1. ArkanzanWheeler

    ArkanzanWheeler Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 3, 2007
    Arkansas
    I am new to all this chicken stuff but I have been reading up on the forum here, I find the answer to one question only to spark up a few more. I am looking to build about a 4'deepx8'wide coop that is going to be against the east wall of a building so it is not windy. I am going to have it about a foot off the ground so they can go under it for shade if they want (they are doing that with the dog house they are in right now). I also want to have a open floor for easy cleaning, I have extra chain link fence material if that will work? The nest boxes I was thinking were going to be either 15" or 12" wide depending on what you all think (12" is 7 nests and 15" is 6 nests). Also how deep should the boxes be, I was thinking it should be the same as the width. The roof on it I was thinking of using plexiglass so I can see in and they get some light but I was thinking of using window tint on it so it would not be so bright to them inside. I am going to do a split roof design so I only have to lift half of the roof at a time. For a vent I ws going to just leave the back side up at the top open, maybe put some of that fence material up there just in case. Also what should I do about a door? I have dogs so I want the door as small as possible to keep the dogs out, any other ideas? These are going to be free ranging on my 1/2 acre fenced in yard so I want them to be able to come and go as they please. I do not have preditors around here that I have to worry about, they are in a 40'x20' dog pen with a 4' chain link fence right now until I think they will be use to this place. Thanks for any help you can give.
     
  2. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I'm new at this too, but I've done a bunch of reading ( I know, scary)[​IMG] But the door should be 10" W X 13" H. For the roof, I'd suggest you get that corregated plastic roofing. Comes in 2' W X 8' L pieces or 6' or 10' also. You can get different colors, smoke, green etc. They have special screws with rubber washers, so they don't leak. I wouldn't do straight plexiglas, as it might get too hot in there. That's probably also a concern with the plastic roofing. I used the metal on one of my coops to reflect the heat away a bit, but it's in full sun.

    Nesting boxes can be about 12"x12"x12". Might want to put a 45 deg slope on top to keep them from roosting on top of it. I didn't put enough of an incline on mine and they still sit on it.

    You need approximately 1 sq foot of window space for every 10 square feet of interior space. I guess you can count that as your ventilation space. But they do need the light. Maybe if you are in a shady area it wouldn't be too bad.

    Anyway, that's what I've read. Like I say, I'm new at this too.

    I put drop pits under my roosts to make it easy to clean up. I know they like to snuggle down in the wood shavings to keep warm at night.

    Good Luck! [​IMG] I'll be cheering for you.

    Deniece
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
  3. ArkanzanWheeler

    ArkanzanWheeler Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    Sep 3, 2007
    Arkansas
    Thanks, that clears up most of it. My design is going to have about a 30* roof, if they want to get on top of it I do not see the harm right now (is there any?). But the plexiglass should not get hot, especially if I put some window tinting on it. The spot that I am putting the coop has a big oak tre to the east so it does not get direct sunlight there until about noon and then the shed on the west side will be completely shading it by 4 pm. I am not set on plexiglass but I am thinking it will work as good as that coragated plastic. I have been in a tin shed when it was hot, I do not want to cook them alive. A tin roof heats up.

    I am drawing up a blueprint of how I am going to do it and it will be a little smaller than I originally planned, I am only going to be 3 ft deep by 8 ft wide. Since 12" is good for nesting boxes I might be able to do 7 but I am thinking of using a foam insulation between the walls and that would loose a little room so I might be making only 6 boxes wide. That might change when I actually make it.

    At least now I know how big the door needs to be, one of my dogs could get in there but I was thinking of making a 1" wide pearch sticking out about a foot would make it more difficult for the dogs to get in and the birds could fly up to it before walking in the door. This is about a foot off the ground still by the way.
     
  4. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Well, you need 4 sq feet per bird. A 3 x 8 would handle only 6 birds, and you only need one nesting box per 4 birds, so you should only need 2 nesting boxes. That should give you more room
     
  5. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    As for the metal roof, one of my coolest coops has a corregated metal roof but we put 1" foam insulation under it. It stays very cool in there. If you are going to put plexiglass so you can see in, think about having one area of plexiglass, maybe a foot square, on one side of the roof and cover it, hinged of course, with the roofing. This way you can lift the cover to see in but the roof will reflect the heat. And if it's cold in the winter you could leave it open for solar heating. But in the summer, if the sun shines through it will cook the poor birds.
     
  6. ArkanzanWheeler

    ArkanzanWheeler Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    Sep 3, 2007
    Arkansas
    I may go back to the 4'x8' idea since they need that much room in the coop, I do not want them to feel crowded. What about if I built it with an upper level roost, does that add to the sq ft?

    I like the idea of having a sunroof. I could make something that hinges to leave it open in the winter for warmth, I am wanting to do this without a leat lamp or anything so those little tricks would help. With the foam insulation, I hear they will pick at it on the sides so I was going to put paneling over it but do I need to cover the roof also if I put the foam up there?
     
  7. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Nope, I tried to see if I could get by with that idea myself [​IMG] and nope, it doesn't count. [​IMG] I have this huge 8'X8'X8' coop, and I can only put 16 birds in there.

    We built this 6'X8'x4' coop to brood chicks in and It's not even as big as I wanted. The books says you have to have 1/2 sq foot for chicks increased to 3/4" sq foot at 4 weeks to 8 weeks. However, I saw pictures of one coop on the forum here some where and there was a shelf in the coop. So part of the birds were on one shelf, and part on the other. I wonder if that counts? Maybe in brooding since they aren't running around so much but I'm not thinking in adult life.
     
  8. ArkanzanWheeler

    ArkanzanWheeler Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Sep 3, 2007
    Arkansas
    I am not planning on having a bunch of chickens, just enough for two roosters max so I was told I would need 6 hens for that. Eight all together so my 4'x8' coop sounds like it fits the bill. They are going to be free range 99% of the time but I was thinking of putting sliding doors on the side incase I needed to close it up for some reason.
     
  9. ArkanzanWheeler

    ArkanzanWheeler Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Sep 3, 2007
    Arkansas
    Thanks to you alls help this is what I have come up with so far. The back of this will be up against a 12' wide wall on the east side of a building (the coop will be facing east) so the wind is not a problem, plus there are a bunch of trees blocking most of the area. I am still not sure of what to use for the floor yet, some type of wire but will chain link fencing work or is that too big? Thanks
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Chelly

    Chelly Cooped Up

    May 11, 2007
    You need to look into the flooring - the wire will hurt and/or injure the birds feet.
     

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