New coop!! How do I fix it up?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by quackydoodle, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. quackydoodle

    quackydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2014
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    Edited/updated-

    I found an old (OLD!) coop on Craigslist. It's a solid 6x8 that hasn't housed birds in years, but the price is right. It needs a new coat of paint. I need to fix a window, and build a window where the metal sheet is. The guy was just using it for storage, so when the big window broke, he just covered the hole. Some of the boards aren't exactly snug up against each other, but for the most part I think it'll make a nice chicken coop. I'm wondering what you all think about making it a little more wind proof. Winters can be harsh here. January is typically below 0, and I've seen it as cold as -30. I'd love to hear your ideas.


    South end
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    North end
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    West end- door opens out
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    East end- door opens in. The black bar is part of the trailer I used to move it. I haven't unloaded it yet.
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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    You hae the makings of a great coop there! You might want to cut down on the drafts through the walls though I wouldn't get really fussy about it. The main thing it needs is ventilation, as high in the coop as you can get it, so the chickens' warm, humid, ammonia-y output can eschange with the outside air. That little stovepipe thing in the middle won't be nearly enough. They do need outside light, but windows for air exchange would be mostly for summer.

    Here are a couple of very good links about northern coops. by a Canadian member:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...-go-out-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/winter-coop-temperatures
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  3. quackydoodle

    quackydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the links! I've read them before. I love the idea of an open air coop, but I think I'll settle for knocking our a few boards under the roof. ;)
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    That ought to do it. Glad for the overhang!
     
  5. quackydoodle

    quackydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The interior is completely bare. I have to make nesting boxes and roosting bars. I don't know what the best or most efficient layout will be. I have 10 birds now. I'd like to end up with 20. I have a 75'x75' fenced pen for them to roam. They use about 1/6 of it now, ha ha. I don't plan on building them a covered run right away, but it would be nice to get one, especially in the winter so they have a covered outdoor area to scratch in. I plan in using the east door for my entrance. As far as roosts, I don't know if I should do an 8' one about 5' up (along the north or south walls), or a ladder style on the west end. It would pretty much render the west door inoperable, so I don't know if that's a big deal or not. If I do a long roost do I do a row of nesting boxes on the opposite floor? Or a bookshelf of nests on the west end? Or 2 long roosts and 2 rows of nest? Aaaa! I might be hyperventilating at all the possibilities... ;) I plan on keeping the food and water to the immediate sides of the entrance door for easier access. I'm not dead-set on anything yet, though. Please send me your pics and ideas!! Thanks!!!


    The inside of the coop from the east door.


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  6. quackydoodle

    quackydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also- I have 3 ducks. Should I build them a large nesting box to sleep in? Or a low shelf near the roosts? Does anyone have ducks and chickens sharing the same coop?
     
  7. quackydoodle

    quackydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The 2x4 under the corner of the floor is rotted out. Any ideas on how to replace or repair it?


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  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I would pick out a least-drafty spot for the roost and screw up a 2x4 on its flat side, tust to keep it simple.
    Figure 8-10' per bird, or a little more, and not less than 18" away from the wall, and about 30" off the floor ( larger birds can injusr legs and hips jumping off higher roosts.) If you put it up with screws, you can change your mind later. You can also use a fat branch.

    You don't have to get fancy with nest boxes. Kitty litter boxes, plastic bins, 5 gallon buckets on their sides with a board across the bottom to retain itter -- almost any container will do, even a cardboard box, for a while. I've never put money in a next box; there is always something around I can use or modify. There is nothing wrong with their being different shapes and sizes. Sometimes I think the chickens prefer this. They can be on the floor or raised a little -- just not higher than the roost.
     
  9. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ventilation is so important that I neither close the front east facing door to my barn during the winter or the window, west facing, opening directly in my horse's shelter. I have kept my flock in a 12' x 16' stall for the past 3 winters and nobody was cold. I agree about keeping roosters with huge combs. The only one of my 3 EE roosters that has a comb was the only bird who suffered some frostbite last winter, and it was only on his comb. The other roosters had small combs and suffered no frostbite.
    Your birds will huddle together. Best if they can roost and sit on their own feet to keep them warm.
    BTW, 2 horses in an open, wooden barn raises the temperature 15-20 degrees. How do I know? Bc the water doesn't freeze for my horses, like it was frozen outside. THIS is why we all suggest you not build with plastic. It won't hold heat and it won't hold cold. If it's cold outside the plastic/metal building is cold inside. If it's hot outside, the plastic/metal bujilding is hot inside.

    If it's cold outside, and one animal is living in a wooden building, the building holds the heat that that animals radiates. And, if it's hot outside, but shady inside, the wooden building holds the cool temperature.

    I found that Rural King had reduced their 12" x 12" 1/2 inch plywood nest boxes to $9.00/each, so I bought two for my revamped turkey house. I will use them next year as the model for the boxes I plan to build for my full sized coop.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  10. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Generally recommended space in the coop is 4 square feet per bird. With a 6x8 coop you could comfortable house 12 birds. Remember, in bad weather they will be inside, as well as at night. It would be quite easy to expand that coop if you want more birds.

    I think where you live you could do an open side in the summer, but certainly not in the winter. Ventilation is crucial, but you will also need it draft-free, so if you remove boards make it easy on yourself and build so that you can cover those openings in the winter.

    I had a small coop with a rotten bottom board that would have been difficult to replace. Instead I made a base from treated 4x4 and 2x4 lumber, and attached the coop on top of the base, lifting it up off the ground.
     
    1 person likes this.

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