Kansas City Urban Chicken Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Gifa, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Gifa

    Gifa Songster

    Greetings!

    After a year of gentle prodding, I finally convinced my husband that keeping some chickens would be a sensible idea... And then I got my neighbors on board... They are actually very excited. Originally I was planning on 3 - 4 just for my husband and I, but then thought, well, should probably get a couple more to ensure the neighbors stay cool... and... just in case one turns up a cockerel. You know... basic chicken math.

    So I did my research, I decided what breeds I wanted and how many I'd need of each etc... It was originally going to be 2 Australorps, 2 EEs and 2 SLWs. We went in to some feed stores to start pricing all of the start up accoutrements and then you know... discovered that one of the feed stores was expecting 2 of our 3 preferred breeds... and my husband saw just how inexpensive the maintenance stuff was... I was already designing a coop, so... it isn't like it wasn't a done deal. But naturally when we went to go get our chicks... we came home with a couple extra. The feed store where we got them from had gotten 25 Easter Eggers, 15 were reserved for one guy, another 6 for another lady, which left 4. With the Australorps out of the equation... We planned for 3 EEs, and 3 SLWs... but they insisted we take the 4th so she wasn't in her little brooder all by herself... and to my surprise, that's when my husband begged for a brown leghorn... so 8 it was.

    So this was the original 3/4 bird design:

    [​IMG]

    Which was supposed to fit in our space like this (mocked up in photoshop)

    [​IMG]


    But... we ended up with 8 birds, so I just expanded the design to accommodate 3.75 feet per square bird. It cam out to something like 5.5' feet by 6'.


    Then some contractors came knocking on my door to let me know that my friendly gas company was intending to dig up a lot of my back yard next year... which according to my design would demolish the coop and about a quarter of the run... DANG! Sure they promised to repair, rebuild, replace everything they tear up... but the less I have to deal with that the better. So... not to be discouraged, we just decided to flip the design and make them rebuild the Run... It is after all the most expendable, and most expensive part of our design... and shoot... with a backhoe, I am sure they can drop a healthy predator proof skirt all around where it needs to go.

    Last week my husband and I spent Memorial Day putting together the frames for our coop.

    [​IMG]

    We salvaged as many 2x4s from our basement remodel as we could and spent in the nature of 100 on new wood. Mostly 4X4 posts, new plywood and a few more 2X4s. We even had some leftover shingles and materials the contractors left behind in 2002 when we had our house re-roofed on hand.

    Then he had to go out of town on business.

    And this is what we accomplished this weekend!

    Friday evening:

    [​IMG]

    Saturday:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And today (Sunday):

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Alas, Hubby is leaving town on business again... at 4 in the morning... so... Next weekend we will finish the coop. Cutting out the windows and doors, framing up the cleaning access door... etc...

    And then we'll get cracking' on the run.
     
  2. Gifa

    Gifa Songster

    I have been giving some thought about coop furniture (feed and water, etc)

    Definitely going to take a bow saw out with me to the woods behind my property to harvest a few roosting logs...

    I really like the wall feeder idea... and I think it will work out great in my coop and save some precious sq footage. Could be especially nice if I could design a port to fill from the outside.

    Still thinking on a watering system for inside the coop... So many ideas and options to look at and choose from.

    Also thinking about ways to raise the interior of the coop to above freezing in January and Feb...(more to keep the water from freezing than anything) I remember when I was a kid we'd put bricks in the oven to heat them up, and then wrap them in old ratty bath towels to put in our rabbit hutches a couple times a day in addition to stuffing the hutch with extra straw. Helped keep the water from freezing up as often too. I wonder if I could figure out a way to incorporate this idea in my coop... Maybe a semi-insulated platform/box in which to place several bricks in to use under the waterer... Kind of a low tech radiant heat source...

    Still thinking.
     
  3. ButchGood

    ButchGood Songster

    779
    50
    138
    Mar 14, 2012
    Central Texas
    Very nice set up. I believe the hot brick idea would help in the winter. Im in central Texas so my winters are mild, so here that would work excellent.
     
  4. Gifa

    Gifa Songster

    Yeah... just trying to go as low tech as needed since our winters tend to be mild for the most part... a 40 - 60 degree week in February is not uncommon here. We even considered adding a small solar panel for the expressed purpose of generating enough electricity to run a light for a few hours in the short day months, heat the water in the winter and run an automatic door year round.
     
  5. RedStarLady1207

    RedStarLady1207 In the Brooder

    69
    0
    29
    Jun 4, 2012
    Maryland, USA
    That is a very nice coop and run. I was wondering - you said the gas company was going to be digging where you want to build and 'some contractor' told you they would replace what was destroyed? I would not count on that just on someone's word if it were me.

    If the location is in a recorded utility easement then they can make you move it at your own expense and won't give you anything to put it back.

    You might want to think about checking that out from your county government before you build in earnest in that specific location. Just saying - might not be anything to it. In my county gas lines are 18" down and there are easements on the edges of my property (which of course not one utility was put in that easement), but go figure.

    I put up a fence and put in two ponds and had my property marked by Miss Utility beforehand and found that out, but to be on the safe side, I didn't put my fence in the 'empty' easement area, just in case down the road any utility decides to move or put something in their 'easement'. You need to worry about electric, water, gas lines,sewer, telephone, cable, or any other potential recorded easement depending on where you live of course.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  6. Gifa

    Gifa Songster

    The pipe in question is currently a 16" pipe that runs perpendicular to my back yard, and they are replacing it with a 20" pipe.

    Here's a wider shot of the area where my coop is and the area that will be affected.

    [​IMG]

    The shed is just out of the frame on the left hand side.

    The pipe they are replacing comes into the easement behind my fence just to the left behind that middle tree. (if you look close you can see the little yellow post in the woods.)

    They are putting the 20" pipe about 15 feet to the right in this photo and digging up the area to remove the old one.

    My original design placed the coop under the purple splotch which is going to be affected. I asked them if they were planning to tear up the shed too, and they said no, the shed and the area about 15 feet to the right of it would be undisturbed. Which is why we moved the coop to be right next to the shed.

    Both contractors (one of which keeps chickens at his home) stated to me that anything destroyed (like that tree and my patio and my fence... as long as it is not in the easement, which they are not, will be replaced, rebuilt, or otherwise compensated for.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  7. RedStarLady1207

    RedStarLady1207 In the Brooder

    69
    0
    29
    Jun 4, 2012
    Maryland, USA
    Ooops - sorry - I guess I misunderstood. I thought some of your set up (the run) was still going to be in an easement and someone promised that would be rebuilt if destroyed. I need to read slower!
     
  8. Gifa

    Gifa Songster

    It's all good... Actually none of our coop and run will be in the easement... Our fence is built so that what falls on the inside is not in the easement, and what falls on the outside is the easement. So, I guess technically our property line extends another 10 feet behind the fence. That said... they plan to dig a hole that will extend into our yard from the back corner to about 10 or 15 feet to the left of the little gate... So... while the coop won't be affected, part of the run may still be affected. But since it's on our side of the fence, they have to fix what they break.

    I plan on moving my girls inside for a few days while the major ground shaking excavation takes place. And since they have to cut down my gorgeous adult Black Ash tree, I think it'll be safer to have them in, lest a branch falls where it shouldn't.

    I also don't want my girls to be completely scared to death in their coop while the major stuff is going on.
     
  9. This is awesome looking project.[​IMG]
     
  10. Gifa

    Gifa Songster

    Oops, been kinda busy in the last week or so... Here are some photos of our progress.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: