Need advice on coop build, plan b

Chickiechickieboomboom

In the Brooder
Sep 27, 2019
28
43
36
Massachusetts
I am hoping to increase my flock to 12 hens this fall. So, I will need to build a bigger coop than what I have now. I posted last week with my plan A idea, and it was suggested I consider something else. So, here is my plan b -
20200202_190430.png

It is 50 sq ft, so 4 sq ft per bird. 8' tall. I would modify it to have 2 of these windows -
Screenshot_20200202-204316.jpg

I was also thinking of not having any siding on a 10' x 15" area on the back wall (but I would enclose it with hardware cloth). You can see here that the area (marked in red) is up high, about 7' up, so well above their roosting area -
Screenshot_20200202-204157.jpg

I would add nesting boxes on the outside with a hinged roof, and a non-functional window in the door to let in more light.

My biggest concern right now is that the area I want to use for ventilation will let rain and snow in on windy days. That side of the shed will have a 12" roof overhang, and it's facing west (I don't know if that matters). The back side will be up against my deck, so that may help?
20200201_140219.jpg


Does this sound like a good plan? I'm in shock at the cost estimate (I'm at $1050 for materials, and that's before the tools I'll have to buy) but I want the hens to be happy. I'm in Massachusetts, btw. Thanks!
 
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CindyinSD

Free Ranging
Aug 3, 2018
2,588
9,988
742
Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
That size would give you 4 sq ft per bird. I would build bigger since you (and I) are in cold country and birds may be confined to the coop for long periods. Unless you can give them a covered, sheltered run, consider more space. Ideally I’d like to see 10 sq ft per large fowl chicken for my own birds.

Maybe you could give them the deck to run around underneath, during snow days. A bit of temporary fencing could keep them there and later be removed for summer.

It‘s best to face the coop door south or east if possible. Because of my topography, my prevailing winds come from the north and I face all my farm buildings south.

Look around for prebuilt sheds. They can sometimes be cheaper than building for yourself. There’s a lumberyard near us that builds them every spring/summer with extra lumber from their construction jobs. Because it’s surplus, they build and sell for a very good price. We got one for tools—it’s better than we could have done for the money, plus we didn’t have to build it.
 

Chickiechickieboomboom

In the Brooder
Sep 27, 2019
28
43
36
Massachusetts
That size would give you 4 sq ft per bird. I would build bigger since you (and I) are in cold country and birds may be confined to the coop for long periods. Unless you can give them a covered, sheltered run, consider more space. Ideally I’d like to see 10 sq ft per large fowl chicken for my own birds.

Maybe you could give them the deck to run around underneath, during snow days. A bit of temporary fencing could keep them there and later be removed for summer.

It‘s best to face the coop door south or east if possible. Because of my topography, my prevailing winds come from the north and I face all my farm buildings south.

Look around for prebuilt sheds. They can sometimes be cheaper than building for yourself. There’s a lumberyard near us that builds them every spring/summer with extra lumber from their construction jobs. Because it’s surplus, they build and sell for a very good price. We got one for tools—it’s better than we could have done for the money, plus we didn’t have to build it.
I will look for pre-made alternatives, thanks for the suggestion!

I have actually enclosed the underside of the deck with lattice already (the picture in the post is old), so the birds have plenty of covered shelter on rainy or snowy days. I added metal roofing to the underside of the deck so it stays pretty dry. This was my first winter with hens and it's been very mild, so they haven't been confined for more than a day or so during a couple storms.
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
6,168
11,509
642
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
My biggest concern right now is that the area I want to use for ventilation will let rain and snow in on windy days. That side of the shed will have a 12" roof overhang, and it's facing west (I don't know if that matters). The back side will be up against my deck, so that may help?
As I don't know your wind patterns, facing that opening west may or may not be ok - if you have a predominant wind direction, best to put as few as possible openings facing that direction(s) (or louver or baffle them to protect them). Cryss has a very good idea for putting in a baffle, which could be a fixed piece or made to open and close.

Overall the design looks pretty good to me!
 
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