Ordered Our First Coop!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pwog, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. pwog

    pwog Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2011
    Well after talking about getting chickens for about 4 years now, we bought a coop yesterday! We will probably get it in about 4 weeks.

    We plan on getting 5 - 6 pullets or hens. I have been reading through the forums on feeders, waterers, feed, etc. There are so many decisions to be made. I would appreciate any advice your experiences could offer me on starting out on the right foot.

  2. gunnarmcc

    gunnarmcc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2011
    SSF, CA
    What is the general design of the coop? do you happen to have pictures of it? i think that if everyone on here had something to look at they could give you more then enough advice on what to do and how to go about getting everything set up.
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    First off, tell us where you are, what enviroment your in, plans for run, so we can help
  4. pwog

    pwog Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2011
    Oops, Sorry. I am in southern Maine. The coop is 4 x 8 and mobile and will have an attachable pen that is 4 x 8. I only have a picture of the exterior for now, but there is a sliding, screened vent above the front door, an access door in the rear to retrieve eggs from the nest boxes, there are two side doors, with windows, and screens, the roof tilts open and three nest boxes and roosting bars.


  5. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2010
    SW PA
    WOW! Really nice coop! Most first timers (me included) want a really small coop.

    Are you going to have a larger run for them?

    You will get many different replies about feeders and waterers.

    My only advice is to get a waterer that can be heated for your climate.

    A heater can be as simple as a box with a light bulb in it that the waterer sets on.
  6. pwog

    pwog Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2011
    I thought about a smaller coop, but figured that the larger coop makes for happier birds and gives room for growth. We will let them free range when we are about, otherwise the run is that size. We will be moving the coop around the yard every day / every other day.
  7. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great looking system, Love that it's in two pieces, makes it easier to move and you don't risk running over a bird and hurting it.

    The run is a good size for 4 birds but suggest you pitch the run roof for shedding the snow but use something like Lexan that allows the sunshine in and heats up so it's a warm spot for the chickens to sit in, in the winter.

    Design and set up a pair of locks to secure the run to the coop when parked but that detaches so each piece can be moved separately. Makes is easier to move the unit but does not allow a predator to push them apart and get in.

    Skirt the run against digging predators. This covers the space between the run bottom and the ground and lays out on the ground flat about 18" to cover any holes or depressions in the yard. It can be lifted to allow the run to be moved around. (use big tires like are under the coop, I realize that's a mover under the coop but you will appreciate the bigger tires when you are trying to push it around the yard)

    Replace ALL the chicken wire with hardware cloth to stop coons from ripping thru or reaching thru the wire and with this added security would allow the chickens to go outside year around without worrying about locking down at night.

    You will probably have to use pine chips or straw for litter due to the weight of sand when you're trying to move the coop. A shop vac works great to remove wood chips.

    Maybe add a peak vent opposite the chicken door to flush / vent out the ammonia fumes and moisture in the winter. (both builds up fast in the winter) Check the roost locations first to insure there is not a draft onto the roosting birds which would lead to sickness.

    Maybe add a roost in the run so the birds can roost up out of the breakup puddles in the spring.

    Maybe add gutters onto the coop to stop water from splashing onto and into the run.

    I agree a heated water fount or dog dish will be needed in the winter.

    Insure the floor inside the coop is painted or covered in vinyl. Poo will soak into raw wood and the stink will always be there.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  8. pwog

    pwog Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2011
    Thanks. Good suggestions. I have been reading a lot here and elsewhere and there are so many decisions to make: how to feed, what to feed, etc. Everybody I talk to that has chickens says it is so easy to do, but it seems like there is a lot more to it than just getting a coop, some chickens and go.
  9. Hope49_DH

    Hope49_DH Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2011
    I think it depends on "easy" The last go around we had chickens was about 96-2000, and we had a pretty simple pen with nest boxes, a bamboo roof from that roll out fencing stuff, and was mostly chicken wire. Straw for the floor over dirt, and just let em be. Really didn't have any problem until the possums started becoming more agressive to get to the eggs. We did have "floating" chickens one year when it rained bad. Feed was whatever the store told us.

    This time around, the coop is build like fort knox, with 7 inches of sand in the run and a fully enclosed coop that can become a shed if anything happens to the Chicken idea. When I grew up we also didn't have a full coop, just a large covered pen, and they could free range some days of the week. So I think to some degree it's what you make it to be, but now that we have something that is nice for us to visit, I'd not go back to the run in-grab eggs, and run out style of containment [​IMG]

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