My first coop. I'm new to chickens of my own.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Renthorin, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Renthorin

    Renthorin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    Dexter Michigan
    Greetings. This is my first post. I've worked on farms with chickens before but never had any of my own. I live on 2 heavily treed acres in the middle of the woods and have decided to raise chickens. I plan to eat some of the eggs but give the rest to my dogs (yum). Probably give some to my folks so I don't get yelled at [​IMG]

    I will be building the coop this weekend. Here are my plans:

    floor size = 8x7
    Back wall 6 feet high
    front wall 7 feet high (lean-to style)
    Height off ground = about 6 inches. Enough to discourage critters from living under there.
    Floor covering = sand. Was going to use wood chips but heard good things about contractor sand.
    Three windows on the W, E, and S sides. Plexiglass on the outside when it's cold, chicken wire on the inside in the summer for ventilation.

    Outside run will be attached to coop and is 12 x 6 kennel fencing. 6 feet high and covered with chain link fence.
    I will be fencing in a 1/4 acres in the front for them to free range. This section of fence can be moved to different parts of the yard to give them fresh bugs.

    Any suggestions or concerns with what I'm planning? I aim for 10 chickens.

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  2. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    You sound very similar to my setup, 2 acres in the woods, worked on a farm with chickens, my first time doing them. You probably don't need all those windows, but if you don't mind paying a few extra bucks more power to you, it couldn't hurt. The only concern I have is about the chainlink fence. That should be fine, just make sure to put your girls to bed every night until they figure out how to put themselves to bed. I lost a rooster on the third night because he was sleeping too close to the edge and that stupid raccoon was able to reach in and kill him, I really should have put them in their coop and shut the door but I didn't ever make it home that night.

    But it sounds pretty good, sounds like enough room for 10 chickens. If you can borrow a live animal trap you might want to start going on raccoon genocide right now, because they are smart, they are strong and they are determined. Don't staple anything, they'll rip them right out, use nails for all. Good luck.

    Edit: oh yeah man, post #1. welcome to these forums. good place to learn and civility 99% of the time. pictures are always appreciated here and sounds like you got a nice getup, we'd love to watch you chart progress.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  3. Renthorin

    Renthorin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    Dexter Michigan
    Hey cupman. Yeah, the chainlink is for the day. At night they will be locked safely in the coop via a sliding door (up and down).

    I currently don't have a huge problem with possums, coons, and the like as I have 8 Siberian Huskies in the other part of the property. They are fenced and won't be interacting with the chickens, unless the hens decide to fly up and over the fence into the dog yard. That would be unfortunate.

  4. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Will,sounds like you got everything planned out well,it is very similar to mine almost to a Tee. The only thing i would recommend is raising the coop up to 2ft so they can go under during the height of the day and get out of the sun.Mine lounge under it and take dust baths there as well. You would have to put some kind of wire to keep things from getting underneath anyway at 6in,this way you raise it up you increase your run size as well. Dont know if your putting a top on your run(mine has) it also gives them a place to run in the event of an aerial attack. It really gives them a sense of security. One thing I did too is I rigged the pop door like a guillotine on pulleys so I can open their door from outside,no going in the coop or the run.That way keeps the poop out of your boot treads.

    [​IMG] Forgot to say welcome to this fabulous forum and good luck.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  5. Kudzu

    Kudzu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2011
    Sounds great, have fun and be sure to post pictures.
  6. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your run is small for 10 birds but if you make sure the ends of the chainlink is wired securely to the pipe frame. line the lower 12 to 18 inches of the panels with hardware cloth, and skirt the chainlink panels, your run should be secure from predators but you'll still be able to move the panels if you choose. Also be sure the corners are square and tight when you set up to stop a critter from squeezing thru. Then you don't have to worry about nightly lockdowns, the birds can roam when they wish, and the critters will be turned away frustrated and hungry. You might want to electric fence the free range area to help prevent fox and coyotes from running thru and snatching birds during the day
  7. Renthorin

    Renthorin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    Dexter Michigan
    duckinnut - I was only planning on making the coop about 6-10 inches off the ground. Going to use concrete deck blocks on the corners and middles of the sides. High enough to discourage a woodchuck or possum from living under it and high enough that I can get to anything that does move in.

    I wasn't thinking about providing them shade under the coop as the kennel section will be in part shade most of the day. I would be surprised if they get full sun for more than 4 hours. Our yard has a LOT of trees.

    With my Siberians not far away (other side of the fence) we don't get many unwelcome visitors to the property. Some of the time, my two Border Collies are out in the front part of the yard as well. I haven't seen a fox or yote in years, at least not close to the house.

    I plan to put a large live trap near the coop and see what I get, as I'm curious what might be lurking around the coop at night. May put my game camera out as well. [​IMG]

    The coop and kennel run will be within the 40 yards from the front porch that my crossbow is sighted for [​IMG]
  8. ginger c.

    ginger c. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
  9. FiveAcres

    FiveAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    White, GA
    Welcome to the site and best of luck getting started in the chicken world on your own!!
  10. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You might want to raise the coop a little higher so the birds get to use the area under the coop, wire in the under area and skirt the whole thing and securely mate the run to the coop. It will give you more shaded run area

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