Newbie coop design questions...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ColoradoChicks, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. ColoradoChicks

    ColoradoChicks In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2011
    Hi all,

    First, thanks for being such a wonderful source of information - I'm a little obsessed with building just the right home for my ten new chicks! I have a few questions before I build the coop walls.

    The run is complete Here's a pic.

    As you can see, it's tucked in around a large Russian Elm tree.

    Here's the coop.


    My questions are:

    1. Window placement is a big question. The tall, 4' wide side faces west and will have a ladder-style roost leaning against it. The southern side will have the people door. The east side will be the nesting boxes. The north side will have the pop door into the run. I've purchase a few old windows and would install them (with hardware cloth for protection) so they would hinge at the top and I could prop them open in the summer. Since they're single pane I plan on adding a layer of plexiglass on the inside for additional insulation.

    My current plan is to put one on the west wall so the ladies can look out while they're roosting, one on the north side either above the pop door or looking out on the tree trunk, and one on the south next to the people door. Is this too many?

    2. As you can see, where the galvanized steel roof is attached there is a 1" gap all the way around the roof line. I plan on leaving that for ventilation. Is that o.k.? Do I need more built-in ventilation? If so, should I put it on the east and west walls or the north and south? What size vents would I need to add? We have very strong winds in winter and spring.

    3. Do I need to insulate or will a heat lamp do? We have consistent 85 to 95 degree days in the summer with a few 100's. Winters are below freezing at night and we usually have a week of sub zero nights as well.

    Thanks so much for all your help!
  2. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Songster

    Dec 21, 2010
    I would put in all of the windows you mentioned - the more ventillation, the better. And it is much easier to put it in now, instead of figuring out that you need to add it later. If you can add more ventillation along the top edges, that might be beneficial - windows are fine in the summer but in the winter, vents near the top help prevent draftiness while still allowing for fresh air. The run and start of the coop look terrific so far - it looks liek a great site and using sand is smart. [​IMG]
  3. spotstealer

    spotstealer Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
    Poynette, WI
    Very nice! Along with ailurophile23's suggestions, I would seriously consider stronger coop protection than chicken wire, unless you plan on securing the coop nightly after they have gone to roost. Thats what I do without any problems,but it would depend on what predators you have lurking about.
  4. ColoradoChicks

    ColoradoChicks In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2011
    Thanks for the input! And yes, I will be locking the ladies up in the coop at night, especially in our very cold Colorado winters. We do have a 6' welded wire fence around the entire yard and two pit bulls for added predator protection...
  5. wava1vaughn

    wava1vaughn Songster

    Jun 24, 2011
    Cairo Ga.
    Hi from Ga. It looks like your doing a bang - up job. Keep it up. [​IMG]
  6. GardenGal

    GardenGal Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western WA
    Wow, looking forward to seeing your pictures when it's finished! I love how it wraps around the tree.
  7. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    First of all [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    seconed, I think you are going the right direction with installing all the windows, it is never enough ventilation when you can have it.
    third your coop is already looking great, very neat and your yard is awesome, BTW I used to live in Denver CO and I love it.
  8. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Songster

    I think 3 windows is great! You'll probably be glad you put in so many! I've only bought 2 used windows, but plan on adding just 'screen' windows with a door that can shut over them in the winter on mine for the other two sides that won't have a window. I bought mine at the ReStore, and if they had had a 3rd window that matched the ones I got, I would have gotten it, too. Sounds like you'll have enough venting with those windows. I'm still going to add soffit vents into my coop that will stay open even in the winter. You'll need something open even when you shut those windows. But you said yours will be open too, right? If so, that sounds about right!
  9. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Songster

    BTW- I totally forgot and meant to say- I LOVE your run and your yard! I really, really love the flagstone you put down in front of your door. The whole thing is looking very charming already! Can't wait to see what the finished product looks like. [​IMG]
  10. TruGritCkn

    TruGritCkn In the Brooder

    Jun 7, 2011
    MT ~3 yr ckns
    I really like your run too! [​IMG] Good job! I think I need to stop reading and go get to work on my coop now. Thank you for sharing.

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