I started building my silkie coop! (Yep, by myself! Whoo hoo!)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by The Lisser, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. The Lisser

    The Lisser Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm tired of stinky chickens in the house. They are adorable and sweet and even sit on my lap and watch tv (or I watch tv and they think chicken thoughts), but they are stinky. And they are 8 weeks old and the feather dust is incredible. My DH is going back to school 4 nights a week, plus working a full-time job, so he's pretty exhausted.

    So I've been talking about building the silkies a coop for a while and today I actually went out and started doing it!!! I have never built stuff before, always left it to DH. (Luckily he has tools so I am not starting from scratch). I am making a coop addition to the hoop-house chicken tractor that he made for me this summer. The hoop part is 8' x 8' and half covered with a tarp. The coop part I am building is 4' x 8'. I have almost finished the floor - I debated on making it a hardware cloth floor, since I've heard it's better for the silkie's feet (for showing) - but it also gets down into the teens here in the winter and I would be worried that they would get too cold.

    I plan to make two big doors on the back side so I can clean and fill water and food, and a window above. There will be eave vents and also a vent at the peak across from the window, so there will be plenty of ventilation, but not drafts at the floor level. I was debating about making a door where the nest boxes will be but I didn't buy enough hinges. I will cover the windows and vents with hardware cloth, and if it gets really cold I'll get a piece of plexiglass to fit in the window.

    DH took a couple pictures of me and the "coop" which I will add to this thread later. It was so funny, we have free-range roosters and they were "helping" me while I worked.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or thoughts about building for silkies? This coop is not going to be really high off the ground - maybe a foot or two. Do silkies even use roosts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. silkieroo

    silkieroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2010
    Durham NH
    Thats awesome! [​IMG] good for you!! And my silkies use the roost.
     
  3. shadowman

    shadowman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2010
    ontario
    my silkies don't use the roosts. I even had to lower the nesting boxes to floor level! I do have one hen who likes to jump up on top of the nesting boxes though, but that is because she gets pecked a lot. I wouldn't spend too much of your resources on making their coop tall. That's just more space ( that they won't use ) to keep warm in the winter. You mentioned two big doors on the back of the coop for cleaning. That is a good idea, but you may want to construct smaller doors within those big doors for everyday feeding. If you'r opening the big doors everyday in the winter to feed and water your babies, the cold air is going to flood in like a tidal wave! I don't know if you are insulating or not, but either way, if the only warmth they will get is their combined body heat, it will take them a very long time to "re-heat" the coop! I wouldn't go with the hardware cloth floor for the same reason. Maybe I'm too soft on my boys and girls, but, it can get pretty cold in Ontario Canada in the winter time! I'm sure your coop will turn out fine, and like most of us "first timers", your design will probably evolve during the building stages. My biggest concern would be......are you going to furnish the coop with a television so they can continue watching their favorite shows? Maybe a little "chicken sofa?"
    EVEN MODERATION SHOULD NOT BE PRACTICED IN EXCESS!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  4. The Lisser

    The Lisser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Silkieroo - thanks!

    Shadowman - no, I will not be adding a television to the coop. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Thank you for your input! That is a good point about the doors. It is not nearly as cold here in North Carolina as I am guessing it gets where you live (mostly our winter temperatures stay above freezing, but sometimes dip down into the teens and twenties (Farenheit). Still, you are right. There will be 5 silkies in the coop to start with, and when my second batch of youngsters is old enough, that number will increase by 8. (At some point I plan to make a second coop/run to separate colors).

    So, I'm thinking that I will make an auto-feeder for them that I can fill from the outside. Currently they are used to eating out of a mounted deli container so it will not be a big stretch for them to switch to a PVC wall-mounted feeder. Hmm, maybe I could do something similar with the water. Thank you so much for bringing that point up!

    I'm glad that you mentioned the coop height as well because DH has quite a lot of 3' pieces of 2"x4" lumber around here and I could use it to construct the walls - I was debating about going higher.

    If anyone has any other suggestions, please feel free to chime in!

    Thanks!
     
  5. shadowman

    shadowman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2010
    ontario
    3 feet high is fine! My silkies coop is 36" high and if I had it to do again, I wouldn't make it any higher. Mind you, my coop sits on a long hardwood table in our mudroom, so it is at the perfect height for feeding and cleaning. I will be moving them outside in the spring though. I have jut finished a 4'x8' walk in coop. Not sure if I'll put them in that in the spring, or, use it for other birds yet. It just seems like such a waist of overhead space for silkies! Probably be better off putting in some roosts and use it for egg layers.
     
  6. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    sounds good
     
  7. The Lisser

    The Lisser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry still no photos - will try to get on that.

    What size pop door do silkies need? Same as other chickens - 12 x 18" Or smaller?

    Thanks!
     
  8. The Lisser

    The Lisser Chillin' With My Peeps

    As promised here are some pics. This is one DH took of me building the frame for the floor:

    [​IMG]

    This next one is showing more progress - you can see the tarp-covered hoop run behind the coop frame.

    [​IMG]

    And here is a pic of some of the "help" (playing in the mud)

    [​IMG]

    It is at this point that DH felt sorry for me and started helping. He cut the rafter boards (cuz they require angles) and used the air nail gun to put the rafters together. I didn't get a pic of that yet.

    To be continued!

    P.s. How many silkies will comfortably fit in this? 4 x 8' coop with 8x8' run? Right now it looks like I have 5 pullets and 4 cockerels (will try to find homes for 2 of the cockerels and eventually will build a separate tractor for the whites) Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  9. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    looking good and sturdy so far!! your daughter looks pretty excited too! [​IMG]
     
  10. The Lisser

    The Lisser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Thanks! She was more excited about the mud than the coop, tho! LOL
     

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