New person: Coop construction thread

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sue Gremlin, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Sue Gremlin

    Sue Gremlin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello! Thanks for letting us join your extremely useful forum!
    We are inheriting six full grown dual purpose layers (4 sex links, 2 barred rocks) who are currently in full egg factory mode and who are kept in a heated coop by friends of ours.
    We are just about finished with the construction of our coop and will probably get the hens next weekend. Neither of us has ever kept chickens so we are doing a lot of reading.
    This is our coop as we were building it. The basic layout. The enclosed building will have an outdoor area under a roof.
    [​IMG]

    The basic framing of the enclosed coop.

    [​IMG]

    We sheathed inside the coop with OSB.
    [​IMG]

    We installed electric before the OSB, then framed and built four nesting boxes.

    [​IMG]

    Added siding and a human sized door.

    [​IMG]

    Vents and doors installed. We plan to leave most of the windows open unless it gets very cold out. The two lower doors are to access the four nest boxes from outside the coop. The upper two (and the one around the corner) are all ventilation.

    [​IMG]

    The outside area and chicken door and poo door installed.

    [​IMG]


    We are just about ready to start installing the fencing, which will go from ground to roof to keep out varmints that are clever enough to climb. The doors are all very secure so hopefully raccoons will not be able to open them. I am worried that regular octagonal chicken wire will not be strong enough to keep them out. What do you all think of that? Any other suggestions? I did not mention that we are building a set of bleachers using stair stringers and 2 x 4's for a roosting area inside the coop. The long, low door in the 3rd to last photo is for easy extraction of the poo board. The chicken door is going to get a ramp sometime soon as well.

    We are planning to keep a lamp on a thermostat outlet to keep the coop just above freezing. These chickens have been kept in a coop with a heater so I think we probably need to do that for at least this winter. We live in Southern Michigan so it can get cold here, 15 degrees F is pretty common here.

    So hi and thanks for allowing my first post to be wordy and photo-intensive. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    Looks like you are doing a really nice job with the coop!
     
  3. nwredrooster

    nwredrooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Looks terrific. If you have raccoon's you will want more than chicken wire. Better to use a heavier welded material. Chicken wire is really only good to keep chickens in - not predators out. Very nice work.
     
  4. nwredrooster

    nwredrooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Also might consider keeping roosting poles on one level rather than bleachers if you can. Having some poles higher than others sometimes exacerbates struggles in pecking orders with hens - ongoing struggle for the higher perch. Doesn't always happen - but sometimes.
     
  5. Sue Gremlin

    Sue Gremlin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hm. Thanks for the feedback. This is what I was afraid of! We do have raccoons as we live basically in the middle of the woods. We have captured them on our motion sensitive camera placed near the compost. Maybe we are crazy for having chickens at all because we also have opossums, skunks, foxes, coyotes and even mink as we live on a river bank.
    Welded wire cloth is SO much more expensive than chicken wire ($325 vs $25 to do the pen), but I guess we're going to have to suck it up and do it the right way. Wow, these are gonna be some expensive eggs!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. coreshot

    coreshot Out Of The Brooder

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    LOL, yeah....I look at it as I bought a lifetime membership to an egg factory, paid up front. Nice job on the coop
     
  7. TexasJ

    TexasJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    True I have mine at all the same height but they found out they fit in the window seal just above it so ill be adding a bigger window seal so they all fit lol NICE COOP BTW :) you can double or triple chicken wire on bottom but make sure no predators can dig under
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  8. mrwoodboat

    mrwoodboat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you may try contacting a construction company- we were able to get some chain link fencing from one here. It is pcs and parts but I discovered how to connect the pcs together. While we used 2x4 welded wire for our coops ($79 per 100' @ tractor Supply), we will use the chain link for the goats.
     
  9. Sue Gremlin

    Sue Gremlin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just looked it up, it's actually $69 or 100' here! That is not much costlier than the octagonal chicken wire. Thanks for the suggestion. I really appreciate the help.
     
  10. Ehirning

    Ehirning Out Of The Brooder

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    Looks great! [​IMG] Welded wire is definitely a better option if you have racoons.
     

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