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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jsto, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    First of all, I just wanted to say hello and thank you for all the information on the site. I've gleaned so much information just from scouring the posts. It's definitely helped calm my pre-chick arrival anxiety a bit! I've been a chicken lover my entire life, but was never able to take the plunge. Until now! I've researched until I've gone cross-eyed, but now I'm starting to panic.

    We're going to get a head start on the coop, in case of error (which is sure to happen around here!), and having never built a chicken coop before, I'm a bit worried. We had found a design and plans that seemed like they would work perfectly for our future pets, which will be free ranging most of the time. The coop and run would be triangular in shape and more than enough room for the 5 hens once they mature. My worry comes from looking around at many pictures of various coops and not seeing a single one that has a similar design. This gave me cause for pause because perhaps this design isn't as great as I had thought. Since we have yet to start, changing gears would not be a huge problem at this point.

    Another question I have is about cold weather. Now, we live in Asheville North Carolina and our winters could hardly be called harsh, but mother nature does tend to throw us a few curve balls with unexpected cold and snow, usually toward spring. I've made sure to choose winter hardy chickens (because I'm such a worry wart!), but wanted to ask if I needed extra percautions. I had scoffed at the idea of insulating the coop originally, but the closer it gets to the day my babies arrive, the more second-guessing I seem to be doing. I figure that as long as they are away from drafts, all will be well considering we hardly ever dip into the teens over winter, with only a few exceptions on particulary cold February nights.

    So, help! From a worried mom-to-be who would much prefer to give over to the excitement.

    Thank you guys!
    Jessica

    Edited because I realised I have just one more question! Ventilation. The coop will have a screened in hatch window (with cross ventilation) which will be perfect for warmer weather, but I just realised the coop will not be properly ventilated in the winter, when I have to close the hatch window because of drafts. Of course a soffit would be ideal, but I'm not sure how we'd go about it with this particular design. Any other suggestions? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2007
  2. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2007
    Illinois
    I saw lots of triangular designs and I really liked them which is why I built mine after that style. Have you checked out the city chicken picture gallery?? Mine is built to resemble some I found on a site in the UK called Forsham. If you just google Forsham you should find it.

    As for weather...we live in central Illinois so we get the weather!!! I plan to put the tractor alongside a shed and tree for added protection and will probably cover with a tarp and/or put in heatlamp if needed. I've read that if you make the birds roost...this helps them keep warm. I've also read that chickens in generally do well unless temps drop below 20 degrees. Will just see how it goes!
    [​IMG]

    Here's what we built:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3724
     
  3. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Thank you for the reply! You did a great job on your coop! The design we have is extremely similar, the major difference being that the run comes out from the coop, rather than under it. After seeing your pictures, I realised I have seen triangular coops. I must have forgotten in the panic that seemed to hit me full on this morning when I opened my eyes! I should probably go with my gut and my gut said, as soon as we found the design, that it would be perfect for us.

    Ahh, I hail from Chicago so I know all about the weather! The winters here are nothing close. Again, I think we'll be ok, I'm just getting the first-timer anxiety. I just figured it was best to get my questions answered before the chicks come!

    Good luck with your coop!
     
  4. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2007
    Illinois
    I totally understand!! I made myself nuts prior to all this trying to decide which would be best!! There are just so many out there!! Anyway...it's good to be as prepared as you can be but this site is great and you can always get answers her pretty fast so even after they come don't hesitate to ask a question!! Good luck!![​IMG]
     
  5. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Welcome to BYC!! I think one reason you are having trouble finding triangular coops is that coops are largely considered buildings while the portable triangular ones are called chicken tractors. If you'll google chicken tractors you'll find lots of ideas!
     
  6. motherhen

    motherhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2007
    Halifax, NS
    Welcome Jessica,
    I am new too and I haven't got my chickens yet but I hope to have my coop done by this weekend so I may get them.
    I live in Nova Scotia, Canada and we do get cold wet winters. The design of my coop is very different, more like half a hexagon. The flat short side is facing the north to decrease wind, and the long retangular side faces south for the sun. Fixed windows on east and west side and south side has a door, chicken door and sliding window along with a vent above it. North side has a small vent just under roof. Also, we put in a small plexi roof to let in some light. The run is attached to the south side and is approx 8X10 it will be fully enclosed.
    I have been worrying the whole time building it out of palettes, but I have been told as long as it is secure and you lock them in at night they should be safe.
    I wish the best just be happy that your going to have them soon.
     
  7. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Thanks for the answers [​IMG]

    I had gotten a little confused by the whole tractor vs. coop thing, since technically this coop/run is meant to stay in one place. We've spoken a bit and actually have decided we may go another route. We're only starting with 5, but I have a feeling eventually that number will rise [​IMG] I don't want to take the time and buy the materials for a coop (tractor, whatever! I'm not hip on the terminology yet) that we'll outgrow quickly because we have chicken fever. If we're going to take the time to do it, I think we should think about the future a bit as well.

    Motherhen, I'd love to see pictures of your coop. It sounds great! Good luck with everything!
     

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