New Chicken Coop Project!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jothman, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. jothman

    jothman Hatching

    Jan 29, 2015
    Tollhouse California
  2. [​IMG] Wonderful coop!
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Very nice job!
  4. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    Good job. Love the size. What kind of chicks do you have?

    I have a few questions.

    Where will your chickens go when its blowing rain? They need to have a safe dry place.

    Is that chicken wire? Chicken wire isn't strong enough to keep out most predators.

    Like this one.
    1/2" hardware cloth works good.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Very Nice Structure!

    ....but I have the same questions as JanetS.

    You don't need that many nests(1 nest per 4-5 hens).
    You need more roost space than you have with those sticks for 27 birds(8-12" per bird works well).
    2x4's, wide side up, works very well for large fowl birds to roost and for perches in front of nests.
    Roosts should be higher than nests by about a foot so they don't sleep (and poop) in nests.

    Do you plan on free ranging?
    That space might be tight for 27 if totally confined 24/7 or during weather/predator events.
  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Songster

    Dec 15, 2014
    Very nice construction! Your nest boxes are beautiful. I'm sure my ladies would think the same--in fact with no other sheltered area and given that they are higher than the roosts, my ladies would probably enjoy them so much that they would roost in them at night and in bad weather.

    I wish I had your enclosure. If I did I would make a few changes though. I'd definitely lower the nest boxes and slant the top so no one decides to roost up there. I'd also nix the branch roosts and use 2x4s as others have suggested--at least 2 that span the entire width of the enclosure. Not nearly as cool and rustic looking as your branches, but far more functional and healthy for their feet. Also way easier to scrape the inevitable poop from. I would probably at the very least enclose the back 1/3 of the enclosure by the nest boxes so the birds have some protection from wind and rain. I'd put the roosts in that area too, otherwise bad weather is going to drive them into the nest boxes and you'll end up with poopy and broken eggs. Which end I enclosed would be dictated by the direction of your prevailing winds. With the hill behind, I'd imagine that side is pretty well protected already but your birds will need more shelter.

    I see that you used hardware cloth on the bottom half--that's great. Don't forget about all the predators that will still be able to climb to get through the chicken wire at the top. Since you have no other enclosed shelter for them, your birds will be VERY vulnerable to predator attack. Raccoons can reach through chicken wire and pull and tear a bird right off the roost and weasels can tear and slip right through, too. If you aren't going to enclose an area, at least consider putting up a shield or some kind of barrier to prevent something from reaching in and tearing at the birds that roost closest to the wire at night. Believe it or not, birds roosting on the ends can been torn through the wire by owls and other raptors.

    BTW, I love all your chicken names and it's so cute that you made them each their own sign. With a few simple changes your birds will be enjoying deluxe accommodations.
  7. jothman

    jothman Hatching

    Jan 29, 2015
    Tollhouse California
    Thanks everyone for your comments and constructive criticism! The chicks are rode island red, red, black, and gold sex-links, and production reds.
    There is hardware cloth on the bottom half, and chicken wire above the nesting boxes to keep them from getting up there. I wondered if cloth on the lower half would suffice, but sounds like I've a bit more work to do! All 27 chicks probably won't all be hens so we will give away the roosters and possibly some hens as well. Bummer about the branches not working! I also wanted to make a roost branch area around the top of the enclosure. Maybe I'll give the branches a go before I change to 2x4's. I agree that they are going to need an enclosed area for wind and driving rain. I was thinking of adding a small wooden house on the backside. They will be cooped up 24-7, too many dogs and predators around here to let them out unfortunately. Please keep the thoughts, ideas, and advice coming!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: