Newbies seeking any and all help!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by guesswhokatysue, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. guesswhokatysue

    guesswhokatysue Out Of The Brooder

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    OK, here goes nothing: We are looking to get between 3-5(ish) (my dad wants more, my fiance and I want fewer, haha) laying hens. Mostly we want them because we love eggs, but they are expensive, we never have any when we need them (oops!), and I think that fresh eggs and eggs from chickens that YOU have been feeding are just better overall.

    I am hoping that we can build our own coop, so any design tips, and building tips would be excellent. I want them to have a coop with a caged in outside part (a run I think it is). I have looked online for some that are for sale in my area and they are pricey and terribly dirty (I understand that is a hazard of housing chickens, but I want to start off with something nice for them). The coop doesn't need to be super fancy, but I am hoping it will be easy to get into/clean for us, especially in the winter (because nobody likes to be outside for super extended periods of time in the winter!). Also,I am thinking on insultating the coop in the winter, so any suggestions to easily do this in our design would be great.

    We are literally starting from nothing, so any advice that we can get from you guys on here would be wonderful. Thank you all in advance for helping us to get started! :D
     
  2. voissara

    voissara Out Of The Brooder

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    my husband and I just finished our coop, we looked on this website alot for design ideas and it helped a lot. we also looked at designs at a couple of the feed stores to get an idea. I think the best thing we did was to put in pull our drawers underneath the roosting poles we can just pull them out and dump the shavings in the composting pile.
     
  3. guesswhokatysue

    guesswhokatysue Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2013
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    My dad definitely had an idea like that, where the coop has a pull-out portion that makes for easy cleaning. I have been looking at a couple places, and plan to go to a fair today and see what other farmers are doing. I am excited to start the construction of our coop and see what ideas we can put together. How long did it take you and your husband to construct your coop? Also, if you don't mind my asking (it's nosy I know) but roughly how much did it cost you to build your coop? Where did you go to get most of your supplies (Lowe's, Home Depot, a local hardware/fee store)?

    Thank you!
     
  4. Karis Koop

    Karis Koop New Egg

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    This is perfect, we are in the exact same situation. Keep this thread updated and I won't have the ask the same questions!

    One idea I like that I read about is covering the floor with 6-8" of wood pellets or shavings, and raking the droppings in every few days. Apparently this keeps the odor down, and you only have to clean the whole thing out once or twice per year. Also just spreading a thin layer of straw in the nesting boxes, over a layer of padding to protect the eggs, is apparently more effective as I guess the hens will kick a lot of the material out of there.

    I love new hobbies, so much to learn...
     
  5. voissara

    voissara Out Of The Brooder

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    It took us about a month to do but that's with our work schedules and taking care of the kids as well. I set aside about $600 for our coop but depending on your design and how big you want it you can do it cheaper. We have a medium sized coop and we actually built it so if we wanted to expand we could with the nesting boxes and roosting pole size we could fit 30 chickens if we wanted but I do not want that many lol. We went to lowes they had the best selection of wood for a reasonable price and the roofing material wasn't too badly priced either. It took a lot of 2x4's so if you can get extra I would. We made changes as we went along and had to do alot of sanding to get everything to slide smoothly but overall I think it turned out pretty good.
     
  6. guesswhokatysue

    guesswhokatysue Out Of The Brooder

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    I am so glad that someone else is in my shoes! You are definitely right, there is SO much to learn about new hobbies. The learning is half the fun, the other half is the teaching others when you know. :) I was considering using sand on the ground outside, the inside...well I hadn't gotten that far yet haha. I hope this thread stays VERY updated, so we can start drawing up plans for our coop soon. Lots of work ahead, but I think it will be worth it :D
     
  7. guesswhokatysue

    guesswhokatysue Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2013
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    At least you planned ahead for 30 chickens, you never know [​IMG]...I am at that point now where I am wondering if building a coop of my own is cheaper (or not) than purchasing a pre-built (but new!!) coop. I guess we will have to go to our local lowe's and price some things out. Thank you for sharing how much it cost you! It is definitely food for thought. I suspect we will (if we build our own) make a TON of changes as we go along. Neither one of us are particularly architecturally-inclined, so the construction is something we should probably send in to America's Funniest Videos or something haha.
     
  8. Karis Koop

    Karis Koop New Egg

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    I'm finding that google-ing is supplying me with a lot of ideas and designs for all sorts of different shapes and sizes of coops and runs. Lots of good ideas out there.

    I feel like building your own will not only be more rewarding, but also more easily customized and altered depending on changing needs. We're about to purchase a new (to us) house, with an existing garden shed in the yard. I'm on the fence about whether to retrofit that into a coop, or build a new one.

    Found some super simple ideas for feeders and waterers, made out of 5gal pails with holes drilled near the bottom, with a big flower pot base fixed underneath (as long as the lids are air-tight).

    Need to figure out how to heat it in the winter.
     
  9. guesswhokatysue

    guesswhokatysue Out Of The Brooder

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    Karis Koop, I think googling is our next step. I am looking forward to building the coop and designing it. I am excited to work on it with the man, show him that I can get dirty too and build stuff! I am wondering what sort of wood people have/are using on their coop floors. I am thinking either VERY reinforced plywood (which is probably my least favorite option), or something a little more rugged, like a ton of 2x4s nailed to a frame or something, with 4x6s holding it up. Once we sit down together and google and start drawing up plans I think we will have a really good start!
     
  10. voissara

    voissara Out Of The Brooder

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    Good luck its a big job but very rewarding
     

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