Need advice on coop build, plan b

rosemarythyme

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Jul 3, 2016
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I actually just finished pricing out materials for a 4x12 coop, rather than a 5x10. It was about $200 less for materials!

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.
Really glad someone noted that lumber is more cost efficient in 4 and 8' lengths, I forgot to mention that. $200 is a pretty good cost savings just for changing the dimensions a little and you're only losing 2 sq ft in the end.

Also agree on walk in. It's just so much easier to maintain (little to no bending down, over or kneeling) and also gives you easier access to the birds if you need to get in there to put them on the roost, nab them for health reasons, etc.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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4x12 will be very narrow but hopefully I can come up with a layout that works!
It will indeed be tight.....especially if you plan on using a poop board.
But try sketching out your floor plan on graph paper(for scale),
that can really help to plan your space.
 

Cryss

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Nov 12, 2017
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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 was able to use old widows we had left over after replacing some windows. I almost bought one from Habitat for Humanity store. Check out all types of thrift stores or keep your eyes open for construction repairs on homes. Ask if they are throwing away windows. Even old shower doors could be framed into a window or a door.
 

Cryss

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Since your 4x12 will be exactly half of my 8x12 maybe seeing mine will give you a visual idea of yours. In the video I’m standing with the human door behind me. The 8 foot width is from the wall on the left with the cage to the wall on the right with the ramp.
the poop boards are 2ft wide leaving me a 6ft wide walking space. If you reduce this by half to represent your coop dimension it will leave a 2ft wide walking space.
These pictures might help too.
 

Judy Todd

Chirping
Dec 27, 2017
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Yacolt Wa.
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.
I agree with C indy SD, I cut out the windows and then hinged the piece for protection from weather, put hardware cloth on the opening and covered it with heavy plastic when the weather is really bad, I can lift the plastic and tuck it up when the weather is mild. Free windows and good ventilation.
 

CindyinSD

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Aug 3, 2018
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I have a heat lamp-type ”fixture” with a LED bulb in it for the rare times I need to keep the coop closed during the day. I guess I’m just assuming a light, which (you are right) isn’t always the case. When chickens are using it, the (barn) doors are always open a bit during the day—enough to let them out—if the temp is above zero.
 
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