Question about 2-3 hen coop design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NerdDoc, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. NerdDoc

    NerdDoc Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all,

    First off, I'm new here and this is my first post. I've been lurking for a while and have learned quite a bit. My wife and I have been planning on chickens for quite some time now and we're close to taking the plunge and getting some urban chickens. I've been working on a design and hoping that I can build something that's fairly small and elevate a few feet off of the ground on a post (my wife saw a design like this that she liked). I was hoping for some feedback on my dimensions before I got too far, so I thought I'd post a picture of the basic interior design.

    We live in the Northwest (near Spokane, WA), so I want to make sure that this is going to be something our birds can be warm enough in during the winter months and not bake in during the summer months. I'd have a little ventilation and a spot I can open up for a window during summer months (and cover that with wire mesh probably). Have other plans for this box like a hinged floor, but mostly want to make sure the dimensions are about right for 2-3 birds - Easter Eggers or Marans maybe; at least something that size. Not sure if I need to plan on having food/water in the coop, or if I can have those in a different spot... I'm planning on them having free range of our backyard if I can figure out a way to keep them confined to our bushes and garden... but I don't want them on my patio furniture.

    Since I'm new here I also feel compelled to mention that I don't have any problems culling these hens after about a year (or any that turn out to be roosters) ;) My wife actually saw some blog post about a guy who claims he replies to the "free to good home" ads on Craigslist and ends up with a free roaster - brilliant :)

    Anyway, thank you for any feedback. It will look much nicer once I put some finishing touches on it...

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    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  2. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    This is the coop I will be using for some bantams in the spring. Its coop area is 3x4ft with an attached run that totals 28sqf. I got the plans on Ebay. I modified the run top from sloped to level and turned the 3 nest plan into a 2 nest box. You can make two large doors to make the cleaning even easier. the plan seller has many different syles for small coops with attached runs. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chicken-coo...323?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item23273093b3 If you don't want them on your patio furniture - let them have their own. lol THis is the guy that sells the nice plans
     
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    As a general rule, you want 4 square feet of floor space per bird in the coop, and 10 in the run. More is always better - crowding hens can lead to behavior and health issues. In such a small setup I would recommend getting quieter birds that tolerate confinement well, not busy active birds - google the Henderson chicken chart for breed characteristics.
     
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  4. NerdDoc

    NerdDoc Out Of The Brooder

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    Conny: I like the coop you built. Do you know how much you have in materials? I agree, it sounds like I may want to keep them confined to their coop rather than letting them roam around the backyard :)

    Muttsfan: Thanks for the tips on the space requirements and the chicken breed chart!

    My wife saw a chicken coop that looks like an over-sized birdhouse and she was hoping for something like that... but it may not be as practical as I had hoped...

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  5. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a nice looking coop but not very practical when egg collecting and coop cleaning time come around.
     
  6. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    Not sure, I build it in panels. I bought some 20-30$ of lumber here and there, then the paint and plywood. I think the most expensive thing was all the hardware cloth, which I highly suggest to use. I also used shingles instead of metal panels, the metal would be cheaper, but I wanted to practice shingle laying on a small scale. I don't think that I spend more than 250-300$ . Its really sturdy build. You can always extend the attached run to 6ft and get 36sqf of run. If needed you can also cover the top and part of the sides with Palram roof for weather protection .
    *I double checked the plans it says material cost about 250-275$
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  7. NerdDoc

    NerdDoc Out Of The Brooder

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    Agreed. That's why I'm trying to figure out how to make it more practical but still stick to the same type of design. I thought about extending a nesting box off of the back, so we wouldn't see it from the house, and either having a removable tray as the entire floor, or even hinging at the post and having it open on either side for dumping it out. I've got lots of carpentry and woodworking experience, so I'm up to the challenge... just want to be sure it will actually "work" when I get it done. But I'm thinking it may still need to lead into a run...
     
  8. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    If you only have only 2-3 chicken you could always just skip the outside nest box and build a little 12x12x12in cube for them to lay in, but this means you have to open the big coop door or cut a little extra door somewhere. In this one the floor could be theoretically removed as it sits on top of a few 2x2s nailed to each panel. I will just drive a wheel barrow next to it and scoop out with my old metal dust pan. Its only 4 ft deep and has doors on both sides so I don't have to go in deeper than 2ft. You could get a 10ftx10ft dog run. THey are fairly cheap at Tractor Supply. That would give them a 100 sqf run area. You could skip the attached run and just at shade panel or net top to keep them from escaping and aerial predators out.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. cknkids

    cknkids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One advantage of Conny's set up with an attached run, if the entire coop is predator proofed, if you leave the door open between the house and run open, the hens can go out in the run as soon as they're up so you can sleep in or if you go away for a few days they can still be outside. Its still nice to let them free range if you aren't going to be around to let them out or put them away it's convenient to have the run. When we first had ours, we wanted to go out for the afternoon & evening and I had to arrange for someone to come and shut the door at dusk to keep them safe. Now with and enclosed run we just lock them up and know they're safe. We hang their food and water under the house and in the enclosed run rodents can't get too it. Enjoy, we love our girls.

    Here's our set up. We built on an existing concrete pad. It's sized for 7 hens and is tall enough for DH to clean with out stooping, he's 6'3". Do consider lumber sizes. You an often build a little bigger for not much more money and you never know when chicken math will strike. Our kids, keep asking for more chicks. Best odd tip we got when building was to check amazon.com for hardware cloth, got trice as much for the same cost.
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