Newbie needs advice!!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hereatthefarm, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. hereatthefarm

    hereatthefarm New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2015
    God's Country GA
    This is my first post and will be my first chickens. I just bought a 6 acre mini farm that has needed a good bit of work. Getting a chicken coop built and established is the next thing on my list. I've read and looked in some of the forums on building coops, plans, etc, and just can't figure out how best to get it done. One whole side opens up to a horse stall, and the top is open as well with 6" boards every 12". I'll attach some pictures and wait for some input! The width is 45" and the depth is just shy of 12'. Thanks in adance!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Mkawa

    Mkawa New Egg

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    Oct 24, 2014
    I just built my first coop so I'm definitely no expert but have been doing a fair bit of reading online and there's a number of things you need to consider:

    - your climate/weather: is it a good idea to have the top open? Consider rain, seasons and ventilation.
    - they need roosts. That should be quite easy by installing some rods/branches. Space/quantity depends on the number of chickens you want to have.
    - how are you going to keep it clean? They are going to poop everywhere, especially underneath the roosts.
    - they need nesting boxes. They like them off the ground but good idea to have them not quite as high as the roosts
    - they need water and food. Perhaps off the ground too so mice can't get into the food
    - to let them out you could consider installing a little door just for them instead of opening the human door so that in winter it doesn't get too cold in there
    - if you want to breed you may want to consider a separate area for mother hens and their chicks

    You can make it as fancy or as basic as you like.

    Keep on browsing the web, there are many great ideas out there.

    Have fun! :)
     
  3. hereatthefarm

    hereatthefarm New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2015
    God's Country GA
    I forgot to mention that the very top is just wood slats to keep them in. The main roof is a ribbed sheet of poly. I plan on concreting the floor and then adding shavings. Seems like the cleanup would be easier than shavings on top of dirt. A small door to let the chickens out would be easy. I plan on having about six hens.

    I figured I do need to wall off the right side that is open to the horse stall. Should I put the nesting boxes on the far back wall? Or maybe on the left side where access would be easier from the outside? The roosting areas to be quite simple, like you said, with a few towels or sticks.

    All this research is fun I just want to make sure I have six happy girls!
     
  4. Mkawa

    Mkawa New Egg

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    Oct 24, 2014
    Installing the nesting boxes into the outer wall so you don't have to go into the coop to collect eggs is a great idea. Unless of course you have to go in daily anyway to top up water and food.

    Whatever you build keep ease of access in mind. You might not want to walk through poopy bedding in the morning in order to get to the far side to collect some eggs.

    It depends a bit on the routine you have and want. If you're like me and love saying hello to the chickens in the mornings then you might as well go in, check that everything is okay, top up food, water, check for eggs. You might even sit down with a cuppa. If on the other hand you're on the run and are already dressed for work you might not want to get dirty. Just some examples to consider.

    You're on the right track and I'm sure your chickens are going to love their coop :)
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    I keep a pair of muck boots for only hen house use. I can slip them on and off easily as well as hose off any oopses I step in.
    I had external nest boxes in some of my coops and internal nest boxes in others.
    I had a bout of mites and the only coops/ hens affected were the ones with external nest boxes. I also had a dickens of a time trying to keep the nests dry.
    I would put them inside and close to the access door you plan on using to enter the coop.

    JMHO

    Babs
     

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