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Need advice on design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by catsew, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. catsew

    catsew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    These are some pictures of the coops they are selling around us. Our plan is to loosely model our design after some aspects of them.
    If you could look at some of the pictures and tell me what is good and what isn't, I would appreciate it. I hope that makes sense.
    The one thing I have noticed is that there doesn't appear to be any ventilation unless its opened up. I thought you need to have ventilation at all times, but maybe I'm missing something.
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    I guess thats enough for the first post.
     
  2. catsew

    catsew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And then some of the coops we saw had a board in front of the nesting boxes and some did not. Are you supposed to have a board there? I thought I read somewhere about keeping the bedding from getting kicked out, but I'm not sure if I did read that or not. And if you do put a board there, how high should it be?
    board
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    no board
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  3. Crabella

    Crabella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] You will love this site. I am far from being a expert, but I have learned a little from the 18 months I have spend researching. Yes, that coop needs more ventilation. The board in front of the nest boxes will keep the nesting material inside the box instead of kicked out and, hopefully keep some of the poo out of your nest boxes. It should be about 4 inches. I have some that are only two, and quite a lot of bedding ends up on the floor. The other thing I noticed is that the 2x4 they have for a roost should be turned so the wide side is up, not the narrow side. I would check to see how water proof the hinged side of the nest box lid is. It may need some type of gasket to keep water out.. I really like the vinyl flooring on my coop. Makes clean up so easy. Others on here like multiple coats of gloss enamel paint. Have you checked out the coop pages. Coops of all sizes there and lots of inspiration.

    Good luck.
     
  4. catsew

    catsew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. We are going to put a piece of linoleum down on the floor to help make cleaning easier.
    Those are just ideas. We are building our own. But its easier once you see some in person to get some better idea of what to do.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You might look through the "coop designs" section of this forum for some more ideas. But I do understand seeing one in person makes it easier to visualize.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/coopdesigns.html

    It might help on the comments a bit if we had an idea what your climate is like. But no matter where you are, you need ventilation year-around.

    I use a 5" or 6" board across the front of my nest boxes for the same reasons Crabella mentioned.

    Some of those external nest box covers look like they will leak. You can overcome the potential problems, but external nest boxes sometimes cause leaks, are sometimes weak points that allow predators entry, can allow drafts, and can be a problem in extreme weather. If they are on the sunny side they can get really hot in the summer or if you truly have a cold climate, the eggs can possibly freeze in the winter. I built internal nest boxes and put an external door so I could check them without going in the coop, and I never use them. I find it is much better to go inside the coop to see what is going on. I've found an injured chicken, a possum and a couple of times, an egg eating snake. There can be legitimate reasons for the external access, such as people gathering the eggs that a rooster might attack, but I find them not worth the extra hardware I bought and the extra complexity in construction. On that one, does the external nest box cover have a secure lock to keep predators out?

    I notice a roost at the same elevation as the ventilation. In a hot climate or the summer, that is not a big deal, but in the winter if you are in a cold climate, you do not want drafts blowing on the chickens when they roost. The primary ventilation should be over their heads. I have a window at the same height as the roost for summer use, but I also have permanent ventilation all around the top of my coop under the overhang. Any cross breezes in the winter is well above their heads.

    The theory behind putting a 2x4 flat instead of on edge as a roost is that, in really cold weather, a chicken will squat on the wider board and cover its feet to prevent frostbite. I use tree limbs instead of 2x4's. Some parts of my tree limbs are smaller than the narrow side of the 2x4 and some are thicker. They sleep all over, location being more important to mine than thickness of the roost. My outside temperatures rarely get much below zero Fahrenheit, and I have not had a problem with frostbitten feet. But you can lay it flat if you want. In either case, round off the corners so their feet can more comfortably grip and so you can remove the splinters if you use 2x4's as roosts.

    That's not a bad idea for a pop door if you can keep it from jamming when you raise or lower it. You can probably overcome it by rounding the corners and having it kind of loose in the runners, but I'd think just having one rope on the middle might subject it to jamming. I also like a lock on it, or something that would prevent a raccoon from just putting her claws under it and lifting it. Having an internal siding door with a nice lip on the outside at the bottom will help, but it would not take much for a raccoon to get a paw under that one with the shallow lip.

    It's hard to tell. Do all windows have hardware cloth over the opening to prevent predators when the window is open?

    Probably enough for now. Hope that helps.
     
  6. stcroixusvi

    stcroixusvi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would want a latch on the outside nesting box entry. Conventional wisdom also says to have 1/2" min hardware cloth on the windows. On one of the pictures, above the nesting boxes, it looks like 4 x 2.

    I wonder about the 2 x 4 roosting, though. I read that 2" is ok for roosts. Maybe it depends on the size of the chicken.

    And like the previous posters, I got plenty of ideas from the coop section in this forum.
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's the best discussion I know of on the subject of ventilation for chicken housing:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION

    Two other issues I see with this chicken coop design. There doesn't seem to be any lock or latch on the cover on the external nesting boxes, which means a critter like a raccoon could open it up and eat all the chickens. That's a pretty serious design flaw!

    I always think about how easy (or hard) a particular coop would be to clean out. Unless a coop is large enough to walk in and move around inside comfortably, I think it's very important to have one whole wall open up so you can rake/scrape bedding out into a wheelbarrow or something like that. I'm also a huge proponent of using poop boards or trays (I use plastic boot trays), and you then have to think about how easy/hard it will be to clean off the board or take out the tray to dump out the contents.

    It looks like there's a clean out slot on the bottom of the front of the coop, but I suspect cleaning out using that slot wouldn't be very easy or effective. Plus, the latch on it is not raccoon proof. Tsk, tsk.
     
  8. catsew

    catsew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for your replies. They are very helpful. I will check out the other section as well. I think that may have been what I was looking for before and thought this was it.
    Anyway, one of the houses had the boxes inside, and several had them outside. It is very cold here in the winter, so should I build them inside?
    These ones are inside [​IMG] and the door on the bottom under the window is the access door for the inside ones. [​IMG]
     
  9. catsew

    catsew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The door at the bottom on the one picture is actually for the nesting boxes. BUT I wanted to do something similar, all the way across the bottom as an access door for cleaning. I was thinking a hoe with a long handle would be able to pull all the shavings off the bottom and out. I was planning on putting linoleum on the floor.

    We are going to put the whole coop into a fenced in run with a fenced roof. I never even thought about a raccoon getting into there.

    Ours is also raised 24" off the ground to provide shade since we don't have any in the yard.
     
  10. catsew

    catsew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any other ideas or suggestions?
     

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