Looking for advice on... coop and run design!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Rural Broody, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. Rural Broody

    Rural Broody Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    So the above drawing is as accurate as possible a sketch of the empty garage lean-to I have set aside for my coop and run. I am looking for input from people who have been there, done that, to give input as to where I should put things. This lean-to is 8 feet tall and it has power. I have many of the materials set aside already, like:

    LOTS of old fence rails for roosts, jungle gym, chicken swing etc
    Old, clean kitty litter boxes for nesting boxes
    3 or 4 recovered plywood sheets and cantilever racks
    Maybe 8 tall 4X4 posts for the run
    Other 2X4s and some 1X6 for whatever
    Metal (corrugated?) roofing and shingles, whichever we decide to use
    Large unused dog pen (can be either 2X6 or 4X4)

    I plan to get an automatic pop up door and horizontal water nipples to be installed a bit later. I also have noticed people have "quarantine areas" in their coops and separate "brooding areas," too. So... where do you think I should PUT all this stuff? And how high or low? Where should the pop door go? And how on EARTH should I go about burying fence outside under trees with all the roots I'm going to encounter? I was hoping to have a massive run, like at least the 16 feet by 22 feet. Go big or go home...

    Oh, and I have 11 birds with 2 more arriving tomorrow.

    I welcome any and all input! Thank you!! [​IMG]
     
  2. I Love Layers

    I Love Layers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You don't need a brooding or quarantine area in the coop. I quarantine in an old rabbit hutch outside of the coop.
    My broody pen is a large portable cage.
    And also is your coop 20ft by 7.5?
    If so you definitely have room for a brooding pen, a quarantine area and everything else. I for a brooding pen, 10 raised nest boxes, and a 5ft by 6 inch feeder in my 10 by 12 chicken coop. Plus 40 chickens
     
  3. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't answer a lot of your questions. Other folks will have lots of good info for you.

    I'd recommend putting the pop door at least 6 inches above the top of the bedding inside the coop. That way they have to hop up a little to go outside. It'll keep them from dragging the bedding out when they go.

    I wouldn't try to bury the fencing. I'd get some hardware cloth and bend it into an L longways down the roll. Lay the long side of the L on top of the ground outside the run and attach the short side of the L securely to the fencing. A burrowing critter will come up to the base of the fence to start digging, but they won't be able to dig through the crotch of the hardware cloth. They won't back up the 20 or so inches and start digging at the edge of the cloth. Let the grass grow through the hardware cloth or put some stone down around the perimeter.

    Edited to add:

    Oh! And you can divide the interior into "rooms" with each room having a pop door to one of the runs. Use 1x3s or similar to make a frame for chickenwire partitions. Put a door in each partition. That way if you want to close off a rooster and some hens together for breeding, you can put them in one of the end "rooms" so they'll be with the flock, but kept separate. They'll be quartered in their own room and have their own run. If no breeding is going on, leave all the interior partition doors open.


    [​IMG]

    This is what I'd do if it were my coop. The red lines are the interior chickenwire partitions and the green boxes are the pop doors -- one for each run.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  4. Rural Broody

    Rural Broody Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome suggestions! And yes the coop is quite large, I know. We only have 13 birds so I was even thinking of closing an area off anyway to prevent extra cleaning.

    I hadn't thought about having multiple runs!! That's awesome! We're definitely not breeding right now and not ready for that, but I will definitely be filing that suggestion away for later!!

    More specific question: if I move my brooder out to the coop, is it going to be awkward if I put a poop board above the cage, and my roosts above that? Or should I be able to stand in the brooder?

    Oh, and do most coop doors swing out? Because the exterior door of mine swings IN and I'm going to have to build a retaining wall to keep the door free to open around the litter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  5. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, when I saw the dotted lines on the drawing, I assumed it was the fencing for different runs. If you do multiple runs, you can rotate them -- have the chickens on one, seed one with chicken-yummy-goodness seed blends (Google "chicken forage seed blend" or something like that), and one that is growing. When the growing run gets high enough, move them to that run, and seed the beat-down run they just came off of while the seeded run grows.

    It's just a thought, It's something I was pondering. Right now, I have no run and they're all just free-ranging all day.

    The coop door can swing whichever way you want it to swing. I made mine so it swings out. It works better for me that way -- I won't brush chickens aside by swinging the door in and if I want deeper bedding I can add blocking to the threshold to make the threshold taller without having to modify the door. It works for me. You'll have to evaluate your situation to see what works for you.

    I don't think you need to stand in the brooder. I definitely want to be able to stand in the coop, but I broodered my last bunch in a little dollhouse-coop from TSC and I'm getting a dog crate to brooder my next bunch right in the big coop. As long as you can get in to clean it, and replenish food and water, that's fine.

    My coop is about half the length of yours. It's 8x10 and when divided into two rooms, each has its own pop door. Right now, all it serves is for chickens to be able to go in and out when someone or a couple of somoenes decide to roost right in the pop door opening and won't let any other chickens through. . . . kinda like Gandalf putting down his staff and telling the Balrog Demon "You Shall Not Pass!"
     
  6. Rural Broody

    Rural Broody Out Of The Brooder

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    Hahahahaha!! I hadn't thought of chickens roosting in the pop door! If the chickens get as violent as those guys, I'm in trouble!

    And that's a great idea for multiple runs. I was marking the distance to the various trees and posts immediately surrounding the coop but the do look like natural dividers, too.

    I think I would prefer my door to swing out but that modification will likely have to come much later.
     
  7. Almost Heaven

    Almost Heaven Just Hatched

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    The idea of different runs is a great one. I free range my chickens at this time as well as use a 8x10 dog kennel as a run with a tarp over it for shade and protection from hawks. My coop is a old 8x8 backyard building I put a sliding glass door in mine for me and a automatic lift up door for them that goes into the run. I have 3 roosting poles (2x4s) one at 2.5 foot one at 4.5 and the top at 6 foot from the ground. I have 7 nesting boxes made from old milk creates I made a shelf just to hold them at 1.5 feet high. Added a 1x6 to the front to keep the box and the bedding in place now I am just waiting for the birds to start laying eggs. I also made a water nipple system with 8 nipples and hooked it to a 25 gallon jug. As well as a hanging pipe feeder that I made from an old dog bowl and a pice of pipe.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
  9. Rural Broody

    Rural Broody Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks aart! Will do!!

    As for our run, we just broke ground today! Holes have been dug for posts and a shopping list has been compiled!

    Still pondering our inside layout but we have a plan hatching! [​IMG] Hahaha
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  10. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No violence. It's just their way of saying "I'm higher in the pecking order than you, so I'm not moving to let you pass." Having the second pop door makes everyone happy.
     

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