Looking for input on the coop I plan to build.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by showme69, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. showme69

    showme69 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 31, 2010
    Union, MO
    I've been looking and looking at coop ideas on BYC, other sites and books. I finally found a building I'd like to build this spring. I'd appreciate any input on it. Pros, cons, additions, anything that will help when I get to the actual building phase to make it the best coop possible for our chickens.

    The building is actually a 10X10 garden shed that I will add the appropriate features to to make it into a coop. Although, I plan to divide it in half, using one half for the coop and the other half for storage of chicken supplies, garden tools, etc.

    Here's my plan for it. As for placement in the yard, the door will face east and the windows will face south. I liked the idea of the windows because it will provide a lot of natural lighting, plus solar heating in the winter. There is a large walnut tree to the south of the spot in the yard where I plan to build it that will provide shade in the summer. To the left of the door I plan to put three nesting boxes that will be accessible from the outside. The pop door will be on the south-facing wall. I'd also like to add another window on the north side. As you enter the large door, I plan to have the north half as the storage area. Then I was thinking of dividing it in half with about a 4-ft high solid wall and use some type of wire from the top of the 4-ft. wall up to the ceiling. A full size wire door would allow access to the south half of the building that would be the coop side. I'd place a couple roosting poles on the west side of the coop area. I'll have a fenced run on the south side but haven't decided how big it will be yet.

    A couple questions I already have are, what type of windows would work best for being able to open them for ventilation? Does anyone have some photos of some they made that would work well with this design? The photo shows a vent on the east peak and I'd put one on the west side too. I plan to have between 6 and 12 chickens. Do you think the two vents, along with the windows up top, would be adequate ventilation? Any input would be greatly appreciated since I'm just beginning. Thanks.

  2. sillybirds

    sillybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2008
    That should be a fine coop! One thought that comes to my mind when reading your plans, is that you may not really want to build in access to the nest boxes from the outside. It'd be a lot easier, and probably just as convenient to just have access to the nest boxes from the inside non-coop side of the building. That way you wouldn't have to deal with the extra hassles of weather and predator proofing the exterior nest box access opening. You'll probably be going inside the building daily any way for feeding, watering, etc., at which time you could gather the eggs.
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Figure about 1 square foot of ventilation per chicken that's high enough above roost level so that you can leave it open even in winter. Those little vents they make for sheds don't give you much. You'd have to figure out the length and width of your windows to see if they put you in the right ballpark, ventilation wise.

    The problem I see with the windows in this shed design is that if you make them operable, it's going to be a nuisance to get up there to open and close them. They're 8 or 9 feet high, right? You'll have to climb up on something, or rig some kind of contraption to let you operate them from the ground. You also would need to be careful about rain blowing in. There is no eave shielding those windows.

    You could use awning style windows like I have on my coop:


    This style of window provides its own protection from rain entering the coop. With your design, though, you'd have to get a ladder and/or climb on part of your roof to open and close the windows. Not ideal, but doable if you really want to use this coop design.

    I looked at this design myself. They sell a do-it-yourself kit for it, too. Ultimately, I decided to go with a simpler, plain shed style roof because it was easier, more economical to build, and gives me only space I can really use.

    p.s. I second the comment about putting the nestbox access inside the coop...good point.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  4. mgw

    mgw Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    I agree with silly chicken about the nest boxes have access from the storage side, cheaper faster less material to buy, less hassle to build. make sure the venting that faces the prevailing wind is closable for winter if the front part is storage then you can also leave the main door to out side open during the day for maximum venting during good weather. I think that is a really nice looking design good luck.
    ETA you can buy those small rectangular windows for like small bathrooms at lows or home depot fairly cheaply. or those small basement windows also. Or call around to any local window manufacturers tell them what you are looking for and why , they might have some #2s around that they cannot sell that you can get cheap.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  5. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    i would have electric in my coop so you can have light or if need be put heat in there.
    2.when making your human coop door have it pull out toward you. so you can do a deep litter [6inch] during the winter months buy putting a 6 inch board a cross the floor where the door.open is.

    3.also i would put a poop door on the floor so i could open the door and push the old litter outside into a wheel barrow or a bucket.

    4. and make your perch out of 2x4 and flat side up in the winter they can sit on their toes so they wont get frost bite.

    5.have the a water n feeder up off the floor in coop at beast height. i have my chicken pellets and 1gallon metal water in coop. outside in my pen 3 gallon plastic water in a cement block and i throw my treats outside or wet treat in bowls outside

    6.if you have your nest boxes hang out of your build that another way to get water in there or a pedtor put the nest boxes near the door so you could just step in the coop to gather the eggs .

    7. windows i would try to get awning style windows you can made any windows that way i would widows on all sides to get ventation during the summers months. look at garges sale,second hand store, maybe call a windows contact which they install windows to see what they do with the old windows maybe u can get them free that way.

    8, insulate the walls for the heat n cold.

    9. your pop door have little roof over it so the rain wont rain in

    for your run

    if you have 12 birds you will need at least 120 sq ft.

    2 i would put a hard roof not metal with a pitch on it so it can hold snow load in the winter. and give your girls shade from the sun.
    3.the height should be a little bit taller then u.
    4 if you used dog link fence cover the bottom of it with hardware so their heads cannot get thought it and a pedator can not get at them and
    5 lay 3ft fence down on outside of the pen so no predator would dig under the pen fence
    this is a start
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    To me, good ventilation means something I can have wide open on rainy days (or, around here, all the time.) That means overhang.
  7. Ed62

    Ed62 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree that the vents shown are next to nothing, when it comes to ventilation. When you actually make measurements, you'll probably be surprised at how little ventilation you have. I also agree that it should be able to be open during poor weather. Check out my BYC page to give you ideas on ventilation. I built the awning style windows you see. They are not hard to do if you have a table saw.

  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Somthing to keep in mind is very high thresholds. Many use a deep litter method so when you build your interior access door to coop section a 10" or more step is not unreasonable to hold back the pine shavings. Also for your chicken door to outside. Due to my design I was limited to depth of bedding but did manage to squeak out 4". If I had the space for a larger coop/more chickens I'd certainly go deep liter and that's something to think about before you start cutting holes and building doors.
  9. showme69

    showme69 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 31, 2010
    Union, MO
    Thanks for all the great tips and advice. I have all winter to finalize my plans so your tips will come in handy. I'll get the ventilation figured out to insure enough. I had planned on using the deep litter method, so I had already considered what I'd need to do to make that work. I'll definitely be taking everyone's advice and just put the nesting boxes inside. That will definitely simplify things.

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