Misc questions about rebuilding my coop

citychicks99

Chirping
Aug 20, 2021
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Seattle, WA
Apologies for my drawings, I had to draw this out so I can see it and think about the details. I'm trying to rebuild my coop for my two birds and just wanted to make sure the new coop has what they need. I wanted to build this in a way so that it can be easily expanded in the future if we wanted to get more birds. The back will be a 4x4 that I can open so I can clean the coop. The right and left will pretty much be the same and will have the same size window. I will have an optional window in the front for when it gets hot here. The hottest it gets here can be in the 100s but it's only for about a week or two.

I'm more concerned about the massive amount of rain and wind we get throughout the year. Their last coop, about half the wood shavings were wet. The window was too wide and there was no overhang. I'm hoping that can help. We don't get too much snow, about 3' per year on average that lasts for about a week. Would I need an overhang on all four sides? I've noticed that coops usually slope down the back. Would there an issue if we slope it down the front or even a side? We wanted to put them in front of our covered backyard area on concrete and I was concerned that the slope leading down the back might drop the snow and rain into our concreted area where we keep the grill and other misc things. The run will be on dirt area.

For the roof, since it rains so much here, I think shingles might be the best option but I'm not sure that I want to invest in that. Would wood be fine for a very rainy area?

Another question I had, for predator proofing, I was going to build a 2' skirt on the outside of their run. Would rats be able to dig around this? Should I bury it horizontally so I creates a "wall"?
 

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3KillerBs

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Where, in general, are you located? Climate matters a lot and you mentioned heat, rain, and snow.

If you're wanting a 4x4 coop, you might want to look at my Little Monitor Coop, which was designed to meet all the space and ventilation needs for 4 hens and which came through Hurricane Florence without getting wet inside.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-little-monitor-coop.76275/

In a wet climate it's usually a good idea to provide generous roof overhangs on all sides and in a hot climate you are likely to need more ventilation than the usual recommendation of 1 square foot per bird.

You can keep rain out of your vents by using soffit vents, by adding awnings, or by putting top-hinged covers on your windows. :)

You can slope the roof any direction that sends water away from the run and away from anything else you don't want to get wet. You can also put gutters on to lead water away from where you don't want it and toward where you do want it.
 

DobieLover

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I would put a 1' overhang, ALL THE WAY AROUND.
A plain wood roof wouldn't last long in any environment, let alone a very rainy one.
Either shingle it or install 1x purlins over the 2x4 rafters and use polycarbonate panels.
I would extend the 1/2" hardware cloth backed, top hinged window to the roof line with a matching one on the opposite side.
1637409379741.png


When the roof goes on, do not install siding up to the roof deck. Only install it to the top plate. Install 1/2" hardware cloth between the rafters stapling it all the way around with a pneumatic stapler then further secure it with a trim board. You can premeasure, cut and bend the pieces that go between the rafters rather easily.
soffit HC.jpg
soffit HC with trim.jpg


You're going to want to move the pop door as shown to accommodate the framing. I would also raise it up the 6" shown (or more) to allow for bedding so the birds can't as easily kick it out when they come and go.
1637410235305.png


You can pitch the roof however you want. Where will the nest box be? Are you going to bump it out?
The predator apron extending 2' out should keep out rats. Keeping the coop and run clean and not leaving out food at night will help prevent them from coming in the first place.
 

3KillerBs

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Either shingle it or install 1x purlins over the 2x4 rafters and use polycarbonate panels.

I suggest that in a climate that regularly sees multiple weeks of temperatures over 100F any clear panel is a bad idea due to the greenhouse effect and that metal would be better.

In either case, if deep shade could be provided that would be a good idea. I had to put a cheap picnic pavilion over mine.
 

DobieLover

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any clear panel is a bad idea
Polycarbonate comes in tinted translucent panels that have UV inhibitors in them.
Shingles act as a heat sink themselves and get hotter than hell. Ever roof in the summer? It's horrible.
Metal radiates heat into the coop.
Pick your poison.
That is why I suggested keeping the space between the rafters open to help cool the roof line and pull the low incoming air up and out.
 

aart

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The hottest it gets here can be in the 100s but it's only for about a week or two.

For the roof, since it rains so much here
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!

1637414666830.png
 

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