New Vinyl Chicken Coop Construction (Long Read)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BarredCometLaced, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. BarredCometLaced

    BarredCometLaced Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Situation:
    SO, as some people know, earlier this year, my family decided that it was a good idea to move the chickens to a new location for many reasons. One was to relieve parasite pressure on the area (if there was any), to mix things up, and to open up our back yard for aesthetic purposes. We moved them to the side yard, a nicely shaded nook in the woods. After framing in the base of the run, deciding sand was not the solution to our drainage problems, mulching the entire thing, and re-roofing the coop, we thought our project was over.

    Back Story:
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    The chicken coop is the structure in the back. When we first bought three chickens several years ago, the little front chalet suited us just fine. Chicken math happened, and we got three more. This called for an addition to the coop. So my father and I designed and built the taller box structure in the back. The entire coop was about 3x5. If you do the calculations, that is not even suitable for six chickens. But in our NH winters the chickens were often happy for the close quarters. Three chickens died of raccoon related activities, chicken math happened again, and as I mentioned at the beginning, we were now up to 10 chickens.
    The problems that we began to face with the coop began to add up. As our 7 new additions have grown bigger, and the fact that our two ducks have decided that the chicken coop is warmer than their duck house, I convinced my parents yet again that the coop was too small. Not only that, but the original chalet floor was peeling (dangerous metal). The roosts were right above the door, and two of the SLWs would roost above the door and keep the younger chickens out. The roosts were also too closely spaced, so the older chickens were basically on top of the younger chickens. This lead to feather plucking and bullying. ALL IN ALL, I gave my parents an ultimatum, saying for them not to expect mountains of eggs if the chickens did not feel safe.

    Because I am currently in college, I only come home on the weekends. My mother has taken up the job of primary chicken keeper (...much to my jealousy. I would have taken all of my animals with me if I could :p). My mother was also facing the problem that the chickens were laying in the back of the coop, hard to access, and because the chicks were not going to bed at night do to the tight spaces she was doing more work than originally advertised. If anyone has ever depended on people who are not in love with chickens to take care of difficult chickens, you know that this often leads to quarreling. My younger sister (15), who told me that she would put the chickens to bed at night began to leave them out (too difficult to pick them up and squash them through the pop door). Once again, for anyone who has lost a chicken(s) to predators, this is not acceptable. Sometimes at night, I think I can still here my chickens who used to live outside my bedroom window, screaming as a racoon grabbed them (not once but on TWO separate occasions).
    These chickens are not just my livestock, nor my pets. They are more than that. They are my babies. Because of that, I am determined to give them the best life possible.

    HENCE, this new Vinyl chicken coop project. Here we go guys, thanks for reading to the end <3 Pictures of the start of the project to come this afternoon.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
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    Can't wait to see pics of the coop's progress!! :)
     
  3. BarredCometLaced

    BarredCometLaced Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Step 1: Demolition of the old coop.
    This coop served us well, but was just not working for our expanded flock!

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    So we got out the Sawzall and DESTROYED IT [​IMG] (we actually salvaged quite a bit...)
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    Then, we realized that the base that came with the shed was not ridged, so we scrambled to create a level pad by stacking paving stones and using gravel from our driveway.
    It was mostly level...

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    My mom was enthusiastic to help despite the fact that she had just run a marathon.
    She carried the panels, shoveled gravel, and provided constructive criticism. That is more than I would do after a marathon!

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    Putting up the walls proved difficult due to our "mostly level" pad.

    Let me tell you, mostly level is not completely level.

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    We put a grate over the window in place of the plexi-glass because there was no ridge vent. We will cover the vent in burlap in winter to keep snow from blowing in.

    [​IMG]

    And that was it for day 1. More to come tomorrow!!
     
    2 people like this.
  4. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. BarredCometLaced

    BarredCometLaced Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2011
    Northern NH
    We finally got the coop done!

    Despite some slight leveling issues, which we sorted them out through clever ingenuity ;), everything went smoothly.

    [​IMG]

    I added both some milk crate nesting boxes as well as a fancy one from tractor supply. So far, the tractor supply one has been ignored, and the milk crates are being used.
    [​IMG]

    The transformation is beautiful and functional! We put in a hardware cloth door (salvaged from the old coop) that will be covered in burlap for the winter.
    In our previous small coop, the roosts were right over the door. This allowed the older chickens to be possessive and keep out the new younger ones. We had some aggression in the flock before, and now they are basically all gone! The over kill amount of roosting space allows for the chickens to choose where they want to roost. They all snuggle up with one another now! Even the older chickens sidled right up next to the younger ones.
    It may have been an expensive project, but the fact that they now all go to bed at night on their own and are using the nesting boxes makes it all worth it.

    I'm so happy that my babies are happy too!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Great improvement!!
    Gonna a window or two for light?
     
  7. BarredCometLaced

    BarredCometLaced Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The double door in the front has two frosted window, and there is also a window/vent in the eve above the roosts :)
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,695
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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Yep, they could still use some more light down lower tho....
    .......for those days when it's gonna be too nasty to go outside during winter and also for more ventilation in summer.
     
  9. Couchmo

    Couchmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I:pt's beautiful! What are it's dimensions? Looks to be a good size. How many chickens do you think would be comfortable in it if they "free range" during the day? I WANT ONE! :p My future chickens want one! :yiipchick
     
  10. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
    This looks GREAT! So glad it worked out for you!
     

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