Hoop House/Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lpyrbby, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's that time of year. I don't have chickens. Feed stores and the like do. And it's hard to be on 4 acres and want chickens!

    I'm still deliberating on whether I can squeeze in the time for them right now, but eventually, it'll happen. I've been searching tonight for cost effective coop ideas, and I think I like the idea of a hoop house the most. After talking it over with my husband, he has ideas that I'm not sure will fly (see what I did there?) and wanted to pose them to you all, who are far more knowledgeable on things chicken.

    First, this is my inspiration: http://littlecountryhouse.blogspot.com/2014/09/diy-chicken-tractor.html Their build was for a chicken tractor which turned out too heavy for them. At least heavier than what they expected. I'm not interested in this being a chicken tractor. Maybe one of those will come later.

    I want to use 4x8 sheets of plywood around the coop section. I'll use wood for the front and back. The back, will have the nest boxes with the outside door access. The front will have your standard human access. I'm thinking we'll dig a trench around the base and drop in some ready mix and add water to help keep critters out. I want a dirt floor to do the deep litter method. I want to use the actual cattle panels for the hoop.

    Question 1 - Corrugated metal seems to be the most sensible option for the roof - flexibility and ease of obtaining. I live 50 miles from Charleston, SC. It's hot and humid down here. How likely is it that this will cook my birds? Is there something else I should consider? I'm not totally keen on using tarps but if I need to, I will. Cheaper anyway I think.

    Question 2 - Husband would rather use PVC. I'm fine with that for the run section, but not so much for the actual house. He'd rather use the PVC to build the hoops and use chicken wire + poultry netting and NOT the cattle panels. Opinions? Pros/cons?

    Question 3 - Does anyone have any real world experience in stretching out bent wire, such as chain link fencing? We have some around the property but it's kinda bent in all different directions. I'm of the opinion that cattle panel will be easier, especially at $20 a panel. He's being a good husband and doing thrifty thinking in trying to reuse what's here. I think it's going to be more hassle than it's worth.

    We do have a coop on the property already, with a hoop run. The coop though needs some attention that I don't think we're willing to deal with (roof leak, floor rot from roof leak, further away from the house than I prefer). We can harvest the nesting boxes from it, as well as some wood, possibly. There's also some PVC/conduit from the current run that could be reused. I think he's wanting to try to reuse the wire from that as well.

    I'm not opposed to reusing what we have, but I don't want to plan on reusing materials that aren't reusing.

    Any input?
     
  2. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like hoop coops I built one for my meat birds last year then moved it for a pig house this year and now need to build a new one for my meat birds this year, they are a very cost effective and sturdy shelter for animals or even a small storage shed. Mine is covered with a heavy duty silver tarp the front is open. If you use metal I recommend A LOT of ventilation if you can't locate it in a shady area, chickens need ventilation anyways and metal does get hot, if you go that route go with a white or other very light color
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  3. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, the current coop is butted up against the woods and is sided in corrugated metal. I want the coop to be closer to the house which is going to put it in more sun, for sure. Husband was already talking about making "windows" that could be opened for them. I told him we should just use a hole saw to put holes in the wood and cover with wire lol. I'm still thinking that part of the run, outside of the coop, we can put a tarp over as well, so they have a choice to be either in or out, just in case being in is too warm for them. Thanks for your input!
     
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't enclose the front, if leave it open or enclose our with a castle panel or welded wire fencing, then face it toward the east or whatever is the likely down wind area in your location then make some windows that can be opened or closed near the back for additional ventilation if needed
     
  5. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'll take a look at the location again. If I'm thinking correctly, with where I want it to go and the direction, the back of the coop will be kind of NW facing so that would be more of a SE front.
     
  6. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That would work good at least in this area, get summer sun and avoid the coldest winter winds
     
  7. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm now trying to think of how to build in/on a brooder area. There are some chickens that I really really want that are hard to come by. So far, the only way I can get them is via hatching eggs. I may have to rethink my interest in them unless I can happen across a broody at the time the eggs are set to arrive :/ I know I should focus on the housing first, but I'd rather have as much planned out for future stuff too, so I don't have to go through the struggle of changing things later.
     
  8. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Woo! So we bought a good chunk of the materials needed for the coop today :) We have to go back out into the world tomorrow to get the cattle panels, some more roofing (since hubs wasn't hearing me that I wanted to make the coop area larger than what was in the build that I found), some hinges for the nest boxes and the feeder/waterer stuff. Probably bedding too. I don't think we'll be able to start the build until Sunday but hopefully it'll go together quickly.

    I also invested in a tiller today. The area where we want to put the coop was the former garden of the old residents. There are some deep holes that I'll need to fill in and they did some other weird things to the land that left intentional ruts that aren't going to be good for having any pasture animals. That's my job tomorrow - to break up the mounds and try to level the playing field for future critters.

    I'm going to till the area for the chickens and fill holes as I can. I'm going to lay down some hardware cloth to hopefully deter some of the larger diggers. I'll kinda "bury" this into the land. We'll set the frame and build the coop. I plan on filling the coop area with any extra dirt I can make available and then bags and bags of pine shavings/chips. I think we've decided we'll leave it a three-walled run for now, roughly 8x8 and they can come and go as they please into an additional 8x8 area of run. If I mess up the grass too much with the tiller, I'll get some barley or something else for fodder/sod so the new residents have something to work with.

    I've made contact with someone local who has a couple Speckled Sussex that I'm really interested in. She also has a dark Brahma that we may also get. They're about 2 months old now. We may also get some chicks of some kind. For them, I'm hoping to run some power (likely via a long extension cord) to the coop so I can set up the mama hen heating pad in the coop. I'll separate the littles from the biggers with an old puppy pen that I have. Hopefully that will help integrate the littles with the biggers.

    Does it sound like we're on the right path? What am I missing?

    Also, roosts and nest boxes. Is there a preferred location for them in relation to one another? We're planning for the nest boxes to be on the coop end of the hoop house. I think husband is planning on making them to where they are kind of an "extension" of the coop and not taking up real estate inside it. That way, we can have lids to access the boxes from the outside. How high should they be? What problems would possibly occur if they were set closer to the ground? (I read a few threads where people were concerned after the broodies hatched chicks in an elevated box)

    What an investment chickens are! And how consuming they are of your mind! Yikes lol
     
  9. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Husband has been a great helper. He got this righted by himself with a couple of trees to hold one side and his truck to pull the other side over and it righted on its own. This isn't where the coop will be living, it just happens to be closer to all the materials and tools. He's hoping to slap some wheels on it and tow it over to where it's going to live. He's got doc appointments in town tomorrow, so I'm optimistic to come home, take care of the dogs, then get out in the yard and pin down the hardware cloth for the base. Small steps!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. petcrazy

    petcrazy Out Of The Brooder

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    This is my duck pen. It was pretty simple to build. I put 3 post in the ground and ran a 2x4 across the top and just bent pvc pipe over the top. Lay your wire over and tie with zip ties..[​IMG]
     

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