Please Critique the Plans for My First Coop -- Specific Questions Added

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 3KillerBs, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This morning DH decided that if he built a tractor to the size desired for 4 hens it would be too heavy to move so he declared that we'd have a non-mobile coop and separate, temporary pen instead. He even offered to move the firewood rack to put the coop in the optimum spot -- right between our heat pump and the neighbor's heat pump so that any noise would be masked by the machinery hum.

    I did rough drawings then handed them to my DD, an architecture student, who did them up nicely in her CAD program.

    Please tell me if I've screwed up anything. This coop is intended to house 4 hens comfortably.

    Here is the East side view of the coop and its attached run. She used the chainlink mesh she had available but it will be 1/2" hardware cloth. The top of the run will be solid, not mesh to provide shade in our hot, steamy climate.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the south face of the coop. The dashed, red line indicates the place where the run will be attached to the coop face -- probably by nailing a cleat to the coop.

    [​IMG]

    This boring, little square of mesh is the south end of the run, showing the access hatch. I was planning to have the feeder and waterer there.

    [​IMG]

    And the rear, north view of the coop. The large access door for cleaning and the position of the nestboxes are indicated.

    [​IMG]

    I intend to include a wire, anti-dig skirt around the perimeter and a perch in the run as well as perches in the coop. I'll probably have a poop board in the coop but might not. DH will have input into that according to how the actual building goes.

    Did I miss anything? Have I gotten anything wrong?

    Should there be anything in the coop itself other than the perches? I'll probably leave the pop door open almost all the time because we rarely have much in the way of winter -- many years the ground never actually freezes and temps rarely drop to single digits. I don't really want to have to deal with food and water in the coop itself.

    Thank you in advance for your suggestions.
     
  2. CarriesPeeps

    CarriesPeeps Out Of The Brooder

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    My only concern is how your hens will react to the noise coming from the heat pumps. I don't know what the noise level from 2 heat pumps is exactly, but if it is loud enough to mask the egg song, it isn't good for your hens.
     
  3. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The noise is not excessively loud. You can hold a conversation without raising your voice. But both households find that the "white noise" effect of the heat pumps masks yard noise from the other house.

    They hold pool parties and we barely notice. We have the gaming group every week with the smokers gathering outside and they barely notice.
     
  4. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought of two, specific questions:

    1. Should I make a removable panel on the side of the run so that an adult can get in squatting if necessary? Not necessarily another hinged door, but something like a 3'x3' panel that could be taken off at need?

    2. How would I best attach a nipple watering system to this sort of design? I can't lift a 5-gallon bucket full of water myself so I'd want something mounted that I could fill with a hose.
     
  5. NightHawk123

    NightHawk123 Out Of The Brooder

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    shelby, north carolina
    That coop is what I built as my tractor. Put 2 wheels on and you are good to go. It looks like a nice coop regardless. Wheels or not. Should work just fine.
     
  6. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Carolina Sandhills

    You must be much larger and stronger than I am. [​IMG]
     
  7. NightHawk123

    NightHawk123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Haha. Almost the same coop. Mine is 2 foot shorter and I placed the wheels where it balanced the weight. Otherwise it looks just like your coop and it works great. You will like that coop. ;)
     
  8. ScottM

    ScottM Chillin' With My Peeps

    My $.02 would be that a poop board isn't an extra, and deep litter really is the way to go. If you lifted the pop door up a little, that would allow for that, and the litter wouldn't spill out as the hens enter and exit.
     
  9. cknkids

    cknkids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree leave a lip(4" - 8" or more) to hold litter in the house. Consider how your going to clean your run. One comment I read over and over again was that folks wished they'd built there run tall enough to stand in. Because of these, we built our run 6' 6" - 7ft tall to accommodate DH who's 6'3". We're glad we did. We put roots in it so they can move around. Our Food and water is hung under the house in the enclosed run. Our hens are pretty self sufficient, as we leave the pop door most the time so they can come out as early as they like in the morning. And if they're locked in the run no one needs be here at dart to lock them up. Most days they free range so we do have to put them back in the run.
     
  10. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    +1
    If you extend your run height to at least the top of your coop then you can access your run without crawling on your hands and knees. You could utilize the space under the coop with a hanging feeder and water contained (or add a nipple system through the side run fencing). I would add plywood/boards that hinge from above your coop vents. This way you can angle them or close them during heavy blowing rains.
     

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