Need advice on coop build, plan b

Chickiechickieboomboom

In the Brooder
Sep 27, 2019
28
43
36
Massachusetts
Have you considered a plastic/resin prefabbed shed? You can get some good sized ones for 1000 or less.
This was my first plan, actually! I wanted to buy a 7x7 resin shed and cut some windows and vents. But I was stikk worried about humidity and ventilation because they get so hot in the sun. I wouldn't be able to cut out too much of the resin shed body because all the parts click together and if I cut out parts of the panels it could cause the shed to lose structural integrity...walls could become loose and floppy, etc. So I'm looking at wood instead now.
 

Cryss

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
3,920
9,520
707
Northwest New Jersey
This was my first plan, actually! I wanted to buy a 7x7 resin shed and cut some windows and vents. But I was stikk worried about humidity and ventilation because they get so hot in the sun. I wouldn't be able to cut out too much of the resin shed body because all the parts click together and if I cut out parts of the panels it could cause the shed to lose structural integrity...walls could become loose and floppy, etc. So I'm looking at wood instead now.
Have you looked at the wood sheds? I came close to buying one at Home Depot. My son in law built me one made mostly from pallets that we got free. If he hadn’t volunteered I definitely would have gone with a wood shed, probably this one.
0F8E3CB0-7C40-46B5-B6CF-E8D006F0A064.png
 

Tortoise

Songster
Aug 19, 2018
467
1,084
196
Chicago
This was my first plan, actually! I wanted to buy a 7x7 resin shed and cut some windows and vents. But I was stikk worried about humidity and ventilation because they get so hot in the sun. I wouldn't be able to cut out too much of the resin shed body because all the parts click together and if I cut out parts of the panels it could cause the shed to lose structural integrity...walls could become loose and floppy, etc. So I'm looking at wood instead now.
I'm doing a plastic/resin this spring. It will be partly covered with shade starting around 12-1. I just figured by the time they go back in for the night it would be cooled down enough with everything being left open for the day. I too will be cutting in extra vents or windows whatever is needed. I am hoping whatever I cut out, if I replace it with screen or hardware cloth that has a frame built around it, the frame will help put stability back into the wall I cut the piece out of.
 

perkolator

Chirping
Aug 20, 2019
58
145
76
Placer County, CA
My Coop
My Coop
I think the plan will work, the lean-to shed idea looks fine to me.

Since you mentioned the cost of materials maybe being a concern, perhaps do the math on making it 4x8 instead of 5x10 - this is just a suggestion based on standard 4x8 sheet materials dimensions, so there's potentially less waste depending on your design and maybe it will save you a few hundred bucks; it was a factor in designing my own coop dimensions. This suggestion is also because if you could easily use that deck as a run - and because it's covered and with lattice siding to protect from the weather, chickens would likely hang out there year-round instead of in the coop itself and you can be less concerned with coop square footage per bird. I would for sure add hardware cloth inside the mentioned lattice that's around the deck - so small rodents like mice/rats can't get inside and for the most security

In regards to ventilation I think the big strip window will work, consider simply making a top-hinged panel/door across the whole proposed opening that can be propped open. The 12" roof overhang will be plenty to protect the top hinged edge of the door panel and the actual door propped open at an angle would keep the majority of rain/snow from entering if it makes it past the roof overhang. The angle can be changed to adjust the ventilation inside and with a chicken door going to your run, there will always be sufficient cross ventilation/draft unless you completely close the window.

Two other suggestions I have: since it's going to be 7ft tall, consider making the coop floor raised to around 3ft, leaving you 4 vertical feet inside for roosting space, which is plenty of space - this could provide you a storage space underneath the floor for backup supplies like feed and bedding, but more importantly it would make the floor level tall enough to simply rake out the contents to a wheelbarrow instead of shoveled from ground level during maintenance times. Lastly I would consider putting the laying boxes inside the coop with a big access door instead of external boxes. I did these things on my coop after looking at dozens of coop designs and really glad I did - storage underneath is definitely utilized, the easy opening of the coop to maintain stuff is soooo much better than shoveling from the ground.
 

HenOnAJuneBug

Crowing
May 20, 2015
2,367
4,623
362
Have you considered a metal shed, yet. Not my preference, however I have used one for years and it works fairly well. And they are cheap. I got two used ones on Craigslist for $0 and $75. Brand new I think they can be had for as low as $300.
 

RUNuts

Hatching Malted Milk Balls
Premium member
May 19, 2017
3,945
23,311
787
Eastern Houston
Two other suggestions I have: since it's going to be 7ft tall, consider making the coop floor raised to around 3ft, leaving you 4 vertical feet inside for roosting space, which is plenty of space - this could provide you a storage space underneath the floor for backup supplies like feed and bedding, but more importantly it would make the floor level tall enough to simply rake out the contents to a wheelbarrow instead of shoveled from ground level during maintenance times. Lastly I would consider putting the laying boxes inside the coop with a big access door instead of external boxes. I did these things on my coop after looking at dozens of coop designs and really glad I did - storage underneath is definitely utilized, the easy opening of the coop to maintain stuff is soooo much better than shoveling from the ground.
I built a 4'x8' coop with a raised floor. The area underneath is used for weather protection by the hens and is open on all sides. Works great for keeping feed pans dry.

When cleaning from one end (human access on east and chicken door on west side), I have to lean in to rake all the bedding out. 8' is a long reach even with a 5' rake. Next one will have access on the long side. At 3' tall, able to rake right into a wheelbarrow.

When I want to catch the flighty hens or cockerels, I have to ambush them as they come out the chicken door. Challenging. I'm not able to walk in and pick them off the roost like so many of our fellow chicken keepers can.

The 1' across the front provides wonderful ventilation. I screw a board across the opening in the cold month to block the north wind. The perches are at the top and look out the window. The side triangles and eaves left open for ventilation. Our issue is too hot. Not so much the cold though.

Overall I'm happy with the coop. Just a few things to improve on.
 

Cryss

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
3,920
9,520
707
Northwest New Jersey
Since you mentioned the cost of materials maybe being a concern, perhaps do the math on making it 4x8 instead of 5x10 - this is just a suggestion based on standard 4x8 sheet materials dimensions, so there's potentially less waste depending on your design and maybe it will save you a few hundred bucks; it was a factor in designing my own coop dimensions
I agree the 5x10 will make it more awkward for measuring, however OP is taking into consideration that this is the standard square feet for having 12 birds. 4X8 is for 8 or less birds. I do however have a similar suggestion. In keeping with the 4X8 material dimensions it is easier to build 4x12 than 5X10. For my coop those 4X8 materials worked perfectly for 8X12.
I built a 4'x8' coop with a raised floor. The area underneath is used for weather protection by the hens and is open on all sides. Works great for keeping feed pans dry.

When cleaning from one end (human access on east and chicken door on west side), I have to lean in to rake all the bedding out. 8' is a long reach even with a 5' rake. Next one will have access on the long side. At 3' tall, able to rake right into a wheelbarrow.

When I want to catch the flighty hens or cockerels, I have to ambush them as they come out the chicken door. Challenging. I'm not able to walk in and pick them off the roost like so many of our fellow chicken keepers can.

The 1' across the front provides wonderful ventilation. I screw a board across the opening in the cold month to block the north wind. The perches are at the top and look out the window. The side triangles and eaves left open for ventilation. Our issue is too hot. Not so much the cold though.

Overall I'm happy with the coop. Just a few things to improve on.
I know it’s only for my personal comfort but I couldn’t imagine ever again having a coop that I can’t walk into for cleaning or to have access to handling my chickens. As I get more mature chasing chickens, bending over to retrieve things stored on closet floors, and trying to get back up from my knees when digging deeper into that deep closet floor just ain’t gonna happen.
 

Chickiechickieboomboom

In the Brooder
Sep 27, 2019
28
43
36
Massachusetts
I agree the 5x10 will make it more awkward for measuring, however OP is taking into consideration that this is the standard square feet for having 12 birds. 4X8 is for 8 or less birds. I do however have a similar suggestion. In keeping with the 4X8 material dimensions it is easier to build 4x12 than 5X10. For my coop those 4X8 materials worked perfectly for 8X12.

I know it’s only for my personal comfort but I couldn’t imagine ever again having a coop that I can’t walk into for cleaning or to have access to handling my chickens. As I get more mature chasing chickens, bending over to retrieve things stored on closet floors, and trying to get back up from my knees when digging deeper into that deep closet floor just ain’t gonna happen.
I actually just finished pricing out materials for a 4x12 coop, rather than a 5x10. It was about $200 less for materials! I am trying to find other ways to shave a bit more off the cost (the windows I want are $40 each, but I bet I can DIY much cheaper). 4x12 will be very narrow but hopefully I can come up with a layout that works!

I agree I definitely want a walk-in coop. The prefab coop I have now is not walk-in and it's so difficult to clean and access. My knees and back always hurt after cleaning it out. I will keep it as a brooder coop, though.
 

CindyinSD

Free Ranging
Aug 3, 2018
2,588
9,986
742
Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
I'm doing a plastic/resin this spring. It will be partly covered with shade starting around 12-1. I just figured by the time they go back in for the night it would be cooled down enough with everything being left open for the day. I too will be cutting in extra vents or windows whatever is needed. I am hoping whatever I cut out, if I replace it with screen or hardware cloth that has a frame built around it, the frame will help put stability back into the wall I cut the piece out of.
If you can get it in white or a light color, that will help.
 

CindyinSD

Free Ranging
Aug 3, 2018
2,588
9,986
742
Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
I actually just finished pricing out materials for a 4x12 coop, rather than a 5x10. It was about $200 less for materials! I am trying to find other ways to shave a bit more off the cost (the windows I want are $40 each, but I bet I can DIY much cheaper). 4x12 will be very narrow but hopefully I can come up with a layout that works!

I agree I definitely want a walk-in coop. The prefab coop I have now is not walk-in and it's so difficult to clean and access. My knees and back always hurt after cleaning it out. I will keep it as a brooder coop, though.
I’d just cut out the windows then hinge the piece left over. It’s a little tricky getting the piece out whole, but it can be done. YouTube. You can staple on hardware cloth from the inside so it doesn't get in the way when closing the window. I’d use a jigsaw and/or reciprocating saw. The one is slow but easier to guide, the other more powerful, but faster. A pneumatic stapler is wonderful and cheap enough if you have an air compressor.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom