1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Operation Fowl Play

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JeepDVL45, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. JeepDVL45

    JeepDVL45 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    6
    24
    Jun 6, 2012
    Chatham NY
    Alright, due to some unforeseen circumstances, my old coop build has been scrapped mid-build. There was a handful of you following that build (ReCoop: A Noob’s guide to trying to build a “chicken mansion” on a budget.) For those of you, I apologize…..the coop is GONE -- as in, it’s in little bits and pieces in my back yard (don’t worry though I did salvage a good amount of the material from it)

    As I mentioned in the previous write up, this thread is to document the progress of my coop as well as hopefully give beginners a little encouragement to build their own coop so they realize they don't need TONS of money or lots of different too's to build a decent chicken coop....

    I think its important to note, I have NO previous carpentry skills (unless you count the 2’x4’ mini coop I built for my 2 orpingtons and the half built “Re-coop build” that I had to scrap before starting this one.) I also have tenancy to over-engineer things, and I change my mind A LOT....but I'm going to do my best NOT to do that for this coop....


    The tools I have at my disposal are:

    - Chop saw (I probably used this the most)
    - Circular Saw (I have an 18V cordless, and I would not recommend using one. It doesn't have the power you need to build a
    coop...for 1 of two cuts no and then, its great, but the battery would overheat after getting 2/3s of the way through a piece of 1/2"
    OSB)
    - Cordless Impact Driver (you could get away with just the drill, but if you have access to an impact driver, use one, they're great)
    - Cordless Drill
    - 4 Bar Clamps

    So…back to the drawing board…literally.
     
  2. JeepDVL45

    JeepDVL45 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    6
    24
    Jun 6, 2012
    Chatham NY
    After my setback, I needed to get something done quickly (unfortunately, “quickly” for me was STARTING a new coop 3 months after the old one was torn down). At the beginning of the spring added 1 standard brahma and 3 bantam brahmas to my flock with the same little coop I had been keeping my 2 orpingtons. Luckily my “old girls” ONLY use the coop when they go in to use the nest box, they just like being outside. Luckily, there is a roost in their run they use at night – their run is 4’x4’ with a roof and hardware on all 4 sides…and the bottom….there is no way anything is getting – in fact my 70lb Rotty mix(not the sharpest spoon in the drawer) hit the run full speed the other day because he was looking at me instead of where it was going (the chickens were free ranging at the time), so no one was hurt – but the run held up perfect to 70lbs of "dumb as a box of rocks".....man, I LOVE that dog!!
    My girls do have another additional run (about 6' x12') AND they also free range....so they have PLENTY of space

    So, I do have a couple of goals for this coop:

    1) I want It to take no more than a full weekend of work (basically I want it to be completed in 12-16 hours of labor) -- Now, I have a 21mo old daughter Unfortunately 16 hours of work USUALLY means 16 weeks, where I get 8-9 minutes a day to work……IF I’m lucky.
    2) I want to be sure the coop is safe for my girls as well as “pleasant looking”
    3) The coop NEEDS to be easy to clean....its going to be quite a bit bigger than the original so I don’t want to be crawling into the thing if I can help it.
    4) Just like everyone else in the chicken world, I don’t have TONS of money to spend on this coop. I do have a budget, to me it’s a lot of money, but to others it may seem like “pennies” to others like millions. I want to keep the entire project UNDER $300 (under $200 if I can). I will still be salvaging material, but my coop isn’t going to be designed around the salvaged material, I’m still going to build and if I find something that fits, it goes in. If I find something that want to go in, and it doesn’t fit…too bad.


    On a side note: I HATE wasting stuff, especially money. So I’m going to do my best to waste as little material as I can. This means that since wood (especially plywood) is sold in 8ft lengths, I’m going to try to base my coop design around that. I’m also going to try to use dimensions that will allow me to use most (if not all) of each sheet of plywood/siding/board.

    Moving on…….
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. JeepDVL45

    JeepDVL45 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    6
    24
    Jun 6, 2012
    Chatham NY
    My General design idea:

    4’x8’ coop, 4’ walls with a LARGE roofed run attached…this was at least a starting point for me…..don't worry, my indecisiveness is about to rear its ugly head......

    On to the first round of modifications to the plan…..

    Originally I wanted my coop to be a simple 4’x8’ with 4’ walls…this seems simple enough…for anyone who knows me (or followed my old thread) we’ll all just laugh together at that remark.

    So, I settled on a 7’x5’coop with 4’ walls…this does a few things for me……

    While no, my wall lengths aren’t standard plywood dimensions, HOWEVER the perimeter of my coop is 24’ this way…and low-and-behold, three 8’ sheets of plywood allows me to have my 24' perimeter

    I know I’m going to be asked this question so I mine as well answer it now…

    WHY did I go with 5'x7' instead of the 4’x8’? (Don't worry, my wife started to ask, the remembered how many times I've changed my mind over a chicken coop, stopped shook her head and walked away.....)

    I chose 5x7 for 2 reasons:

    i) This would allow me to have a 6” awning on the sides of the coop to help keep rain out of the ventilation I’ll be putting in
    ii) I’m not the biggest fan of how “narrow” a 4’ wide coop is…I just think the walls are a little too close to give “effective” room for my girls. I KNOW I’m over analyzing, but I’m OK with that.

    Unfortunately this also means that I can’t use a single sheet of plywood for the floor of my coop…luckily this is some of the material I salvaged from my old coop. I have a 3’wide 8’ section of ½” plywood that I can use to help me “cut costs”. That means purchasing 1 sheet of ½” plywood and salvaging the other piece will allow me to have a 5’x4’ sheet and a 5’x3’ sheet which will give me the 7’ I need.

    Now, on to building…..
     
  4. JeepDVL45

    JeepDVL45 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    6
    24
    Jun 6, 2012
    Chatham NY
    DAY 1: Build time -- about 2 hours


    For the base of my coop, I decided to salvage an old 4x4 I had from when I installed a fence in my yard over the spring. I’m only using it for the corners, so that gives me a coop that will be about 2’ off the ground. From there, I took a scrap piece opf 2x6 and cut it into 4 squares (5.5 x 5.5) and attached them to the “bottom” my my 4x4s like this:

    [​IMG]


    I just thought, since this is going to be sitting in the dirt, the little extra base will make it less likely to “sink” over time.

    From here I “leveled” an area in my yard and threw some cement blocks down at the locations I planned on putting the legs of the base. I positioned and leveled the blocks, then did my best to make sure all 4 blocks were level with one another (I just threw down a 2x4 – the straightest one I could find, and put my level on it, and then built up the blocks where needed) They’re not perfect, but they we’re close.

    Then I just set my “legs” on the blocks, and tied them together with my 2”x6”s. Leaving me with something like this:

    [​IMG]

    Now this wasn’t the most stable thing in the world, and the legs have a good amount of play in them, I had a bunch of scrap 2”x4”s that I cut top and bottom to a 45o so I could use them for a little extra support ( You can see I have a few attached in the picture above). This went A LONGGGGGG way in making the base really sturdy for the weight that is going to be on it.

    One all of the leg supports were installed I added some floor support. I cut some scrap 2x4's I salvaged from the old coop into into 57” lengths (4 of them) and screwed them into place.

    After cutting my ½” scrap plywood into a 3’x5’ section and the sheet I purchased into a 4’x5’ section, in screwed the floor in to place.

    Note: I “offset” one of my floor joists so that the seam between the two sheets of plywood lined up with it. I also took all 3 sheets of my plywood siding and cut it into 4’x4’ squares. I then placed all of my lumber/plywood on my coop “base” and covered it with a tarp until I can work on it again…
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  5. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chillin' With My Peeps

    269
    24
    83
    Sep 2, 2014
    ARKANSAS
    You have thought it out well, and it looks excellent so far!! I ended up with the same problem on the floor....I went 52" wide....and 8 feet long....so of course I had to salvage a 4" strip to complete it. Used liquid nails to attach it to the other main section and it will be screwed into the frame.....
     
  6. JeepDVL45

    JeepDVL45 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    6
    24
    Jun 6, 2012
    Chatham NY
    DAY 2: Build Time – about 4 hours

    I apologize now, unfortunately the handful of photos I took during these stages didn’t save to my phone for some reason (well, 1 did, and it’ll make its appearance in this thread now…I’ll try to get some more pics of the parts when I get home)
    I knew it was time to start to frame up the walls of the coop. So I started the day (after taking about 45 minutes to get all of my tools together) be cutting the rest of my plywood down.

    NOTE: I probably should have mentioned this earlier, for all of my plywood cuts I used a 2”x4” held in place with bar clamps as a straight edge for my circular saw.

    Basically, I took 2 of my 4’x4’ siding “squares” and ripped 1’ off of each end. This gives me my extra foot for my 5’ wall, and my extra 3’ for my 7’ wall.

    Once my plywood was cut, it was time to start framing a wall. I decided to go with my front wall first. This will probably be the most complicated wall that I build. I have a 36’x 14’ double pane window that I salvaged for $3 that I want to install on that wall (it will be the west facing wall of the coop), I will also be putting a pop door in on that wall as well. (and this is where I made my first mistake….but we’ll get to that)
    So, I did things the easy way, I cut my wood to the following lengths.

    One 84”; six 44”; one 35 1/2”; one 38 1/2”; one 6”, one 71”

    NOTE: I decided on 44” for the length of the verticals instead of 45” (45” would give me an even 4’ of height when the wall was assembled). By going with the 44” verticals it will give me 1” of “overhang” on the bottom edge of the coop….this will cover my exposed edges of the plywood for the floor.


    The 84” piece is the header of my wall, the 6” and 71” are the bottom. I did it the base in 2 sections so way so I have a nice 12” wide gap (after I put the wood to retain the pop-door in) off of my SW corner of the coop. This is where my pop-door will go. I didn’t want anything in the way there so I can clear shavings easy if I need to (I will be putting a 6” tall removable thresh hold there to keep shavings IN the coop. The 35 ½”, 38 ½” pieces (and two of the 44”) will be used to frame in the window. After assembling the wall, it looked something like this:

    These are the pics I lost. So this is a much later step in the build of this wall…basically pretend the plywood isn’t there.

    [​IMG]


    Once that was “complete” I brought the wall down the property so I could figure out cutting the openings for the window and pop door. (You can see those extra 3 pieces of wood where the pop-door is going, I don't remember dimensoins, but they're there so the door has something for support. The door will be 12" wide and 16" tall.

    Rather than having to take measurements and deal with transferring them CORRECTLY to the plywood, I just attached the plywood to the wall, then I could trace the window and door opening, I pulled the plywood and cut my openings (again used a 2x4 for a straight edge).

    I lost the rest of the pics BUT, I got the back wall framed up (just 4 44” 2x4s and 2 84” 2x4s) then attached the plywood (I used industrial adhesive to attach the two pieces of plywood siding. I also got one of the short walls too….. (2 53” 2x4s and 3 44”) and attached plywood. (I’ll get pics). Those walls have no doors or windows, so they were really easy and went up QUICK, what took the longest was checking and making them plumb.

    The coop is REALLY starting to take shape (and its BIG)…..I’m only about 6 hours into the build time (we’re just going to ignore the many hours of clean up/set up time). Tarp goes back over it with materials “inside” awaiting my return NEXT WEEKEND!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  7. JeepDVL45

    JeepDVL45 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    6
    24
    Jun 6, 2012
    Chatham NY
    So....its been a long time since I updated. I've gotten about 5 more "days" of work in. I'll give a quick overview of what I did, and insert the only 3 pics I have......

    Day 3: Build time -- 2 hours

    I framed up my last wall famed up today. I is my South facing wall that has the clean out door on it. The clean out door is 3.5' tall by 3' wide. This gives me PLENTY of space to work and clean. Just like my pop door, there is no "lip" to the door frame, this makes it easy to completely clean/disinfect the coop when I need to. I will be adding a removable 6" board to keep shavings in when it gets to that point. I also put a thin piece of PT 1/2"x2" around the door frame to help block some wind and "seal" the small gaps around the door.
    And finally I got the door hung. (I'll throw up some pics of the door when I take some pictures)

    Day 4: Build time -- 20 minutes

    I got the window in place today with some trim up to hold it. Nothing really exciting, I placed the window in the frame (and it fit!!), calked it into place then screwed in some 1/2"x2" PT strips to hold it there.

    Day 5: Build time -- 3 hours

    I cut my rafters today. Just ripped my 8" 2x4 in half to 45* and added some plywood supports to . I made 5 of them to span my 7' coop. Once those were up, I hung some 1/2" OSB so I had a base to attach my metal roofing to (My neighbor gave me all I needed for the low low price of "I don't want money, I'm just tired of it sitting in my yard."

    Both "peaks" of my roof were open up until this point. I cut some tongue and groove pine siding and closed off the North facing side of the coop, The South side will stay (almost) completely open for ventilation. I just ripped some 2x4s down to give myself something to nail my hardware cloth to. This gives me 4sqft of ventilation year round (this will NOT be closed off....I will be giving myself several inches of overhang on this side of the coop to keep the weather out. I will also have some additional ventilation along the roof line.

    Here is a pic so far; (with my daughter in the coop...she seems to think its HER playhouse....)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  8. JeepDVL45

    JeepDVL45 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    6
    24
    Jun 6, 2012
    Chatham NY
    Day 6: Build time -- 4.5 hours (half of the time was used to cut the metal roofing)

    I had an extra set of hands today, my father came out to help me. I went to my parent's for dinner the other night, and we cut the metal roofing there in his driveway (we used a dremel and cutting wheel). That took a couple hours. Then my dad came over to my house so we could hang the roof. I started by "capping" the ends of the rafters with a 1x4, then hung the roof (watched a couple youtube videos about how to overlap the panels properly) And after a couple hours in 28* weather, we had this.....(well, close to that. we got the roof cap on as well....

    [​IMG]


    Day 7: Build time -- 3 hours

    Started to build the run today. The run will be 7'x10' and the girls will have access under the coop as well. The run was a design as I go. originally I was going to have the top of the run just blow the window, BUT at the last minute, I changed my mind. I wanted a run I could walk into so I could clean it, and I also plan to give my girls a lot of space to "play" so I needed the clearance to add things like swings, roosts etc.

    After "framing" the base, I just measured and cut piece by piece...the low end of the run is 4' tall and the high end is 6' tall. With the main outline of the run completed, I was able to install the roof (I have a few pieces I need to cut still), but its a matter of making a door to the run, installing a couple supports and then mounting wire all the way around to keep the girls in.

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by