New to BYC and this is my Design

GKindred

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
6
0
9
Northern NSW, Australia
Hello all :)

New here and I love the epic amount of information available!

I am putting together a coop build for our Permaculture property and this is what I have come up with;

Dimensions; 1.5m x 2.1m; Area: 30ft2; Capacity: 8 Chickens






The roof is designed to be lifted up during the day to allow air flow in the warmer days, and dropped back down for the night.
I plan on making it semi automated at some point with a light sensor that will actuate the roof and the main door.

As you can see in the fourth image, it features four removable poop boards for easy cleaning and maintenance with a coop long roost.
On the opposite side, there are 4 nesting boxes with external access.

I do plan on making the back wall a large door that can be swung open for easy of cleaning when needed.

The bottom frame support is a standard cattle fence panel that the wood frame will be bolted to.
I also plan on attaching four wheels and a hitch to it so that I can move it around freely.

As this is designed to be a movable coop for permaculture land regeneration.
The coop will be situated in a 256m2 fenced area for ground recovery.

There will be a nipple water pipe system on the side of the coop that will be supplied by water runoff from the roof of the coop.
On the opposite side, will be a similar pvc pipe feeding system as a supplement to their free range forage.

Any feedback and advice is greatly appreciated :)
 

GKindred

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
6
0
9
Northern NSW, Australia
Actually very easily...

Think to how its done on your standard push mowers when you want to raise the blades.
Same system, the catch key steel is bolted to the roof frame and there is a bolt on the wall structure at each corner.
When you lift the roof up, the keyed steel bolted to the roof catches on the wall bolt at a level desired.

For the semi-automated part in the future, it will be a motor driven threaded system that will push the roof structure up off the coop.
 

TinTennessee

Songster
7 Years
Mar 25, 2012
579
20
138
Springfield , TN.
My Coop
My Coop
Similar to a gate operator I would think. Push to open pull to close. Weight would have to be limited. Very nice design. Appears to be very well thought out. Are you Going to have a run or will they free range? I'm not familiar with the permaculture technique. Sounds interesting. Where is Northern NSW ?Best of luck to you.
 
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GKindred

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
6
0
9
Northern NSW, Australia
Are you Going to have a run or will they free range? I'm not familiar with the permaculture technique.
Yes, the idea is you pen out an area of land that you want to convert to a food forest. You put in the chickens to scratch up the ground, removing all weeds and grass and add nitrogen (poop). Then once they have done their job, you then move the coop and the fenced area onwards a bit. Then you go back to the other area and scatter out some legume seeds (beans, peas, comfrey et c), then cover with a layer of straw and water.
After a week or two, they start sprouting and then you add in some companion legume trees (acacia variety), fruit trees et c.
It's a rather involved process, but it rejuvenates land that has been over grazed by cattle or other monoculture. All the while providing you with a veritable food forest that will supply you year after year with fruit.


Where is Northern NSW ?Best of luck to you.
NSW is a state of Australia and I am located in the Northern part of it.
 

WoodlandWoman

Crowing
12 Years
May 8, 2007
5,717
78
283
Wisconsin
I think you're going to need more ventilation, for at night. You might want to look at the designs on this site that are popular for hot weather, to get an idea. You can have a lot of ventilation and cooling in a coop, without needing any moveable parts. It's fine if you want to have a more high tech coop, just for the fun of it. Life should have some fun in it. We have a coop cam for practical reasons and for entertainment.

The most common rule of thumb over here is one nest box per 5 chickens, so you probably don't need 4 nest boxes for 8 chickens. They usually pick a favorite and all want to lay in one, anyway. I like a community nest box, that's basically just a larger nesting area, that will fit more than one chicken at a time.

If you ever get stormy weather, you might need to worry about rain blowing in the top. Maybe try to shield that gap a little more.

For night time predators, I have 1/2" hardware cloth over all coop openings. I don't know what your predator situation is there.

It sounds like you have a lot going on there. I hope you post more about what you're doing, as it progresses. It sounds interesting.
 

GKindred

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
6
0
9
Northern NSW, Australia
Thanks for the feedback WoodlandWoman!

You have some good tips there regarding night predators and ventilation.
Where I am located, our temperatures don't go past 35°C during the day in summer, which means our nights stay around 25°C on the hottest nights.

In terms of ventilation, the roof will be raised up which should provide all the ventilation they need during days and nights.
In my first design before I went with the ability to raise the roof, I had put in ventilation vents in the front and back near the eaves of the roof. I can always add them back in if I think it will get too hot.
With most things I design, I design them in a way that allows to be easily modified in the future if I see that something needs to be changed.

In terms of predators, I don't think we have any night predators around here apart from Foxes... Will have to ask my neighbour though as he has lived in this area longer than I.

What I had originally planned on doing was putting a foldable mesh screen between the roof and the wall so that when it is raised, the mesh would stop anything from trying to get to the chooks.

In regards to stormy weather, I'd just have to drop the roof back down to seal it up. My roof has side overhangs of about 30cm (1ft), so that should be sufficient to prevent most rains we get.
The only rains it won't stop are the kinds of rains where I would drop the roof :p

As for the nesting boxes, I know the number is roughly 4 chooks per box, but I wanted to have 4 boxes in there anyway just to prevent lines for laying ;)
But as I said, I can modify easily, so I can always remove 2 boxes for the time being and just add them later when needed.
Any suggestions as to what I would do with the left over space? More roost bars I suppose?

I will definitely keep this thread up to date with changes and build progression, as I intend on doing a Making-Of video and providing the completed plans free of charge.
 
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4 the Birds

Songster
9 Years
Oct 15, 2010
1,490
104
163
Westfield, Indiana
You will need a large access door into the coop for maintenance. I am not sure of the height of your coop but you will be most happy with one that you can get into without hunching or crawling too much. I like the design of roost bars on one side and the boxes on the other; Yet, the nest boxes almost look higher than the roosts (they may roost on the nest box edges). The mechanical roof idea is interesting but I would much prefer a fixed roof with vents up high on all sides of the walls that have flaps. This way you can close off and open ventilation according to weather conditions.

 

Bens-Hens

Songster
6 Years
Jan 29, 2013
2,552
299
238
Perth, Western Australia
Sounds very interesting!

Firstly, welcome along mate, can always pick the other Aussies as we call them 'chooks' lol.

So, what may I add? The nest boxes, I like more than not enough. I have 6 for about 12 girls (building flock now) I have mine wired off. If I have too many, I will keep them wired off and use them for dry storage of thinks like ACV or extra straw. Perhaps you can make your center divider removable, one large communal layer area and some smaller individual ones, see what the girls like.

Personally, I would not have a raised roof, either open eves with mesh, or closed upper area with vents (mesh with wood panels or slotted vents) Just more things that can go wrong down the track.

Floor, I love the slide out tray idea, I had seen another member make a long gutter system that I really liked too. For the rest of the area the girls will need traction to move about, but you also want something that is durable and easy to clean. Some use deep litter, I use clean playground sand, others use a base of lino. Very least, you could paint it and scatter some sand about for grip. If your painting, go up the wall s a bit too, as somehow, they get that mess all over the place!

Mobility, you mentioned you want to move the coop from time to time. Give the mobility some thought. I have seen some that are just picked up by a group of people. Others are a little more fancy. My main coop is stationary built inside a run, but I have a smaller mobile coop that I fitted some old BBQ wheels to at one end on a swivel. When I want to move it, lift one end, swing the wheel under, lift the other end and move it about like a wheel barrow! (go finds pic) For this, you may also need to consider ground clearance or having the floor raised enough to move about.






Big door is a must, I see you are planning to hing a wall, that is a god idea. I started out with not much room, and kept modifying until I had enough space to move around.


What materials are you thinking of using?

Ben
 

MANNA-PRO

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