It's only November, but Spring Planning has begun - input wanted....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FarmerJamie, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. FarmerJamie

    FarmerJamie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2010
    Here's the problem:
    I built a very simple 4x8 coop for my (now) 14 hens. No problems. We like to raise batches of 20-30 meaties a couple times a year. I have several small coops for the meaties, but a devasting coyote attack exposed the weakness with them, so ......

    The wife would like to build a larger (10x10 or 12x12) outbuilding for the meaties that doubles as a coop and shed to store all of the chicken-related tools, food, bedding etc. in one place. It will probably have to be a kit shed or the like, because I am only passable with the power tools - the current coop is okay, but nothing to brag about. For the amount of money invested, I would prefer something a little more professional.

    I'm trying to mentally subdivide the space up and to think about the possibilites.

    Does this make sense or are we going down the wrong path?

    tips, suggestions, and advice are much appreciated....thanks.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    You'll save a lot of money and frustration by hiring a dependable teenager or odd job man to help you build or build it for you. Commercially available coops are often not devised by chicken keepers and usually a lot of expense for something poorly constructed. There won't be much out there of that size that doesn't cost a small fortune, I don't imagine. You'd probably want to look at sheds rather than coops, then add the chicken-y stuff yourself. Since you've already built one, I'll bet you can do a good job next time.

    Some people have done well with a closeout shed from Home Depot or the like, or something off Craigslist, but then you have the transport problem. If you build, you can just subdivide with chicken wire, if you wish. This would let you change your mind about the amount of storage space, or the arrangement, relatively easily.

    I have a good sized coop and just store things right in the coop. A separate area would have been nice, though, even just separated with chicken wire.

    There's a huge amount of info, pics, plans, etc. on here in the coop section.

    Good luck!
     
  3. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    Here is a link to some free shed plans. http://www.apawood.org/homeproj/index.cfm They are complete plans. If your carpentry skills are on the low side, I would suggest getting the Building Chicken Coops for Dummies book. I built the big walk in shed mainly by myself this fall and I have never built anything that large before. I would say if I can build a coop with that book, anyone can. [​IMG] The large walk in coop is only 8'X8' so that is why I added the shed plans. Hope this helps! BTW I think you can build a coop much better and a lot less expensively than buying a shed or a shed kit. From what I have read on shed kit reviews they do not use the best materials. [​IMG]
     
  4. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    I like it! I know Home Depot has some great big coops that aren't even $1,000. Might wanna check that out. My Spring planing ended in September [​IMG]
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    What time of year would you be raising your meaties?

    I am wondering whether you really need an enclosed *building*, or whether just a roof and predatorproof mesh walls would be better (and just knock together a smaller enclosure of plywood for when the chicks are in the brooder, which with meaties doesn't last long!). I mean, the critters really do STINK and maintaining satisfactory air quality in a building can be a challenge; they do well outdoors as long as appropriately protected from weather and predators.

    If you could do that adjacent to, or as an addition to, your existing coop, then you would have it to use as a roofed run for your layer flock in the wintertime. Which is *awfully* nice to have.

    Just a thought,

    Pat
     
  6. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
    Sounds like a good plan overall. However, your current coop is too small. Be sure to plan for MINIMUM size of 4 sq ft/bird, floor space. That is a minimum. Too small leads to fighting, bullying, and unsanitary conditions and stench. I did the 4 sq ft rule and did 80 sq ft per bird for my run. It has worked well as I do not let them free range. They do not fight or bully each other. I even have a cripple that has to hop everywhere she goes. She is just one of the gals tho. They never pick on her, even tho she could never defend herself. She sleeps under the poop board instead of up on the roost now tho. [​IMG] ( She used to sleep on the roost for about a year, then switched to being under the poop board nestled in a corner in the litter.) Anyway, having enough space is important, especially in winter when they are inside more.


    Gerry [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  7. FarmerJamie

    FarmerJamie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Probably will get the chicks in May, if I can keep the chicken fever in check. [​IMG] I've done Feb and Mar chicks and DW was not amused by my raising them in the garage. I hadn't really went the "temporary fort" approach out of respect for the visual sensibilities of my awesome neighbors. I'd like to do 3 batches over the summer, so whatever we do would be up the whole time.

    I have what I call "small brooder coops" that are great for about the first two weeks, then things start to get crowded. Maybe between them and the existing coop tha might be enough space to sleep at night - they have plenty of space in run.

    Need to think about this some more....thanks.
     
  8. FarmerJamie

    FarmerJamie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2010
    Quote:
    Sounds like a good plan overall. However, your current coop is too small. Be sure to plan for MINIMUM size of 4 sq ft/bird, floor space. That is a minimum. Too small leads to fighting, bullying, and unsanitary conditions and stench. I did the 4 sq ft rule and did 80 sq ft per bird for my run. It has worked well as I do not let them free range. They do not fight or bully each other. I even have a cripple that has to hop everywhere she goes. She is just one of the gals tho. They never pick on her, even tho she could never defend herself. She sleeps under the poop board instead of up on the roost now tho. [​IMG] ( She used to sleep on the roost for about a year, then switched to being under the poop board nestled in a corner in the litter.) Anyway, having enough space is important, especially in winter when they are inside more.


    Gerry [​IMG]

    My hens have tons of space in the run and unless it's raining, they are usually lounging outside (I'll let them free range if I am home during the day). Last winter, I think they only spent 3 days total where they weren't allowed out of the coop. During the winter, the coop gets cleaned every weekend and there are multiple wide roosts, so they don't seem to be suffering or stressed by it, but I'll keep my eye on it. thanks. The meaties would not be going in with them.
     

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