New coop installation thread....need advice, please chime in! PICS!!!


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
Hi all, I am new to the community and new to chicken keeping. I had a friend of a friend build a coop out of pallets. It's 4x8x6 feet. We weren't sure where we were going to put it and she delivered it in pieces (walls) and we assembled it where we think we want it. Since we decided last minute, the ground might not be completely level. I bought 12x12 stepping stones to put on the floor around the perimeter, and I was planning on also doing an apron. The pressing question as of right now is how to secure the sliding door. Please see pics. I have a pulley to tie it open but at night I need a way to keep it from lifting. I also did not think of the apron when I asked the builder to put the sliding door in. Please tell me if I should permanently close it or rebuild it. Rebuild is my last option as I do not know how to build anything! LOL And she is probably going to charge me to come modify it if I ask her. Anyways here are pics of the coop. For the run I am planning to use chicken wire and wood frame, and the girls will be shut in at night. I live in a suburb with close neighbors.

There is a dog next door. there are cats. And my husband says he's seen racoons and oppossums around. And of course, hawks. We were thinking of having the run in the area shown in the last photo but not using the privacy fence as the fence for the run, so we could put an apron around the run too. Please chime in and pick apart all my plans! I did look on here and found a good latch idea for the large front door (which I wont install till its leveled) but I really need ideas for securing the sliding door. (mostly the chicks stay in the brooder but I let them in the coop for a couple hours during the day to play). The two five week olds are rhode island reds, and I have two RI Whites and two Buff orpingtons that are about two weeks old. I live in central Texas so its warm here already.
Hello, and good morning. I like the looks of your coop. Simple, effective, and it has a nice sorta rustic look to it. I would recommend a self adjusting gate latch, that compensates for sag, etc. If you go that route I would also buy the cable that goes to the inside, so that you don't accidentally lock yourself in. This is for the main door. The latch and safety that I am talking about is very very easy to install, and that is the set-up that I have for my people door in to the run. Here are links so that you have an idea of what I am talking about:

Or, just hook a scrap piece of cable, etc to the eye and route it to the inside. Here is how mine is set-up:

For the sliding door, maybe affix some window bolts just right on the top sill and drill a hole into the side support for the bolt to slide in to. If you don't do it on top you could add a thin spacer scrap piece of wood on the door, and the latch catch side on the side supports. That way they would be aligned with each other. You could maybe use a hook and eye to secure it in the open/up position, too.

Here are pics of how I have used the window bolts and hook and eye set-up:

I do not support home depot, or even do much shopping there for personal reasons. I know you can find the same stuff at Lowe's, and probably Do It Best and/ or ACE. Hope this helps some.

Just my $.02 there are probable a couple dozen other cheap ways to do what you are trying to do. Good luck with everything.
With all those climbing and flying predators I'm worried that there is no room. I would consider capping it with something. Maybe pick up a piece of corrugated roofing for part and the rest with hardware cloth. Try for soem good prices. I find them to be considerably cheaper than the big box hardware stores.
Scouter Joe, definitely. They are only in there while I'm home to supervise them during the day, until we get the roof on, etc. which should be any day now ;)

Thanks for the ideas. Dave, on that latch for the main door (the first one you mentioned), is that lock-able for keeping racoons out etc? I will check it out at Lowe's.

For the slide-up door, I like the sliding bolt idea...but those arent lockable and a wily racoon could figure that out, right?

And, any thoughts about how to install an apron on the part with the sliding door that won't interfere with the opening and closing of the sliding door?
For the "apron" no specific ideas. If you have it sitting on patio block, maybe some type of rubber gasket or something on the bottom. What is your end goal for this apron? Weatherproofing? Draft control? Predator deterrent? I would recommend digging in some block and or wire if you are worried about digging predators.
The apron would be to deter digging predators. I will actually install below ground apron where the sliding door is. Thanks for the links!!
I would recommend digging in wire all around the coop and run. Might sound like a lot of work, predators can dig under from anywhere. Also be careful with untreated wood right on the ground or even on cement/ block. It will wick water up and start to rot. I would recommend setting it on a foundation of treated wood or natural gravel/ rock. Rotting wood would create access for predators as well. If you are digging in/ or cementing in the wood you are using for the run, the same would apply there as well. I am not a builder by trade, just imparting what little knowledge I do have. I am the type of person that will do things right, and maybe even over build on a project so that hopefully I will have little to no problems in the long run. A little extra work now could prevent serious issues and more work later. There may be other methods of protecting untreated wood that comes in contact with the ground or concrete as well.
So if I put the pavers/step stones, then a perimeter of treated wood, it would not rot? What if I instead stained/sealed the bottom six to eight inches of the coop wood bottom inside and out? Would that be adequate?

Does Hardware cloth eventually rot if buried? How long would it likely last?

Who am I kidding, it doesn't actually RAIN here in Texas. There IS NO MOISTURE. ;)

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