Need some ideas for a new coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Atlantakycklingar, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. Atlantakycklingar

    Atlantakycklingar Chirping

    Oct 29, 2011
    Hey everybody, looong time lurker(actually had a login like 6 years ago, but can't remember it), but just bought chicks(two black sex links, one red sex links, one RIR, two barred rocks) to basically force me into building a coop finally. I live in a very very urban setting, where everybody has 50x150' yards, so I have about 80x50' in the back to play with.

    My first idea was to build the coop under the deck, which is like 15' high and gets some marginal rain protection, but more importantly gets shade from the sun in the summer. Is there any reason why it's a bad idea? I was thinking about using some of the existing deck posts for the outside of the run. Also it is weed central under there, and would love for the girls to rip those insolent weeds apart.

    Also I was planning on doing my best to make the run super protected, and just having the coop door open to the run unless we get some serious inclement weather. The absolute lowest we get in the winter is probably the low teens, and the usual winter forecast is like 55/35 in Atlanta. The deck will keep any snow off it as well...though we hardly ever get any. There won't be any big snakes, foxes, coyotes(we have coyotes in Atlanta, but not where I live) or stray dogs or anything like that, but there are cats, raccoons(I assume), opossums(I assume), rats & red-tailed hawks. Do you reckon this is okay?

    Also, I know how chicken math works and incubation addiction, so I would like to have room to house more birds, probably up to 12 or so...would a 6x6 coop work if they have a huge run? I imagine they'll spend most of their time outdoors since we have such warm weather here. Or should I count on like 15-20 birds since I'm underestimating chicken math? I probably have room for 6x10', but I'd be using up some run square footage.

    I'm sure I'll have more questions later, just can't think of them at the moment. Thanks so much in advance!


    ps. My girls are between 2-3 1/2 weeks old, and don't eat any treats other than crickets(they love playing cricket football) and an occasional moth. They turn their noses up to any greens or fruits...I guess they'll turn around eventually? I really hope they take care of my weed problem out back. Also, I let them free range a bit, so they're hopefully getting some grit from the dirt(for the crickets).

    Edit: Do I need to insulate my coop?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2011

  2. mamaKate

    mamaKate Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    [​IMG] Your idea sounds really workable to me. I don't think I'd go over 10 birds, though. In your climate they won't need a ton of inside time but aggression could still kick in if they're too crowded. The only drawback I see is the smell. I've heard lot's of comments to the contrary but chickens stink. I clean my barn diligently and it still smells, especially to non chicken people. If you don't use your deck for entertaining it might be ok. You'll adjust to the smell after awhile. lol
    ETA: You'll also need to really stay on top of rodent prevention.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
  3. Atlantakycklingar

    Atlantakycklingar Chirping

    Oct 29, 2011
    Ah, thanks Kate...that's a good point. I don't think it would be that fun to host a dinner party on the back deck and be smelling chicken poo all night. How long would it take the smell to dissipate if I gave it a solid cleaning the day before or that morning?

    Also, I edited my original post. Any point to insulating the coop in the south?
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I think an under the deck type coop would work fine for a small flock. However, even I (who keeps a super clean coop - scraping dropping boards daily and doing frequent poop pick-ups) cringe at the thought of my 12 pullets and hens living directly under my deck. If you slacked off even for a day you'd know it directly.
    I like insulation in my coop because I have a lot of windows, so I'm able to take advantage of the sun in winter time (holds the heat in longer into the evening). With a coop under a deck, where things would mostly be shaded, I don't really see insulation having that much purpose, assuming that the coop is draft free on it's own.

  5. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Songster

    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Atl, Welcome to BYC and great questions. Know your situation pretty well. Have Daughter,Son-In-Law and 12 Yr. Grandson in Atlanta near Jackson-Hartfield Airport raising chickens in their "City" coops. About the same size backyard as you with raised deck as well. Other Daughter south in Sharpsburg.
    What part of ATL are you in.....I could hook ya up with Son in Law and Grandson and might be able to help ya locally with ideas and good contacts. They have been into the chickens for a while and are the reason I got hooked. check out my pages on ideas of two coops I built recently. Do your homework and look at alot of other folks coops before building. Good luck and PM me if ya want some help locally, my guys would be happy to do so.
  6. Atlantakycklingar

    Atlantakycklingar Chirping

    Oct 29, 2011
    Uh...fireguy...your coop is amaaaaazing. Thanks so much for the info and the offer for Atlanta contacts. I'll definitely take you up on the offer. I'll send you a PM, shortly.

    The basic design of your coop is probably what I'm going to use as a template and make it a little smaller, maybe 6x10 or 6x15+ and include an attached shed area, but I'm having second thoughts regarding placement...
  7. potluck

    potluck In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2011
    Just want to mention that getting under the deck to clean may be a bit of a challenge

  8. waterchicken

    waterchicken Chirping

    Oct 28, 2011
    Good luck on the coop!!!! And [​IMG]

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