1. 2Meekah

    2Meekah New Egg

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    May 19, 2011
    My DH is getting really frustrated with this DIY project. We are trying to convert our shed into a coop. He cut a window in the front door and hinged it so we can shut it but it doesn't hang right.

    [​IMG]

    I'm new here so I hope I get the pictures posted right. We're going to put a screen on it. But it just sticks out like a sore thumb and it'll catch rain water and rot. Do we need to build an overhang on top of the window or re-do the window hinge?

    Also the nesting boxes are way too high I think. I'm 5'5" and they come to my chest. I really don't want a mad hen staring me in the face. My daughter's only 2 but one of these days I'd like her to gather the eggs too and she won't be able to reach it. I don't think the hens will be able to reach it either. What do you all think?
    [​IMG]
    The nesting boxes look like a shelf in the upper left hand corner and the pole he built is on the right. We still haven't cleaned all the junk out of the building yet.

    [​IMG]
    Here is more of the window.
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    And this is the door to the run on the opposite side.
    [​IMG]
    What is the easiest way to make everything function and if the boxes will work, can we put another roost under them? We have 16 baby chicks in the house right now. He made 12 nesting boxes. For now we just want them for laying but maybe in the future we might raise some to eat. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes indeed, it's going to catch rainwater to pool and rot it out, if hinged on the bottom like that... why not just hinge it from the TOP, with a prop stick that snaps into place (so it can't blow/fall off) to prop it open when you want. That will also reduce the amount of rain that blows in thru that opening. And is easier on the hinges.

    If you have some "gap-osis" around the edge of the panel, just add overhanging battens to the three non-hinge sides, to cover any gap and close flush against the coop wall when the panel is closed.

    Is there any ventilation besides that openable 'window' panel? I am concerned you may well need more.

    When you come across some convenient plexiglass, it would be nice to make part of that panel, or somewhere else in the coop, into a window so the chickens have natural light in there. This will make your and their life easier and pleasanter, AND improve winter laying.

    You may want to rethink those nestboxes -- or you can TRY them but I would be a bit surprised if you don't end up just starting over. Yes, you'll want them lower -- they need to be distinctly lower than the roost is (i.e. roost must be higher than nestboxes, to avoid very pooey eggs), plus the issues of access that you mention. You also don't need so many -- you only need 4 for 12 chickens -- and I am concerned about that design. Nestboxes are usually BOXES because hens like a semi-enclosed place to lay and because you don't want the eggs getting accidentally kicked out onto the floor. Once you have some cushioning bedding in your "boxes", there will be very little lip keeping the eggs from going onto the floor. Something to be aware you may need to address, anyhow.

    But it is well on its way to being a good coop and I'm sure you can get it worked out [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  3. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Hinge it from the top, like the one below.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2011
    hinge it on the top.....or even on the side if you want it open all the way ( although that will still catch rain) I would hinge it up top and cut the center out and use plexiglass.
     
  5. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2011
    Lantana, Florida
    Tell him not to get frustrated. It doesn't really help! Just do things over, and usually you'll end up with what you're happy with. I've had to do lots of carpentry, shed building, etc. over my many years, and every mistake you make helps you learn new skills. I'm quite good at it by now! (now that my energy level is waning) Whatever you put your mind to do, you'll do it - eventually [​IMG]

    I built my coop with 4 x 4 posts and set a truck topper on for the roof. It actually came out very nice, and is a great Florida coop. Secure, too. Happy building!
     
  6. 2Meekah

    2Meekah New Egg

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    May 19, 2011
    If we just added 4 deep nest boxes on the other side of the room would they use them? How far off the ground should they hang? And what size? Is the light still necessary if they can go outside every day?

    I wanted to have a screen door for the run for extra ventilation but now is not the time to bring it up. Would somewhere else work better?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  7. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2011
    yeah just turn the current boxes into a high roost.... i think general rule is 12x12x12 or thereabouts and i think most people say somewhere between 18-24 high but lower than the roosts is the main thing I think
     
  8. 2Meekah

    2Meekah New Egg

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    May 19, 2011
    By turning them into a roost...do you mean just leave them? Or do something with them? We have 16 chickens, 8 buff orpingtons and 8 ??Black Sex-links?? we think that's what they are. So we need 4 boxes? Can you link me to the easiest way to go about that?
     
  9. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2011
    Lots of people just build them out of plywood...or use milk crates, 5 gallon buckets on their side etc. Search nesting box on here. you will be overwhelmed with options. You probably want to at least remove the plywood bottom of the old ones if keeping them. Unless you don't mind cleaning up poop from there? You could also ad another 2x2 at the very top to add thickness but probably not absolutely necessary.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The thing about having no natural light in the coop is that it artificially shortens the days. This means they will slow/quit laying earlier in the fall, and resume later in the winter, than they "ought to". Also many people experience difficulty getting the chickens to go to roost in the evening of their own volition if the coop is pitch-dark (chickens have TERRIBLE night-vision)

    Pat
     

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