Progress thread, coop design and building



Nov 9, 2020
Southern Indiana
Based on an advise of a very helpfull and experienced member, k0k0ska, I am starting with this thread. I am in a very early stage of a design phase. We plan to have 8-9 hens and a rooster.
So far I have received a lot of inputs from many members and I have changed my general design specs. At very beginning, based on few of my neighbors who had chickens for some years and who didn’t have problems (or not significant to tell me) my initial general design was as follows:
- 4’x8’ floor by 5’ heigh walls,
(which would be 3.2 ft2 /chicken),
- 0.2 ft2 winter ventilation area / 10 ft2 floor
(or in more common metrics 0.06 ft2/chicken)
- 2 ft2 summer ventiliation area / 10 ft2 floor
(or 0.65 ft2/chicken)
Of course this depends quite a lot on the coop location (like in shade) and on the litter management. Ovewheling inputs and various design even in more northern areas than mine (southern Indiana) led me to these changes, which are my final:
- 5’x8’ floor by 6’ heigh walls,
- 4 ft2/ chicken
- 2.25 ft2 winter ventilation area / 10 ft2 floor
( or 0.9 ft2 / chicken, but some can be closed in rare events of sub zero temperature)
- 3.9 ft2 summer ventilation area / 10 ft2 floor, my coop will be in the shade all afternoon
(or 1.5 ft2 / chicken).

Will follow with some more details of my design and ask some related questions for the imputs.
I have read many threads about the roost perches design. There doesn’t appear to be a consensus about it. Some members have 2x4 with wide side up, some have 2x4 with narrow side and some have round perches. A fairly detailed experimental research papers (in Germany) has shown that chickens (what kind?) in general proffered for sitting a square perch, about 1.7” with rounded corners.

Also, they found that for standing (and moving around) they preferred round design. So, I think I will go with a “hybrid” design, which will have features of both the square and the round perch. For a longer than 4 ft perch I would have a center support or 2x4 attached underneath. Here is my sketch:
Here is my concenptual sketch of the coop. I have a question, regarding the door. I plan to use an old door which has a simple round knob as a handle. Initially i planned to remoove it and install a locking hasp. Now, I would like to ask for opinion/experience regarding raccoons capability to rotate round door knob by 45 degrees and then pull it open. I hope they couldn’t do that, since I would prefer to to use the door as it is. D6B90FA2-8A1A-48E8-8130-D96E33AD4087.jpeg


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Any other comments on the concept of the coop, or any related suggestions?
BTW, since I plan to use a deep bedding, I plan to have a removable plywood panel at the bottom of the main door in order to prevent bedding spilling out.
Nice overhangs, will you add fly rafters for overhangs on gable ends?

Not sure about coon turning doorknob, better to add latch, IMO.
Yes, I think so. Initially I thought just to have 4“ or so small overhang on gables end. But thinking some more I think to be good to protect quite more those side walls. Yes, I will have a fly rafters and plan 12” overhangs.

What do you think about raccoons being able to rotate a door knob by 45 degrees and pull door open?!
After some more thinking on the design I am now planning some more details about the lumber size and floor design.
At this time I am thinking to use 4x6 posts. I believe that for my small coop, 5’x8’ with 6 ft high walls that is the sufficient size of posts.

i have been considering to have insulated floor made of 2x4 lumber with 3.5” R13 batts. But due to more complicated ways how to attach such floor to the posts (and somewhat due to extra cost) I just wonder if I should have such floor. I am in southern Indiana with relatively mild climates and also plan to use deep bedding inside the coop which should provide nice insulation.

Any opinions/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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