Looking for Coop ideas in MN

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by VFfamily, May 14, 2016.

  1. VFfamily

    VFfamily Just Hatched

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    May 14, 2016
    MN
    Good Morning,
    I will soon be building or buying a coop for 3 or 4 chickens located in Minnesota near Minneapolis. The birds will need coop and run as required by my city. Can not be free range. We currently do have a fence around our property to keep most things out or at least our dog in, you can look at it either way. Between the dog (BullMastiff) and fence most creatures stay away from yard. Do have raccoons, and supposedly coyote or foxes in area though. I am confident in my building skills but not looking for something with any fancy detail. Very open to suggestions and plans as I hope to start building within the week. Might throw in some raised vegetable gardens since I will be out working in the yard anyway.
    Thank you in advance for any assistance!
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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  3. VFfamily

    VFfamily Just Hatched

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    May 14, 2016
    MN
    I should have mentioned I had tried looking at the other coops on this site but it seems hard to find out how many chickens they fit and if they are in an areas that have snow and temperatures that we deal with. Maybe I am overthinking but I tend to do that. Also do have some size restrictions as we do live within a city and don't have unlimited yard space. I am not looking to cut corners on space or size but this is our first time and don't want to over commit in space or $$$ incase the wife later decided she no longer likes this idea. I am just doing what my wife tells me as "Happy wife = happy life".
    Thanks
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Well there you have to decide how you will manage the birds. Are you planning to coop them for winter? I don't and live in same climate as you. What I do is have area of run with roof shelter to keep snow out so I don't have to shovel the entire run and use tarp(s) to attach to run on side and corner of prevailing winter winds. I let my birds out every day. If you don't plan to manage this way you'll need a larger coop. My coops are only used to pass through to layer boxes and to roost at night.
     
  5. VFfamily

    VFfamily Just Hatched

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    May 14, 2016
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    My goal would be to put a roof on most or all of run. Then I also read about some snow fence to add to side to keep more snow out but my goal would be to have the run in full use all year around. Coop will be mostly for night, laying eggs and need (if any) to get out of weather. Our yard is pretty proceed so we don't tend to get strong winds or drifts in back of house.
    I read the plans you posted could that be scaled down a little I assume to handle just the 4 chickens.
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Of course you could scale it either direction. Personally if your thinking of 4 birds a 4x4 coop with external nesting box is a good size. People tend to add to their flock and that size easily holds 6-7 birds if you have a protected run for winter. You'll note how I made changes to placement of nests and put roost right across not in a ladder fashion. If you move door to side of front the nest box will fit right beside it at same level on front too. That height for nest is preferred. Purina had it wrong. You don't need the sky lights either, 4x4 is lighted enough with door open and top vents. You only need 2 nests for so few birds.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  7. VFfamily

    VFfamily Just Hatched

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    This may sound basic but ....
    Water and food are always kept outside?
    Using that design could I mount the roost perch on the swing up door to make it easier cleaning since it would be by the door?
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I have two roosts in mine. They are evenly spaced in the four feet and about 14 inches off the bedding height. You can easily shovel out the bedding across that 4 ft and under the roosts. We only do a full clean out three times a year. The birds scratch and mix it all up and with that many clean outs there is no odor if kept dry. The key to anytime but especially winter is good ventilation, that keeps it dry and prevents frostbite.

    Yes, with managing your birds to be in run everyday there is no need to keep feed and water in the coop. Water in coops and winter don't mix well and especially in small coops. Spills in close quarters adds to unwanted humidity.

    I don't know if you checked out the photos on that link pasted earlier. You'll see the height of nests boxes and how easy you can make them. You'll also see how we did the roosts and took out plywood for roof using only a few nailer 2x2's to screw scrap roof metal to. Venting and roof made easy in one fell swoop. We have weasel concerns, to predator proof covered entire top with hardware cloth and secured with screws and washers prior to screwing the tin on. If you keep the roosts as low as I did you can easily take six inches off the height of coop. If weight is a concern or you made a bad cut it's no problem to shorten that Four foot height of wall.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  9. VFfamily

    VFfamily Just Hatched

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    May 14, 2016
    MN
    I went out and walked my possible coop and run location and had a light bulb go off. I have an existing shed that I use and might build off the side of that. It is on a concrete slab which I will extend that will give me a 12x4 spot. It will have complete roof and will be very protected from wind. I currently would plan to do a raised 4x4 coop at one end giving the chickens 12x4 of run space when including the space under raised coop. The shed has power if I ever need it. The concrete would be cold in winter but I will use a deep bedding theory.
    Am I crazy or this sounding legit. The other great this is the pad would be useful if the coop ever goes away or for next owners. I'll try to take some pictures for a better visual shortly.

    I did look through your link and pictures. I spent some time and like the set-up. Just starting to get deeper into the design phase.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  10. VFfamily

    VFfamily Just Hatched

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    May 14, 2016
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    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Of course Kayak and wheel barrow will be relocated. Have a little work to do to prep area but think it is my best bet.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016

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