Newbie building a new coop has questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dooner, May 5, 2011.

  1. Dooner

    Dooner Chillin' With My Peeps

    185
    2
    103
    Apr 24, 2011
    I am in the planning stage. Bought a small prebuilt and can see it just wont do for the rough winters. It is also a real pain to clean, place food, access the hens and so on. I am thinking a small raised coop with space below as additional run. I built a 3 1/2 x 7 foot run. I have to get some pea gravel for the floor and secure the bottom from diggers yet.

    What is the minimum I should raise the coop off the ground to make it usable?

    What do you think of a trap door in the floor that serves as a ramp as well rather than a door on a side wall? How do you prevent the wood shavings from falling out?

    For five larger breed hens, is 4x4 foot a ggod size and on the other hand is 4x8 too big?

    I like the purina coop design and also the coop in the winter plans. I want it to be shingled, have two small windows in front. I lke the use of floor or wall vents place at the top for vetilation rather than removable or hinged panels. I want to put the external nest box on the side or back and a four foot door on the side for access and cleaning. I plan on attaching the pvc style feeder to the back of the door. Does it matter if the nest boxes are near the roosts or the food area?

    Any advice for me?

    Dooner
     
  2. BeccaOH

    BeccaOH Morning Gem Farm

    Oct 3, 2008
    east central Ohio
    I am by no means a builder. I had a friend build my first coop and went with a 10 x 12 building. [​IMG]

    I do have a rabbit hutch that is a double decker with floor ramp. I've tried using it for chicks, but the bedding is a real issue. I generally never use the ramp and just keep chicks on the top floor. I really don't know how you can keep from losing a lot of shavings down the floor trap even if you have retaining wall up around 3 sides of it. Also the trap door takes away from floor space.

    Generally speaking you need 4 square feet indoors for a large fowl chicken. So a 4x4 coop really only holds 4 chickens (but you also have to consider the water and feed that may be in there taking up space too). To me [​IMG] bigger is always better. Your plans for just 5 chickens may very well grow.

    As long as you don't need to get under the coop yourself for cleaning, gathering eggs, etc, then 2 feet high would be about the minimum height that I'd go.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    85
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:14" is minimally-usable, 18" is better.

    What do you think of a trap door in the floor that serves as a ramp as well rather than a door on a side wall? How do you prevent the wood shavings from falling out?

    Bad idea. Takes away way too much valuable floorspace (esp. in a small coop like yours) and shavings fall out real bad. Do door on side wall. Really really. Make it 6" or so above the floor, in fact, for near-perfect shavings retention.

    For five larger breed hens, is 4x4 foot a ggod size and on the other hand is 4x8 too big?

    There is no such thing as too big. I would not personally put more than 3 chickens in a 4x8, most BYCers would say it's plenty space for 5 (and that 4x4 is minimally-ok for 5) but it depends on what your goals are, just avoiding the highest likelihood of cannibalism or what else.

    Sounds quite reasonable in general though, good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by