New to BYC, would love advice on coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mendogurl, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2009
    Hello everyone,
    I've been reading this forum for months preparing for my own backyard chickens. I have about an acre of land in a small community just outside of Los Angeles. I'm turning about an eighth of our property into a mini farm, hoping to produce all of our produce and of course, eggs.
    Was hoping to get some feedback on the coop we're in the process of building for eight chickens.

    - The coop is 12x8. The storage area inside is 4x8 (western end) with human door into the storage area and another door into the coop, and the actual coop area is 8x8.

    -Floor will be plywood covered with linoleum

    -Large french doors on the south wall, screened so that opened they can provide ventilation during the daytime, closed at night against predators. The screens will pop off for major cleaning.

    -Screened ventilation "windows", 1x4, on northern and eastern walls. Drop down wooden covers for nighttime. Coop will be insulated, mainly against HEAT.

    -Enclosed 12x8 run on eastern end of coop. Chicken entry door on eastern wall.

    -Hinged roost on northern wall. 4 rungs, 6ft. long.

    -Nesting box on western wall, next to entry door from storage into coop. Six nests (wood or metal?) with openings on back for egg collection from storage area. (So the wall between storage area and coop will be the access to the back of the nests)

    Any glaring problems in this, that can be caught by all you experts?

    Babies arrive next week - SOOOOOOO excited !

  2. Chauntecleer's Keeper

    Chauntecleer's Keeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2009
    West Little Rock, AR
    Sounds like you have done your research. You will have plenty of room for more chickens down the road. Have fun and enjoy those fresh eggs.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Sounds good to me [​IMG]

    Two passing thoughts:

    If the french doors are open during the daytime is it really worth insulating the coop? Won't it quickly heat up to ambient temperatures from being that open? (I've never lived anywhere hotter than Durham NC so I don't really know for sure [​IMG]) Maybe just insulate the ceiling versus the heat from the roof, leave the walls uninsulated?

    Also you might want to consider making the run larger, if space and budget allow; it is sufficient for 8, maybe 10 birds, but since your building allows room for further flock expansion <heh heh heh> you might want to make sure the run does too [​IMG]

    Have fun,

  4. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2009
    Chauntecleer's Keeper :

    Sounds like you have done your research. You will have plenty of room for more chickens down the road. Have fun and enjoy those fresh eggs.

    Really? Plenty of room?
    I keep thinking I don't have enough !

    I am still doing more research trying to learn from the wealth of posts here. Just read that parallel roosts
    are better than vertical ?

  5. McGoo

    McGoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like you've thought this out. A couple of questions...

    Is it best to have the nesting boxes on the west vs north?

    Do you accommodate for keeping the coop well ventilated at night? Those gals generate a lot of heat 40 watts. Heat is more of a chicken killer than cold... so keeping them cool is important.

    Are you planning to place the coop under a tree for shade? Do you plan to have a ventilation fan?

    Where will they scratch during the day? Is the area protected below the ground surface? Typically, to protect you want to lay hardware cloth approx 12 in underground.

    If you've already answered these questions- sorry - I'm a little obsessed. [​IMG]
  6. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2009
    Quote:Hi Pat, I was hoping you would respond. Your post on ventilation made me add the extra vents on the two walls.
    I've been to Durham, no where on earth is that hot !! LOL Actually the temps here in the summer are about the same as NC, but unlike NC, it is very dry, and the nights are cool.

    I am probably new mother paranoid, but since the coop faces south I am worried about the sun beating down on the coop all day. Maybe I am too paranoid.
    I was also wondering if I needed shade cloth for the run.
    More than eight hens for a family of four? Wouldn't I have to set up an egg stand at the Farmers Market?

    I am already hooked. I had 6 hens ordered and then two weeks later called back to order another two.
    My husband is getting nervous.
  7. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    North Kohala, Hawaii
    Donʻt forget to place your roosts where the birds can flap up to them and not poop on the nest boxes all night! Best to install a disposable/removeable droppings board to help you keep up with the mess.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
  9. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2009
    Quote:No please, ask away. Best way for me to learn.

    I have debated back and forth on where to have the nesting boxes. The northern wall is the longest uninterrupted wall, so I thought it would be best for the roosts. The southern wall has the big french door/windows. the western and eastern walls would provide access to the backs of the nests. The western wall opens into the storage area, and the eastern opens into the run. I thought that opening into the storage area would be good during bad weather.

    The heat/ventilation is exactly what I am most worried about. There will be a roof overhang of a couple of feet and I was going to plant a couple of trees in front for shade. Will 6ft x 1ft vents on two walls provide enough ventilation at night? Major raccoon population here, so I am also very concerned about security.

    The outdoor run will be dirt, and I will bury the hardware cloth around the sides of the run 12" deep, is that what you mean?

    Thanks so much for your questions, they really help !
  10. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2009
    Quote:Almost forgot, I was thinking about a fan, but not sure the best size or type.

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