new to Chickens - Coop Design Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jomoncon, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. jomoncon

    jomoncon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    My DH & I are about to build our first coop for the chicks we are getting. We've been discussing all sorts of designs and have settled on a chicken tractor. First it was an a-frame design - we decided that was too complicated for our limited carpentry skills. Then it was a design similar to this one: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=61-chicken-tractor

    Now
    I have another question: Does the coop/nesting part have to be raised? Or can it sit flat on the ground like this one: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=3402-Portable_Coop

    We're
    still debating how large to make the coop/run for our anticipated 6 RIRs. . Plus, DH tends to overbuild everything & make it all it 2x4's & 3/4" plywood. Like I'll be able to move something that heavy. I'm thinking 2x2's & 3/8 to 1/2" plywood is plenty enough.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  2. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Hello,

    FYI, you need to remove the period from the first link so that it works.

    I'm currently playing with designs, but it looks like 2x2s will work for most everything except my roof. I'm also going with 1/4" plywood for the weight. I haven't built this yet, so take my suggestion for what it's worth!
     
  3. mgw

    mgw Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    We built an a-frame tractor ( over built) it is very heavy I am the only one here who can move it and I'm gone most of the time. I would urge you to build as light weight as possible. Other than that good luck.
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    I have an A frame day tractor. That design is actually pretty strong, stucturally. It was easy to get the frame together so that it was solid, not swaying. I think a rectangular structure might actually be harder to build solidly to withstand the stresses that will be put on the frame by moving it around the yard.

    However, if you're planning on using an A frame for night and building a coop portion up in the top of the frame, the design does have its limitations. The top part of an A frame is cramped vertically and it's hard to place enough ventilation above roost level.

    Plywood can be amazingly heavy. If I were you, I'd go to the home improvement store and pick up pieces of plywood around the same size as the ones you'd be using on your tractor to get a feel for the weight. Even 1/2 inch plywood is pretty bulky.

    Tractors can never be made quite as secure as a stationary coop because of their portability (the edges of the frame can't be secured to the ground). What I did was build a stationary coop/run for night time use (and whenever we are away from home during the day), plus some daytime tractors. I was able to make the tractors quite light because I wasn't adding night time housing with roosts, etc. For us, this is the best of both worlds.
     
  5. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 25, 2010
    And you can go to Elmo's BYC page to see all the tractors! [​IMG]
     
  6. Moabite

    Moabite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2010
    Utah
    There are countless ways to build a coop. I like the idea of the coop being raised so the run can go under the coop. Saves space and gives some shade. Don't use chicken wire. Sounds like you are on the right track. Chickens don't need much head room but "coop cleaners" do. Also... download Google sketchup. 3-d design that is easy to use after a few minutes. http://sketchup.google.com/download/ I hope this helps. Building a coop is fun!
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Quote:Not only that, but don't forget about where you can put your ventilation so it will be higher than your chickens on their roost. Vents lower down can't be left open all winter because cold air blowing over chickens in winter = draft = bad. And you still need the coop to be adequately ventilated in winter.
     

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