My coop design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by barnesfamily, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. barnesfamily

    barnesfamily New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Aug 1, 2016
    Hello all, first time posting. I am planning on taking the plunge into backyard chickens next spring, and I'm putting together ideas for a coop. We have a back porch area that is screened in and has the clear corrugated roofing to keep rain and snow out (I'm outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada). I am keen on building a coop for 4-6 chickens in the porch area off to the side, so it is out of the way of access points to the house and outdoors (picture posted of current view, the blue outline is roughly where it would go).

    My idea is to do a self contained, moveable box that I can build in my garage and then move into the porch. I will ensure it is rodent and predator proof. There will be an access point to the back (I will open a door in those fence boards) and have a decent run area in the back, probably a 9x9' enclosure. The porch is about 3 feet off the ground, so there will be a bridge and door that I can close at night. The run would be probably 9-10 feet tall so I can access that area easily to close off the door at night (unless I can jimmy something up to close it from the porch side... hmmm...).

    Anyhow, the other big question in my design is that I have this big skylight that I thought I could put in the top to let lots of light in (remember, this is already a closed porch with a clear ceiling, so I don't have to worry about leaking skylights).

    I created the roosting area in the middle, the food area with access lift door on the left and nesting area with lift door on right. I have electrical in the porch so I included an electrical access point for winter heating and water de-icer.

    I have my designs in a blocky photoshop format, I hope they make sense, and I am open to your feedback and suggestions.

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
    Current Porch




    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,828
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings and :welcome. Pleased you joined our community! I'm having trouble picturing a couple things. Are the nesting areas in the last drawing going to be nesting/laying boxes? If so, I'd limit them to 2 boxes for 4-6 hens. They tend to only use a couple and seem to lay in only a couple boxes. I collected 13 eggs yesterday from 2 nest boxes. The other 4 had zero eggs. Other than that I think everything should be a go. Best of luck to you and your spring chickens! :)
     
  3. barnesfamily

    barnesfamily New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Aug 1, 2016
    Thanks for the feedback. I haven't put much thought into how the nesting area is designed yet. As of now I suppose it's "open concept". I have seen in most designs how they are sort of partitioned, and I wasn't sure if that was necessary, or what the purpose is from a design or chicken point of view... I suppose my thinking from a build standpoint too is if it isn't necessary to add things, why bother? But I'm sure I'm missing something here perhaps you can fill me in on. :)
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,744
    5,505
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    3 x 9...or really only 3 x 5...will hold 3 maybe 4 birds max, and that might be kind of tight.
    I'd make 1 nest 14" x 12" x 16" tall at one end, that will give you a bit more floor space.
    Find some slim line feed and water dispensers so as not to use up a bunch more space.

    In your climate birds, may stay inside for say at at time....unless your run is very well protected from snow and wind.

    You'll only need one roost 4' long for 4 birds.

    What type of framing do you plan on using?..... that will take up a bit of room too.
    3' height can be an issue when you need to have roosts higher than nests, so they don't roost(sleep) in nests and poop them up.

    Will porch block all strong winds?.... because good ventilation without damaging drafts and be an issue with tiny coops.

    Just some thoughts.
    ETA: good articles on Space and Ventilation in my signature.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  5. barnesfamily

    barnesfamily New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Aug 1, 2016
    Thanks for the feedback. I can go higher than 3 feet, no issue there, just can't really get more depth or width. I would be using 2 by for the framing and plywood for the rest. I was thinking my ventilation would be be a door that I can open via hinges, similar to the access door for manure trays. Behind the pull out door would be hardware mesh.

    But for sure, we have cold winters, this is one of the reasons why I want it close to the house. The one end will butt up onto the house, and the porch is all screened in, so it is fully exposed to winds. I was planning on putting in my plant starter mat in the nesting area for heat.

    I hear you on nesting area... I wonder if took some room from the roost area and added width to the nesting area, and perhaps go higher in the roost and give them two levels? So perhaps 3 roosts posts at 3-4' wide...

    The other thing I might mention with my 4-6 # of chickens is that there will be at least one Silkie, others would be full sized (thinking Orpington, Whandotte, Brahma and Ameraucana).

    THanks again!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,744
    5,505
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Well, then too the height and width are respective....the higher they roost, the more space they need to land when jumping/flying off roost without crashing into walls.
    The more I think about it the more I come to my sense and have to say 3' is small and rife with problems, even 4' can be difficult.
    Higher will help with ventilation.....which should be as high as possible.

    Orps and Brahmas are big birds, almost count as 1.5 birds. Wyandottes can be big too, EE can vary.

    Maybe get all bantams if you must have that many breeds in that tiny space.
    Seriously, hate to rain on your parade, but crowding is a serious behavioral and health issue.
     
  7. barnesfamily

    barnesfamily New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Aug 1, 2016
    Okay, I'll go back to the drawing board with my original plan - coop and run combo outside and pop open a space in the porch for nesting boxes and electrical access.

    Thanks!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by