My Coop Build

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AkChris, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. AkChris

    AkChris Chirping

    May 20, 2014
    SE Alaska
    I've been working on building a coop and run for my chickens. I currently have six 10 week old EEers. I plan to keep 3-4 hens depending upon how many pullets I end up with.

    I live in SE Alaska coastal rain forest so it rains here a lot...and I do mean a lot..about 110 inches a year (almost 3 times as much as Seattle). Winter is mild compared to much of Alaska but we do get some snow and cold. So figuring out how to keep the chickens dry and warm is a challenge. I decided to go with a three part system, a sleeping coop, a day coop, and a run. The main coop is a bit on the small side, just 3' x 4' but is intended to be used just as a nighttime roosting spot and a place to attach the nest box.

    The "day coop" (not really sure what to call's half way between a run and a coop). Below is a pic of what I have so far along with the planed location of the coop. It still needs some finishing touches and staining the rest of the wood to match the door but you get an idea of what the area is like. This area is 4' x 8' and enclosed on three sides. One side butts up to our wood shed, the back is covered with clear greenhouse panels, and the third side will be covered by the coop. The 4th side is hardware cloth and I may cover this side with some plastic sheeting in the winter if needed. The area is roofed with tin over plywood. It's a pretty snug dry area for the chickens to hang out in when the weather is bad. The chickens will have access to this area and the coop 24/7.


    There will be an additional run area that will be fenced but not covered. I haven't figured out the exact plan for this but intend to extend out from the edge of the woodshed (where the temporary wire fencing is in the above pic) and then back to the coop. This would give them a run of about 24' x 12'. They'll also get supervised free range time in the larger yard area and access to the garden area during the off season.

    Now for the coop....

    Here's what I have so far.
    From the front. I have this framed up to put a pop door on the bottom right. It may not be used much but I wanted the option of giving the chickens a door to the outdoor run without going through the day coop area. I want to put in one or two windows here. I have sheet of plexiglass I intend to use to allow light in the coop. I'm trying to decide if I should hinge them so they can open for ventilation or permanently mount them. Any opinions? Also one central window or two smaller ones?

    The right side.
    This will be the side that attaches to the day coop area. It'll have a door and ladder leading down to that area. I elevated the door area here so that I can keep the door open without worrying about the chickens kicking out the bedding.

    The left side.
    I'm thinking I'll make this entire side a swing out door to give me access to the coop and make clean out easy. I had originally thought of putting the nest box on this side and the box I built is sized to fit here so I do still have this option.


    The back.

    I had originally thought I'd put an access door on the back and the nest box on the side as in this picture. But then after reading a bunch on here I think a large area to access the coop might be better and I could achieve this by making the entire left side open. Which would mean putting the nest box on the back side. Like this...


    So now I need to figure out roosts. I'm thinking I'll do two 2x4s, one on each side of the nest box. The above pic has a few boards propped up roughly where I'm thinking of placing them. With them on either side of the nest box though that only places them about 8" out from the side walls. Is that enough space? The second issue is that I wanted to place poop boards under them. I want to be able to slide these boards out from the outside so I can scrape them right out into the compost bin. I placed a thick red line in the pic above where I could place the poop boards. I'm not sure if they are wide enough in this design though. If the chicks roost facing the wall then their butts would hang off the board. I could center the roosts over the boards but this is putting them pretty close to the side walls. Making the boards wider would mean I couldn't slide them out because of the nest box.

    For those that use poop wide do they need to be to catch most of the nightly deposits?

    I could move the nest box back to the side giving me more space for the roosts and poop boards but then I'm not sure what to do for an access door to the coop. Any ideas?

    I also thought about just doing one long roost along the length of the coop. But then I'd have to figure out a way to attach it and the poop board that still allowed for the left side to open out for access. Not sure how to do this in a way that wouldn't limit access and be a pain when cleaning or trying to reach in the coop for any reason, Any thoughts on this?

    I'd love some opinions and/or ideas on how you might set this up. Maybe I should just forget about the poop boards. With a small number of chickens maybe they won't be as needed? I just like the idea of keeping the litter cleaner and reducing smell and moisture by cleaning off the boards more often.

    I also need to figure out the window placement and ventilation but that's a discussion for another day.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014

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