Overwhelmed----please help me with my coop and run!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kmwright, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. kmwright

    kmwright Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2010
    Winters, CA
    I keep looking at different coop designs and they seem so difficult and involved! I have little to no carpentry skills. In fact, if you combine my husband and me, you may get 1 fairly decent carpenter. [​IMG]

    Here is what we've done so far.

    Built this outdoor covered run over the weekend. It's 4x8 and 4 feet tall. It has the feeder/waterer on one end, and some branches for roosting at the other end. That end has pine shavings on the bottom. Should I put a "poop board" underneath? How does said poop board work for me?

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    Here is our metal shed that we want to convert to a coop. We live in Northern California, it gets super hot in the summer. We will need to rip off the stupid sliding doors and build a new door, add ventilation, and work on the inside (nesting boxes, roosts, etc). Someone suggested insulating the shed? Should I insulate the whole thing or just the bottom half where the chickens may bump their tushies on the metal?

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    Here is the itty bitty coop we made before we got the chickens. Apparently, I should have come here before building it as I had no idea what I was doing or what they needed.....[​IMG]

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    I guess I need an outline or the basics that I should be paying attention to. What would make it comfortable for the girls, and what would make it easier for me to clean/collect eggs/etc. Right now the small coop is not attached to the run so in the mornings, I take them out of the coop and put them in the run. Luckily, they like being held so it's not a battle.

    Oh yeah, I should include my girls, right?

    Lion and Butterscotch (they are about 8 weeks old) The austrolorp and barred rock in the back aren't ours, a friend had to repair their coop and we are holding on to them

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    Sneaky, Blondie and Jessie (they are 2 weeks old and are in the brooder in the garage)

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  2. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Hi - Looks like you have a great start.

    Lets start with the basics - In your run - you do not need a 'poop board' those are used in the coop to keep the wood shavings 'clean'. The birds will do most of thier dropping while on the perch in the coop. So the board is an easily removable object that the droppings land on - which make it much easier to clean.

    Personally - I went to walmart & got 2 storage tubs - very low ones that can slide under your bed - & i place these under the perch. Each week or so I clean these out.



    Now on to your shed. You don't need insulation - but you do need ventilation. Consider this - wild birds live just fine in the winter - they are designed to manage in the cold. Chickens are great at handling the cold as long as the perch is wide & flat so they can sit on thier feet. Use a 2x3 or 2x4. small round ones leave thier toes exposed.

    The heat is a different story though - chickens don't sweat. They pant when they get hot. They will stop laying if they get too hot. you get the picture. The insulation will not help keep out the heat. You should just keep the door open & have a window or vent on the back side. That should be enough.

    You could try setting the run on the side of the shed & having a small door from the shed into the run. Then use some sort of screen door on the shed to allow air in, but not critters. Maybe a make shift frame with hardware cloth?

    Hope this helps!

    Just keep in mind - they are a lot tougher than you would think - especially in the cold
     
  3. Tomhusker

    Tomhusker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    Hamburg, Iowa
    Personally, I think it would be easier to build a coop than to modify the shed. If you built that pen from scratch you can do a coop. Using the same principles you used to make the frame for the fence panels, make wall panels. Instead of fencing, use OSB board. Add a couple of extra wall studs.
    If you build all of the pieces separately- floor, 4 walls, & roof you can assemble them all together in only a few of hours. Believe me, I have the carpentry skills of a fish. Ours turned out very... adequate. The chickens have not filed a complaint yet.
     

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