Open Air Coop design - suggestions/comments appreciated

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FrankNLiveOak, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. FrankNLiveOak

    FrankNLiveOak Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2013
    I am about to build our coop and we have decided (we think) on an open air design - we live in Florida and don't have brutal winters and the idea of having as much fresh air as possible appeals to us. The coop is 6' x 6' x 8' will be placed in our pasture in the middle of a 4 paddock arrangement of fences. Eventually the chickens will share the paddocks with a few goats and a livestock guard dog. We currently have 5 HRiR hens and a rooster.

    I have read many threads here about designing coops and what people wished for, and I have tried to incorporate some of those ideas in this - such as:

    1. Storage available in the coop.
    2. Removable nesting boxes for cleaning.
    3. Removable poop tray for cleaning.
    4. Large windows for ventilation, especially in the summer.
    5. Highest locations are the roosts, to discourage hens from sitting and pooping other places.
    6. Easy human size access for cleaning via front (missing wall).
    7. Expandable number of nesting boxes if/when we add more hens (we currently have 5 hens and a rooster.)

    My design drawings are in the gallery at the following link:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/g/a/6388007/franknliveoak/

    Any comments or suggestions for improvement and criticisms appreciated.

    Frank and Sharon
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  3. FrankNLiveOak

    FrankNLiveOak Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2013
    Thank you for the link, that was interesting to read, I did not realize how long the idea of open air coops had been around.

    In the area of predators, I was originally going to build a large covered run off the front of the coop, but we decided against that and have decided to go with a paddock system. Which will not be practical to enclose. So, we plan to put a guard dog in with the chickens and goats. The paddocks will have 7 foot fences and surround the coop, so any ground predator will have along way to go to get to the coop. Hopefully that will solve any problems we have. However, Hawks could fly in and grab a hen, hopefully the dog will deter them.

    I have noticed that most of my neighbors let their chickens roam free and don't seem to suffer much attrition. If we do start to lose some birds, the first step will be to close them in at night with a front panel to close up the coop.

    Thank you,

    Frank
     
  4. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing with your open coop design. Instead of having the one wall totally open, make it a hardware clothed, or some kind of heavy wire wall. You could hinge it, so the whole wall can be opened for mantenance. You may want to be able to close the chickens in at night. I imagine you have owls down in Fla. If they discover your coop, they will fly right in there at night and take a bird.
    Just something to think about. Other than that, the design looks good for 5 birds.
    Jack
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The open side could easily be covered with a wire mesh of some kind. Just something stronger than chicken wire.
    I had a hawk fly all the way into a 40 foot long hoop pen that was only 3 foot high.
    The night predators are the most prevalent. Possums, coons, fox, coyote, bobcats, owls, rats and on and on. You name it.
     
  6. FrankNLiveOak

    FrankNLiveOak Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2013
    Great idea, thanks, I think a "fence" door that can be opened and closed would be a good addition. Maybe one that rolled up to open and rolled down to close...I will have to see if I can come up with a simple inexpensive way to roll up a fence above the opening.

    Thanks,

    Frank
     
  7. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2010
    I building an open coop/run as well. I really don't have the money to invest a lot in it (man those are going to be some expensive eggs) so I'm trying to buy as little as possible. I'll post my idea on another thread so I don't hijack this one.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The first egg costs thousands of dollars - after that they're free. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. FrankNLiveOak

    FrankNLiveOak Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2013
    About right - :) First pass over the costs of our coop and fencing for the paddock (6400 sq ft divided into 4 - 1500 sq ft paddocks with a 400 sq ft run around the coop), with us doing all the labor, is $1200.

    Frank
     

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