New Coop using Stromberg's starplate system

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sarevan, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 30, 2013
    White Swan, WA
    My Nephew gave us 3 of the Stromberg starplate kits to build a Coop, woodshed and Gazebo. (He works at a lumber mill and was able to get the 2x4's for the framing at an awesome price. ) The floor space will be. approx 140 square feet for 12 chickens, height may be 13 feet. We plan on having 2 levels to roost, a place for nest boxes even though they currently don't use boxes and lay eggs in a corner. The current housing will be modified and used for the run, it is currently 15x8 wire enclosed A frame.

    http://www.strombergschickens.com/starplate_building_system

    It will be built on the ground, partially below surface about 6" and secured down with rebar driven into ground as we get high winds here, with cement around exterior posts. (building on frozen ground will be interesting) I plan on making a wind break or a section of plywood 1/2 wall to prevent wind from getting into coop when human door is used, may be inside or more then likely exterior. In the walls will be making cutouts for plexiglass windows, that can be covered or filmed to prevent heat in summer, covered with wire to prevent critters from entering. Vents will be small hooded vents to prevent wind entering, thinking of 4. Thinking of adding a smallish platform inside to increase areas they can go, and to raise water and food off floor to make it easier for me to feed & water. (back issues) Exterior walls will be plywood, still deciding on thickness, and if we are going to cover with siding. We have lumber and other materials that can also be used from other projects that was left over or scraps.

    My nephew was suggesting making a small entry way on exterior where the feed could be stored. I like the idea but because of bears I'd prefer keeping non food items out there.

    We are still tossing ideas on the build around but plan on doing the project during school winter break to give his boys a chance to learn a bit about building AND keep them busy.

    Any ideas or thoughts of the build would be welcome. Even if you think this is too small, large for the number of birds, things that should be added any input appreciated. :confused:. :smack :ya
     
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    Welcome aboard Sarevan!
    Not everything I post will necessary work in your set up.
    The inside hardware cloth door in my set up is a MUST especially in the summer months!

    [​IMG]
    Ventilation

    My rule of thumb in my particular set up is above 0 or 32º vents or doors open. Below 0 or 32º vents closed.
    Every coop is different according to climate, humidity, water delivery and size.
    Daily visits and paying attention to ammonia smells and condensation is the only way to find out what works for you.
    Condensation and ammonia smell is directly proportional to ventilation. The more condensation you have the more ventilation you need.

    [​IMG]

    Watering
    For along time I used heater tape around a bucket with chicken watering nipples. It worked excellent. However me being me I neglected to change the water as often as I should. This is what it looks like and it thermostatically controlled to come on at just above the freezing temperature. You would have to wrap it to suit your particular application if it is viable for your set up. It is available at Home Depot in Canada.

    [​IMG]


    Last year I switched to white rubber contains the wife found somewhere. The freeze solid every night but the ice just pops out of them in the morning and I replenish them with fresh warm water. They have black ones at the feed store that are similar but large than mine.

    The chickens congregate around them like people having their morning coffee. The only draw back is my yard is pepper with small ice bergs the size of the buckets.

    April looks after that however..

    [​IMG]
    My Coop is a salvaged 4x8 metal shed here are a few tips and a quick look at my set up.
    My floor are planks with a layer of tin for rodent proofing. On top of the tin I have a piece of vinyl flooring cut one foot longer than the length and width of my coop (roughly). Six inches squares are cut out of the 4 corners of the vinyl flooring. This allows the friction fitted flooring to travel up the walls six inches around the perimeter of my 4x8 salvaged metal coop. Shovel out the heavy stuff into a wheel barrow. Pop out the vinyl flooring hose it off pop it back in.
    Easy Peasy!

    Bedding
    I have used all types of litter for coops.

    I have not tried sand (sand gets good reviews on this site).

    Of all the things I tried to date wood pellets have been the best. (I tried wood pellets as a last resort when pine shavings were not available.) They are super absorbent and swell up and eventually turn to saw dust. The droppings just seem to vanish and turn to dust when it comes in contact with wood pellets .

    Replace my litter and clean my coop every October after I harvest my garden.


    Works for me in my deep litter method.

    I do add to pellets from time to time.

    I have anywhere from 10 to 24 birds housed in my 4x8 coop.

    Through the winter months the pellets froze harder than concrete with -40º temperatures. The poop froze before it could be absorbed by the pellets and there was like a crusty layer of poop in certain areas where they collectively took aim (no smell, messy feet or flies @ -40º). Come April things started to look after themselves.

    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.

    POOP BOARDS are the "BEST" addition yet. Handles well over ½ of the poop in my set up keeps ammonia smell in check 3½" below roost excellent for catching eggs laid through the night (roost are in cups for easier removal and cleaning). I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop board.it makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

    Winter months even easier flex over compost bin DONE!

    Easy peasy!.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  3. AlaskaChicks

    AlaskaChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2012
    have you started building yet? i am very interested in these buildings and would like to see what people think of them as far as
    1. Ease of building
    2. heat capture/loss
    3. use as chicken coop
    any other advice or ideas you can pass along :)
     
  4. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    White Swan, WA
    We have had horrible weather, too cold to allow cement to cure, too wet, high winds, freezing rains, too bad to allow the actual construction. (We tried cement covered etc to prevent freezing, it cured fractured so we had to dig it out. Luckily only 1 bag as a test)

    Haven't been doing nothing however, 2x4's are prepped holes are drilled for bolts, and cut to length. Been rethinking the interior, thanks to so many posts in the forums. Have the wire need to figure out how big to cut for ventilation and how to hood it to prevent wind from blowing through other then shutting it down. Plywood in a pile, need to cut it to size for the framework. Playing around with ideas of solar lighting, tearing apart garden lights to see if can increase the power. (experimenting with ones we have that are failing) Figuring out how to do windows for summer ventilaton. May put the screening under the shutter triangle that will be propped up to give some shade to window and still be able to secure for other seasons. This system can be versatile, depends on your imagination and patience to make it work.

    I have 2 other kits that will be a gazebo and a woodshed that will be near our house. I can't wait for things to get decent so we can get it all going. This has been a very strange winter so far :( .


    I will be taking pictures if nothing else to document that lil nephews can do manual labor! :eek: :lau
     
  5. AlaskaChicks

    AlaskaChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2012
    Yes it has been a crazy winter! We have almost no snow trees and bushes are budding and it SHOULD be about 0 degrees. Thanks for the update. I hope the weather cooperates for you. I really like these structures and I love the idea of making one a wood shed! I could just see these all over my property [​IMG]
     
  6. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 30, 2013
    White Swan, WA
    Yesterday was finally able to get out there and start the redigging for the floor as want it a bit in the ground because of high winds we can get here. Will have to see if can drag current coop, run about 10 feet away from building site as it is more level and I don't want to mess around earth moving any more than needed. Once we get the first level in and secured down with rebar it will go fast, just the joy of cutting the plywood to size. Still thinking of making plexiglass skylights on upper area to get sun inside. Habitat for Humanity is always getting items in for reuse or repurposing so hopefully they will have the things we want or imagination to repurpose.

    My Sister and I keep changing our minds on what we want done, better firm up our ideas soon as not changing anything once it is up, lol. I don't think my Nephew wants to tear apart and redo- wants a plan of exactly what to do the first time. We will see want it up and moving in before end of March. Wind, snow and other setbacks permitting.
     
  7. TimAndAndrae

    TimAndAndrae Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2014
    South Jersey
    So how did the starplate system go? Did you get the three units built?
     

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