New Coop Tips

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Keian, May 28, 2016.

  1. Keian

    Keian New Egg

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    I'm about to build my first coop. Any tips for things I should include in the coop or cool designs that work well?
     
  2. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Tons of great info here. I've been reading here since before we got chicks. Learn something new every day. My first suggestions are to make sure that you have plenty of room and plenty of ventilation.
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I you can swing it, get power out there. You never know when you may need a dim light. Here in Northern Wyoming it gets dark pretty doggone early and I'm not always done with my chores when it does. During the hot days of summer, a fan is nice to be able to use to cool the chickens down a bit. In winter power will also come in very handy so you can heat your water bucket to prevent freezing. And since I brood my chicks outdoors, I needed power out there to run my heating pad. I have one outlet, a light fixture, and a mobile home type exhaust fan up above the people door in the coop. In the run I have another outlet, because that's where I can plug in the heating pad. Of course, I didn't have all that when we first built the coop, even though hubby is a professional electrician. It was always "One of these days I'm going to run power out there" and then he finally did!

    Also put hooks either on the inside of the coop or on the outside. So handy to hang some of the tools you might need out there. My favorite tool is a flat, wide putty knife. I'm always grabbing that thing to scrape off roosts or whatever....
     
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.
    Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry.

    I have 65 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.

    Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.

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  5. kgb6days

    kgb6days Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Build it bigger than you think you need - and make sure you predator proof it as best you can. I can't walk into my coop and that's the only thing I would change about mine - but it was free so I'm happy. I can walk into my run and that's nice for cleaning it out/interacting with the chickens
     
  6. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley of the Sun :)
    for the basics

    if you have space and budget for it -- go for as many sq ft as you like

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    also do you want to make it movable ? easy to clean ? how big, etc..

    for me easy to clean is the #1 priority.. so the run is movable (with a handtruck).. the floor of the coop and perches/roost bars are removable, the feeders are hanged using chains and hooks
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  7. Keian

    Keian New Egg

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    May 18, 2016
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I would like for it to be large. I only have 6 chicks right now, but from what I've read I will most likely be getting more. I would also like it to be easy to clean. I do not want it to be moveable. What else do you have that makes it easy to clean?
     
  8. Keian

    Keian New Egg

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    May 18, 2016
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    Thank you for the great tips! When do you think I can put the chicks in the coop. Also, I am very interested in your outdoor brooding method. I have never heard of such a thing. I need to upgrade my brooder now because they are growing up so fast! Can you please tell me how you brood them outside?
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The basic idea of brooding outside is to let the chicks do all the work about regulating temperature. The problem is that the temperatures vary so much from day to night or even day to day you cannot keep the brooder a perfect temperature all the time. So you provide enough heat at the coolest time in one area and another area cool enough in the warmest temperatures and let the chicks go where they wish. I put chicks into my 3’ x 6’ brooder in my coop straight from the incubator or post office, even if the outside temperature is below freezing. I use heat lamps and keep one end toasty so they have a warm place to go to. The far end of my brooder may have frost in it. The middle of summer gives the opposite, you can get it too warm, so I use lower wattage heat lamps plus the brooder is big enough they can get away from the heat. Bloiee uses a heating pad formed into a cave. You can get some good info on her method by following the links under her post. Other people use other methods. The main thing is to have one area they can go to if they want to warm up and an area they can go to if they need to cool off.

    That’s really about it. The brooder needs to be predator-proof and needs to protect the chicks from severe weather. I really don’t know any difference in a brooder in the coop or another outbuilding versus one in the house. I’ll give a photo of mine.


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  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I will be very happy to share that with you. I have an article I did last year that might answer most of your questions and if you have any more, please feel free to ask! My run is made of cattle panels attached to steel fenceposts pounded into the ground, and it has worked better than I ever anticipated. We cover most of it with clear plastic in winter and that helps keep the run a little warmer for the chicks. Here is the link to that article, and a video of the chicks out in the run when temps were still in the 20s.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

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