My coop! Please rate it 1-10. Suggestion and advice wanted! First time Chicken Coop builder! :)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Maxamus, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Maxamus

    Maxamus Chirping

    Oct 16, 2014
    The Full Coop.

    The Laying Box's



    The roost they don't sleep on. xD

    Trap door that lets them into the run below.

    Heat lamp in-case of a cold spike.

    The Ramp they climb up and down.

    The feeder in the run.

    Feeder for winter time.


    Perch with Cabbage

    Run 25x ft

    Door to outside run

    Mable (My favorite :))


    I think it turned out ok, please give me advice and suggestions.Thanks
  2. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
    I'd cover the styrofoam other wise they'll peck it apart.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    You have a fine looking flock and looks like you have already put a lot of work into this project.

    So sorry, but I have to be honest in suggestions, don't want to see anything happen to your chickens.

    1- they need more protection - chicken wire keeps them in and nothing out. You need to fortify with hardware cloth.

    2- I would remove the styrofoam, the chickens will peck and eat it and it is a hazard. Some people in cold climates build double walls with insulation between the two & that way the chickens could not access it. I don't know what your climate is, but unless extreme cold, they are all fairly cold tolerant.

    3-Heat lamps are not a good idea…they are a fire hazard especially with the bedding. Again, depends on your winter temps whether they need heat lights at all. The coop looks cozy and they should be able to keep each other warm.

    4- ventilation…all I see in the photo is the small metal tube in one wall. You need more ventilation. And if all doors are closed at nite, there is no ambient light in the coop. Ammonia smells from poop needs ventilation or chickens get sick. I would add a window with an adjustable shutter. You could add that in one of the doors, save the cut out wood and hinge it at the top so you can adjust the opening depending on rain/wind/cold. But also the window would need hardware cloth covering for protection.

    5- most chickens prefer a flat board - 2/4 instead of a branch IMO.

    6- There appears to be no roof overhang and makes me wonder if the inside will get wet in rain…wet + poop = smell and damp living quarters.

    7- Do you lock them into the coop at night. If not, the run will need some rethinking.

    Hope you take this post the way I intended , just trying to be honestly helpful.
  4. Maxamus

    Maxamus Chirping

    Oct 16, 2014
    1. I'm kinda low on money, would putting 2 layers of chicken wire be enough.?
    2.We live in Wisconsin, it can get quite cold here. The breed is Americana's. Would they be OK without the insulation?
    3.I thought we would have it in case of a quick cold spike. Do I not need it?
    4. I have another one of those on the other side, I'm guessing that would still not be enough.
    5.Will do.
    6.We have a tarp we put on the coop when its going to rain.
    7.I do not lock them in the coop at night.
  5. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    I agree with sunflour. Here's a picture of one of the four windows in our chicken's coop.


    This picture is the run with 1/2" hardware cloth.
  6. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chirping

    Sep 2, 2014
    You CAN make it work with just the chicken wire...especially on a budget. I would go hardwire cloth if you could afford it....BUT....depending on the predators in your area, you might not need it. In my situation, they will be locked up tight at night, and there will be no access for predators (door has deep lip and can't be lifted, and 2 windows have multiple locks..i.e. gate latch and barrel bolts). During the day they will be in the run, and I will go with chicken wire. 1. because it is less expensive, and 2. The only true predator during the day would be hawks in my area (and that is quite sparse)...and I have a dog that would keep them at bay anyway. Coons and coyotes would have to scale my 6 foot fence, and in the daytime, you aren't likely to see coons running around, and I am in a neighborhood, and I haven't seen a coyote during the day. Another reason I won't use the hardwire in the coop windows. They won't utilize the coop during the day except for egg laying, and we don't have predators that are going to get into the coop during the day with our dog providing security...and at night they just won't be able to get I don't want to waste the money(hoping I don't learn a hard lesson
    If you can overlap the wire to close down on the hole size a bit it will help. It is all about how much risk you are willing to take, and your comfort level.
  7. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chirping

    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    Low on funds, I understand, that does limit what you can do. The suggestions above all seem right on the mark to me.
    But it still seems to me if you don't lock those chickens into your coop all night, you might as well say goodbye to them now.
    Unfortunately, chickens love to eat styrofoam. Fortunately, insulation is neither necessary nor helpful.

    Ventilation as noted should be improved. My suggestion would be to cut out a sizable hole in each of your front doors. Not so much as to weaken them much, about 25% of the total size of the door. Then cover those holes with 1/2" hardware cloth. This is only a small amount of material that you should be able to get cheap from scrap... maybe. It has to be 1/2" material or else raccoons can reach through and grab your chickens. These holes will not only give your birds fresh air but will also allow you to see inside without opening the door. Secure the hardware cloth in place by sandwiching it between the door and another small strip of wood, then tightly screwing those together thereby securing the hardware cloth in between.
  8. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I think you did a lot of things right. That being said I think you are about to find out how much chickens enjoy eating Styrofoam.
  9. Toddrick

    Toddrick Songster

    Sep 28, 2014
    Another thing I don't think anyone has mentioned is that the nest boxes should not be on the floor, and having a door on the backside of the nest boxes is really nice too. A lot of people seem quite happy with just using removable buckets as nest boxes.
  10. Maxamus

    Maxamus Chirping

    Oct 16, 2014
    Oh my, I fell like I did everything wrong! xD

    Take out the insulation, put in more ventilation, change the roost, elevate the nesting boxes, get a lock on the coop door, change the wire. :l

    Well at least I can build an elevated box xD Haha

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