I need help designing a coop!?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ladybug2001, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Ladybug2001

    Ladybug2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright, so here pretty soon my family will be moving to our new house. With a new house, horses have a new barn, and I want my chickens to have a new coop.

    Currently I have a rooster and two hens (dogs took out my flock). They live in a throw-together coop that is lifted off the ground, horrible to clean out, and just hard on the eyes.

    I've looked at coop designs on here, but I don't trust my dad if I say "here build this" that it will be exactly like it without a full plan.

    So.

    I need help, I'm not crafty at all.

    I'm thinking 10 x 10 or 12 x 12. Has to have little "room" for feed and a cut-off for the new chicks arriving in April and for if a hen goes broody.

    Though, which is better, deep litter (sand) or a linoleum floor with shavings?
     
  2. ECSandCCFS

    ECSandCCFS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a dirt floor. I would think it would be easier to clean than a linoleum floor. Also it may cost you more to pay for shavings.
     
  3. ECSandCCFS

    ECSandCCFS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We just screened and added boards to an old horse stall. That was for our new coop. Since we have a old barn we had to add a few more things too. Maybe you could do that to and add a little section for a broody or new chicks?
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Our coop pages (brown strip, top of page) have lots of coops of different sizes, many with good plans.

    I have an 11x17 coop with a dirt floor. There is a "room" in one corner, about 5'x6', that works well for a broody or new chicks --- or a sick chicken, etc. The "walls" of this smaller room are chicken wire. Rather than have a separate storage room, I went with two galvanized garbage cans. One holds 100 lbs. of feed and the other is where I keep oyster shell, grit, BOSS, and anything else I don't want the chickens to get into. I have sometimes wished I had a small cabinet up hgh on a wall (so they couldn't roost on top of it) to store small items such as scissors to open feed bags, a bottle of BluKote, and so forth. I prefer the garbage cans as they are near the feeders so it's easy to fill the feeders. I have running water just outside the coop and power wired to two outlets in the ceiling, which makes it easy to use the small chicken wire room for a brooder. The people door, several inches between the top of the wall and the roof, and half of the wall opposite the people door are all made of hardware cloth. This airs out the coop so well that in the summer, they will go in the coop because it is cooler than under the large bushes intheir yard -- even though it is a metal building. The roosts are in the corner next to the half hardware cloth wall. To prevent wind blowing on the roost in winter, I staple a couple of plastic bags over the hardware cloth of the people door. Other than the small cabinet, there really isn't anything I would change about the setup. Well, maybe a removable panel for the people door, just for looks. I love my dirt floor. With 9 hens and pine shavings, there is no odor and the litter is only removed and replaced once a year. A lot of people like sand, but keep in mind they scoop the poop out of it.

    If it's big enough, the floor plan won't be that much of an issue, as it will be easy to change things around. Themain thing you will read here is, build as big as you can. I would not keep chickens if I didn't have a comfortably sized, walkin coop -- maybe not this big, but for even 9 hens, I wouldn't want less than 8x8. Because lumber comes in multiples of 8, it's much easier and more practical to make it in multiples. For example, I wouldn't build 10x10, I'd build 8x12. Same square footage (almost) and lots less cutting. A roof that slants to one side only gives much better ventilation, too, as the warm, humidified air moves out best if from the high point of the coop -- and a vent on a peaked roof is a pain to build. for the same reason, among others, I would never consider outside nest boxes built onto the wall. I want to go inside and check on things, anyway, including checking for eggs that weren't laid in the nest box. Outside nest boxes are a pain to build, tend to leak, and are difficult to predator proof. With my coop, I can use any handy container in that size range for a nest box. In a pinch, a cardboard box works fine.

    If the barn is bigger than you need for the horses, you could also consider converting a stall to a coop, with hardware cloth around the top edges for good ventilation. Lots of folks have done this.

    Good luck! Hope some of this gives you some ideas.
     
  5. Ladybug2001

    Ladybug2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I definitely want bigger! Ha. I have 15 chicks on order plus the three I have, so as long a I keep them safe from the dogs until we move I will have 18 chickens. I thought about putting them in one of the stalls of the barn and letting them roam the acreage but the fence wouldn't be able to keep them in. So they actually will be I the dogs fence which is pretty big and my dogs won't touch them. actually my chickens love to come in our fence now and hang out in the dogs yard.

    I have looked at the coops on here but I haven't seen one that shows everything I want in one...

    Has to have makeshift windows. A cut out with screens and a shutter, at least three of those. A nice roost and a poop catcher that is easy to clean off since that is where 90% of the build up of poop is. Garbage bin would work nicely!

    It will have electric and running water, thinking an automatic waterer. Lots of insolation so it stays cool in summer warm in winter.
    Here we have both extremes, hot and cold, actually worried about my roosters comb and wattle right now... Plus two of my new chicks won't be that cold hardy so I need a good coop!
     
  6. ECSandCCFS

    ECSandCCFS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you thought about using an Avian Aqua Miser? I do and the water stays clean except for when we got algae in them. Vinegar kept it of after one or two uses
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Screens aren't going to keep out predators. Hardware cloth will, at least if well secured, except maybe bears....

    This one is somewhat similar to mine, though a bit smaller. My people door is a little shorter, and that top angled area is all hardware cloth. It is also hardware cloth on all 4 sides at the top of the walls, plus half of one wall where they show the nest boxes (which they show taking up about 8' but you only need about 3' for most setups.) I don't have any windows as there is already plenty of light and breeze in there. especially with half of one wall hardware cloth. It would be the wall closest to the nests in that design. For the "inside room," I have it in just one corner, next to the people door.

    Mostly I wanted to show you the roof style, which is like mine. to me it is the obvious way to be sure you have plenty of ventilation at the high point of the coop, both for summer heat and for escape of humidity in winter cold snaps.
     
  8. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    Have you considered converting a premade shed or using a shed kit? I think I am getting a 8x12 (96sqft) shed kit. You can store the feed in metal garbage cans and use a off the ground rabbit hutch type of thing for any broodys.
     
  9. haydon19

    haydon19 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am building my chicken coop and have extra welded wire and it's spaces are 2x1 inches do you think that is to big of gaps or will that be small enough to protect my chickens. Thank you
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    This is a great approach and might work out best for you.
     

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