Little Coop In The Big Woods

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by billfields, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. billfields

    billfields Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2009
    East Tennessee
    So after a year and a half of thinking and planning and getting waylaid and having to postpone I have finally started my coop! Unlike some of my other projects, I plan to do this in proper order--I want to build the coop BEFORE I get the chickens [​IMG]--so I have roughly from Labor Day to Easter to finish it. Good thing as I usually end up having only the odd weekend and evening to work on things like this. Thought I would document the progress here.

    I'm looking at a 12X8 building sectioned into a 8X8 coop and a 4X8 storage room. The back of the nest boxes will hinge open into that room as well to make it easier to gather eggs. I've not firmed up the run plans but probably something about 10X25. I figure that should be plenty for a dozen to 15 chickens.

    The ground is not level at all so I am thinking I'll bring the floor up at least a foot off the ground at the lowest corner (using 4x4 posts set in concrete). I thought of going a little higher and giving the chickens access to space under the coop as part of the run but I am now thinking that may not be a good idea. It's going to be harder to predator proof if I do that and I don't want a nest under there that I have to crawl to get to!

    And before anyone starts to tell me all the potential problems of having a coop in the woods, I already know. But the fact is I have three acres of land. Except for about 30 feet of yard right in front of the house and my garden it is ALL wooded so if I'm going to have a coop, it's gonna be in the woods. [​IMG] I actually see some advantages. It's certainly a lot cooler there (as I found out working there this weekend after time in the garden) and as I have learned over the last 22 years, the woods are an endless supply of bugs. I'm looking at corrugated acrylic roofing, the clear or the solar grey. Either one should let in a lot of light but I'm still thinking a window for ventilation.

    Anyhow, here is my first installment of photos, the space as it started, once it was cleared and the frame of the floor roughly in place (I did it first to see where I wanted to position the structure, I'll use it to mark the holes, dig them, set the posts, raise the floor frame to level and attach it, then trim the posts, put in the floor joists and the flooring.)

    In the beginning....

    The brush cleared out


    And the first boards together!

  2. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    Looking good!! Can't wait to see your progress!! [​IMG]

  3. Quailbuddy

    Quailbuddy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2010
    Sonoma County CA
    Wow thats a great space! But make sure to have good preadator protection since you are in such a wooded area [​IMG]
  4. billfields

    billfields Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Quote:It could be in the woods or not would still have to do that, The garden isn't in the woods and the deer and turkeys and the rest certainly help themselves to that. Lots of raccoons around (gave up planting corn!) and I see coyotes in the daytime running the fields around here. They are a new addition in the last 10 years or so. Not to mention the owls and hawks. But the wild critters are part of the reason I like where I live . Figure it is up to me to keep the chickens away from them cause (except for the coyotes [​IMG] )they were here first!
  5. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

    Aug 5, 2008
    I have a very wooded property as well and I have toyed with putting the chickens back there as well. What i have come up with is that it doesn't matter where on your land that you put them, the coons are still one of the worst predators that there is. The woods gives the coons a perfect place to live so if you have that on your property, by all means, make sure you build your coop and run like Fort Knox and make sure they are in the coop and locked up before complete darkness. I thought that my run was very secure but I was wrong, they showed me(the coons). Early on in our chicken ownership experience I didn't get home until well after dark, a few of the chickens didn't make their way into the coop for some reson and I caught a coon attacking one of my chickens through the fence. We were able to save her since I caught it in action but had I been any later she would have been most certainly dead. I have had one hen previous to that, get completely torn apart and pulled through the fence in pieces. I added a couple layers of 1/2 inch chicken wire all along the bottom of the fence after that and still came home to that second attack. Coons are very crafty and the only protection your chickens will have is for them to be in a locked up coop before dark.
    I only say all of this so that you have some sort of warning since you have wooded land. Even if you build your coop and run in a clearing they will still be a problem.
    ETA: sorry I forgot to add that from the very start My coop and run has always been on the clear open land but like I say, I don't think it makes a difference since I have the woods close.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  6. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    Can't wait to see the progress on this project. Where are you located?
  7. billfields

    billfields Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Quote:East Tennessee, just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's probably gonna be kinda slow going given my schedule but I want to be done with the coop by early spring. I want to order chicks in Feb to get here the first of March. I figure then I have until April/May until they are big enough to need the run. I wanted to start when there were leaves on the trees as that is how things are most of the year. I wanted to be sure I got it in a decent place, both in terms of how it services the chickens and how it looks in the yard. Everything looks ugly around here in winter! [​IMG]
  8. buildingmyark

    buildingmyark Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2010
    I think this is going to be really neat. Can't wait to see what you come up with... [​IMG]
  9. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    What a great project. Electric fence is great in high risk areas, or low risk ones for that matter. A few strands around the run does wonders to convince coons to go look elsewhere for dinner. If you haven't found Pat's ventelation page yet I'd reccomend checking it out, most of us are really surprised at how much it takes and it's way easier to build it in then to modify later. I'm looking forward to watching the progress! [​IMG]
  10. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    That looks like a great spot for a coop! [​IMG] Please keep us updated.

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