Please scrutinize my first chicken coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ranch, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Ranch

    Ranch New Egg

    Nov 6, 2011
    Hello. I have built a chicken coop for my mom, she lives in a city where we get a lot of rain and she has a small back yard.

    The coop is total 4' deep (2' deep hutch plus another 2' run in back). The hutch is 38" wide, plus 10" for nesting box.

    I have linked to four photographs below. I welcome all feedback no matter what it is, and I would like to ask a few questions.

    1. How might I waterproof the hinge over the nesting box? We get a lot of rain.

    2. How might I latch the doors closed? There will be hinges of course, but what is good hardware to use on this coop to keep the doors shut?

    3. I think it would be nice to put some material down on the floor, to make cleaning easy. What do others do for a coop like this?

    4. I still need to cut a hole in the floor to allow the chickens to get into the run area. What size of hole is good, and where do you suggest putting it? I will also add a perch.

    5. What is max capacity for a coop like this? 3 hens? More?

    6. Any and all feeding ideas are appreciated. Where to put the feeder? What kind to buy? Thank you for any advice.

    7. Should I put down cedar 2 x 4s as a base, or not?

    8. I am new to this and appreciate any feedback and ideas. I will probably make another one so I can modify this design too. Overall, what do you think?




  2. GA_in_GA

    GA_in_GA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2011
    Southwest Georgia
    Very cute, and appears well made. I cannot help you with answers - I have to hire out. [​IMG]
  3. Chicken Mama 6

    Chicken Mama 6 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2011
    Western MA
    stick down linoleum on the floor will make it a breeze to clean out. I love mine, the shavings slide right off for easy clean out. [​IMG]
  4. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    #1. Look in your local hardware store for rubber weather strips, like the kind you use on doors to keep drafts out. Also for the roofs, see if you can find someone with left over roofing tiles or use corrugated material (it comes in rubber and colors now).
    #2. I would look for something that can be locked. Chickens stealing is on the rise and living in the city there are more than enough people to sneak in after dark.
    #3. Pine shaving is the floor covering choice for lots of people. I would build a "ring" around the pop door so that the shavings aren't easily pushed into it.
    #4. The standard size for a pop door for large chickens is 12" W x 18" H, smaller if you are raising bantams
    #5. 4 sq. feet per large birds
    #6. I would put a hanging feeder under the coop itself, that way it is protected from the rain. Your local feed store can help you pick the right one for the type of chickens you are wanting to have.
    #7. This depends on if you want to move the coop (tractor) and the types of predators you have. You need to make it so that predators can not dig under the coop and get in.

    You might want to look at the coop section on the main page of BYC to see what others have done and what they finally project looks like.
  5. Linn Bee

    Linn Bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very nice coop you built! Your mother must be proud.

    A few questions:
    Is the plywood rough sawn cedar or is it pine? If it is pine, it will need a good layer of protection from the elements - paint or stain. Un-finished cedar will age to a nice gray, but I prefer water-proofing my cedar as well.

    Is the current base made of regular 2 X 2 (4)? material? The base should be made of cedar (if available) or some type of treated wood. Regular stud material at the base just won't handle the weather whether it's placed on cement, dirt. sand, gravel, etc.

    Use outdoor hinges (T-hinges would work) as they should handle the weather. For roofing material rolled roofing or rubber (under)roofing would work as would just about any other roofing goods. Check the area for leftovers from roofing jobs for the small bits you will need.

    At 24" X 38" or just over 6 sq. ft., you would be pushing it to get more than 2 standards (one should have 4 sq ft). If they live in a warm area and can use the run every day, it might be enough room. Someone else will address bantam numbers.

    Love, Linn B (aka Smart Red) HFH builder in south-est, central-est Wisconsin
  6. Ranch

    Ranch New Egg

    Nov 6, 2011

    Quote:The sides have rough-sawn plywood 3/8". The roof and floor are 1/2" plywood.

    Quote:The current base is 2 x 2 cedar. I was thinking of putting cedar 2 x 4 under that.

    Quote:Thanks for the advice. When I was a kid my grandfather made a coop like this for us. I vaguely remember but the design of this coop I made is based on what he made. He was a chicken farmer by trade. I swear we had 8 hens in there. Maybe it was overcrowded. I wonder if this coop I made can handle more than 2 hens. In any case, I don't think my mom wants more than 2 or 3.

    Thanks for any followup.
  7. specklesmom

    specklesmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    Very nice work!!!
  8. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    My Coop
    Looks Great. Casnt wait to see the finished product.
  9. petejd

    petejd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2011
    Bluffton, SC.
    For the roof of nesting box, I've seen people use the membrane that is used for a shower pan. Can be bought a home depot/lowes by the foot.
  10. Linn Bee

    Linn Bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:The current base is 2 x 2 cedar. I was thinking of putting cedar 2 x 4 under that.

    Unless you plan to reinforce the bottom for moving purposes, I wouldn't add 2 x 4s. Cedar is cedar and the 2 x 2 will last just as long as the 2 x 4.

    How is the coop coming? When does Mom get it?

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