safety railing lol. From the poop board to the floor is a 10" ramp with a 10"x10" platform halfway down. If my math was correct, there should be room for an angle slightly gentler than 45 degrees. On the floor level with a 5" lip is a communal nest box. It measures 3'x16"x16". If one of my hens goes broody I plan to relocate her into that box and then use a PVC frame with wire to sort of block it off until she and her chicks are ready to venture.

    [​IMG]
    This is looking at the back wall when you walk in. You can see the depth changes between roosts and boxes on the left. There will be a pop door that measures 12"x16" that is raised off the floor by 6" since I plan to use that primarily during the winter when we switch from sand bedding (only 3" deep) to DL. Speaking of DL, the two pink "bars" on either side of the door are brackets to slide in a board so that when the bedding gets higher it wont pour out the door. I'll use that door to let the girls out when the weather is nice (ex: not raining, excessively windy, snowing, freezing cold). I meant to draw the door 4" off the floor, but forgot so I did the little dotted line. My 8yo came up with the idea of a mural of a rainbow going to a basket of eggs instead of a pot of gold. I thought that was a super cute idea.

    [​IMG]
    This is the side that you would enter from. Again, you can see how the boxes and roosts come into the room. There is a 3' space on the far side of the bottom nest box so I thought I could use that space and the area under the ramp for feed and water. I can also probably squeeze some supplies like bags of feed or shavings under there. I want to do a dutch door so I can open the top and get some great air flow. Again, door was suppose to be 4" higher and I added brackets for this door too.

    You will note that there are no windows or vents drawn in. There is also no east wall because there isn't really anything there. As far as windows, I plan on getting together as many as I can and putting them wherever they will fit. In the warm months I want the coop as "open" as I can get away with. As far as vents, I would love input on what style to put where. I am in cold Maine on open property, so we get some serious winds around here.

    [​IMG]
    This last one is basically just to show flow and floor space. One last thing I wanted to share: I am doing 2"x4" roosts laid wide side up. I wanted to be able to remove them if need be so I came up with drilling a 4"x4"x4" block into the poop board and then attaching 2"x4" pieces on either side to make something that resembled a football goal. In theory the roost should sit right in it.

    Alright, hit me with it! I'm eager for feedback!
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats on getting a new coop! Always plan bigger to account for chicken math! lol If you use the recommended 4 sq foot per bird for inside the coop - then 6'x8' will give you room for just 12 birds.
    I couldn't tell by the drawing are you collecting eggs from inside the coop and reaching over the lower roost to get to them or do you have a collection door from the back side? Just something to consider - the nesting boxes entrance is right where they will be pooping so, they will be walking though the poop to get into nesting boxes = dirty eggs if, you don't clean the poop board every morning. For your walk-in door you could use metal brackets to drop in a removable board just inside of your screen/storm door. Then you remove/lift out the board and you can gut all the bedding easily and it keeps the bedding in the coop when you open the door. I have 4 coops that give me 8 pens and I have built everyone of them so, the hens can go underneath the coops. It works great because they have someplace to hangout when it's raining or snowing. I cut and staple plastic from feed bags to give them wind and snow protection under the coops for winter months.
     
  3. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2013
    Vacation Land; Maine
    Thanks! I know I'd be pushing it with the square footage, but I wouldn't squeeze more than 14 in purely because I'm flying under town radar as we speak (they know I've exceeded the max, but they like my setup and look the other way). I was going to use sand for the poop boards which I hope keeps it cleaner. I scoop every morning (unless it's below freezing when in wait til it warms up a bit) so it wouldn't accumulate. The coop opens into a large hoop area. I call it the warming hut in the winter, but it keeps everyone out of rain/snow/wind. It also acts like an atrium to keep the elements out of the coop. After that, they have run of the property. I'm hoping they spend enough time outdoors or in the hoop that again I can squeeze if need be.
     
  4. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northwest Hills of CT
    Nice plans! As mentioned before, your sq ft and roost length put you right at 12 chickens. If you want more for expansion, then you'll want to go a little bigger. Another thing to consider is what you will be making it out of - plywood is sold in 4x8 sheets, so 6x8 means cutting off 2' from a full sheet. Same thing with studs, they are 8'. I would make it bigger, using the full size of the studs and plywood wherever possible - less waste. You may find you can go bigger without much extra cost. I like your idea of removable roosts. The goal post idea is good. A simpler idea is to drive a framing nail through near both ends of the 2x4 so the nail sticks out 2". Then mark where the nail hits the board below it, and drill a 1/8" or so hole so the nails drop into the holes, holding the roost securely, yet making them removable. I have 3 roosts going across the width of my coop, and all three are removable for ease of cleaning the coop. The chickens won't need the ramps to the nesting boxes and roosts - they will hop up or fly up without any problem. The ramps will tend to collect poop and will need frequent cleaning. I would make sure you consider yourself, and not just the chickens when designing the coop. Your door is 5' tall. If you have room, I would make it taller - less bumping of heads. Whatever you use to make the door will most likely be taller than 5', so bigger shouldn't cost more. Check Craigslist for windows - many times people are replacing decent windows and will give them away or sell the really cheap. I have picked up 2 dozen windows of different sizes for my projects this way.

    Finally, take lots of pictures and post them so we can all see and admire your final plan! Good luck!
     
  5. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2013
    Vacation Land; Maine
    Thanks @thomasboyle!
     

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