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My Chicken Coop for 5 or 6

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by christinamae5, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. christinamae5

    christinamae5 In the Brooder

    Well, I started building my coop. I have built things with my husband, like most of a house, but this is my first venture by myself. Its not perfect by any means, but its solid and sturdy, and most of all, its mine. I'm very proud of it! And I can NOT wait until my chickens are here!
    Its not done yet, but I wanted to post a few pics to let others see the progress. This is the base. It is on four concrete blocks buried in the ground. The base is 2x6 with 4x4 posts. The bottom will eventually have wire mesh around three sides and a door on the fourth (the right side of the picture). The top is 2x4 with a sheet of plywood on it. This will be the floor of the coop. We have more land behind the privacy fence. So my plan is to make a door that goes from the top enclosed coop through a hole in the fence to an outside run behind the fence. Then there will be another hole in the fence at the bottom for the chickens to access the bottom area which will be where their food and water are. The door on the bottom area will be for me to fill food and water and also for times when I want them to free range in the yard, I can leave it open. The whole thing is 4 feet by 6 feet. The bottom area is just a little less than 3 feet tall and the walls will be a little more than 3 feet tall, making the whole thing 6 feet tall not counting the roof.
    I moved the whole thing up closer to the shed- much warmer to be able to work inside! I framed all four walls and the roof separately and then installed them on the base. The door for the upper part of the coop is on the far side in the large opening. There is three open areas on the close side which will have external nesting boxes. The two other sides have a couple of 2x4 for perch rests- they will run right to left and will be a two different levels. The roof is framed with a 12 inch rise on the close side as we get a lot of snow here in South Dakota. The whole thing will sit with the left side of the picture being up against the fence.Oh- on the floor of the top part, there will be linoleum and then a couple of inches of sand. I have put a 2x4 barrier around the floor on areas that the sand could escape (doors and nesting boxes). Hopefully this will work! I planned on using cement hardy board for the walls and metal sheeting for the roof. Think this will be warm enough???? I could insulate the roof if needed.
    1 person likes this.

  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Looking good.

    I wouldn't sheath the inside unless you want an aesthetic look. You wont need insulation and with the amount of proper ventilation the only thing it will amount to is reflecting solar heating from summer sun. Not thinking that's a problem in Dakotas, again, good amount of ventilation is all your area needs.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. jphendrix

    jphendrix Songster

    Nov 11, 2012
    Waycross, Georgia
    Awesome!!! I soo want to build my outdoor brooder by myself, but I don't know how to use power tools.[​IMG]
  4. mallege

    mallege In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2014
    Eagle, Idaho
    You are off to an awesome start. Looking forward to seeing pictures of your finished coop.
  5. JayDubYa

    JayDubYa Chirping

    Feb 8, 2014
    It looks very nice! I too, will be starting a coop here real soon and I am going to try to keep my hubby from helping. But I am cheating and using some building plans I purchased. It's the "Daisy" plan with some great modifications I have learned on here, but the basic plan is similar to yours.

    Please keep posting so I can follow your progress!

  6. christinamae5

    christinamae5 In the Brooder

    Well, since the weather has been so cold, there isn't much that I have added..... =/ I won't even be able to get the chicks until March 20, then will have to wait a couple of months until our area doesn't freeze at night before letting them live in this thing. So I'm not terribly rushed.

    But here is the nesting boxes that I framed out. There will be walls on the three sides later.
    I started with the bottom platform, notched it out around the 2x4's that were there and then built it up from there with a 2x2 frame around the outside of the floor. The roof will open for egg collection and the bottom is covered in some left over linoleum from an entry way project in the house. Unfortunately, I don't have enough to cover the whole coop floor, so I will have to just buy some. I also put a support under neath that will have to be removed when I add the wall pieces, but will have to be put back before the chickens use it. Hate to have them settle down in one of the boxes and then have the whole thing fall right off....
    You can also see the dog and my two youngest are helping by.....well, they're there.

    I also made and installed the door to the upper level of the coop. This door is covered in hardware mesh right now, but I will be putting a wood piece over it in the winter time, probably attached to the inside of the door, so the handle and the locks won't be affected. For the summer, the chickens can use the fresh air and ventilation. The 2x4 on the bottom of the doorway will be to eventually keep the sand that will be down there from coming out when I open the door. Again, more help from the kids.....On this side, there will also be a large door to access underneath- this is where I planned on putting the food and water. The other three sides of the bottom will also be covered in hardware mesh, and then have boards that will cover them in the winter to keep wind and snow out. Also, there will be sand and rocks in the bottom, so I don't have to worry about water leaking and wetting bedding or anything- plus it will be easy to rake out or spray with the hose when it gets messy...
    The whole right side of this picture will butt up against the privacy fence in our back yard. There will be two holes in the fence- one with a ramp for the chickens to access the upper coop, and one in the bottom for them to access the area with food and water. The run behind the fence will be about 8x10/12. This way, I can collect eggs, clean the coop and give them food and water without walking all the way around the yard and through the gate. There will however be a large door in the run to clean it out too. All in good time!
  7. christinamae5

    christinamae5 In the Brooder

    Also, wanted to show this. I don't seem to see many people using these for raising chicks, but its what my family has used since we were kids.....

    Its a horse/livestock waterer- about 2 feet across and about 4 feet long, and about 2 feet high. Fill with shavings, add a light (and a few toys) and TADA! Instant chick brooder. The thing is pretty small, not meant for a ton of chicks, but should suit my 5 or 6 until they are ready to move outside. The walls are really tall too, so I shouldn't have to worry about them jumping out or kicking shaving everywhere for a while. Right now, its in my office area under part of the desk- that's nice because the light just clamps to the desk edge. I plan on taking them for outings in the yard when the weather is nice too =) Its all set up except for food and water.....just needs some chicks!

  8. christinamae5

    christinamae5 In the Brooder

    The nesting boxes are done! Well, they have walls and a roof (not shown) at least! Right now, I am just using plywood for the walls, etc. And I will later cover everything in siding that matches our other sheds. we have about 10 pieces left over from doing one shed, so I just need to buy a few more to cover my whole coop! I also put the north facing wall on!
    The nesting boxes looking into them!
    The nesting boxes looking into them from the inside of the coop. The 2x4s in the front will not only hold straw in the nests, but keep the sand in the bigger part of the coop as well.Tomorrow is supposed to be nice too! Hopefully I can get the other walls up!
    1 person likes this.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Nice, steady as she goes!
  10. christinamae5

    christinamae5 In the Brooder

    My coop now has three walls and a roof! Of wood at least- again, we are going to cover the whole thing in vinyl siding that matches the other sheds....thinking a metal roof tho??? I will also add a vent to the east and west sides of the coop- we get our storms from the north and south and I don't want it to be too drafty or get rain/snow inside.
    From the inside....the two 2x4's are the perches. And I forgot to cut out the door- that's the little area with with 2x4 facing you on the left side of the picture. It will have a ramp that goes down to the run. I am going to cover the floor in vinyl and then was thinking instead of sand, to do Sweet PDZ stuff....have been hearing good things about it! I suppose if I don't like it, I can always go to sand...Do you think the perches are too high???? They are approx 18 and 20 inches above the floor....Everything I read said to put them above the nesting boxes, which they are, but it looks awfully high for a chicken to jump! Should I put a ramp inside to the perches????
    The inside looks much more cozy now with walls. Also, please excuse the pink chalk- my two year old daughter was making it pretty for the chickens! =)

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