Questions about coop design (I'm totally new at this)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SophieLain127, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. SophieLain127

    SophieLain127 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So ive been playing with some ideas and would like some opinions and possibly some advice from those of you who have already constructed coops.....

    Have any of you used a Solar Panel from like Harbor Freight (a discount hardware store) to power a heat lamp or lights?


    If I go the solar panel route I was thinking of getting three for the roof it would run me about $120. One for the light, One for the heat and one for the heated water.


    Has anyone used Fiber board or packing peanuts in order to insulate? If not then what type of insulation do you recommend.


    Is it better to start off with a few hens in a big house or a small house that will need to be upgraded if I get more chickens?


    Has anyone used rolled vinyl flooring or linoleum for their coop? any suggestions?


    I was thinking of putting alot of windows in does anyone have alot of experience with this and if so does it really keep up egg production in the winter?


    Is there anyone who has stellar picture of the inside of their small coop?


    Is it better to have a variety of hens or just one breed?


    Thanks for your help I'd like to get this right before I build and there is possibly a disaster.....
     
  2. sweetie54

    sweetie54 Out Of The Brooder

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    this is what i did and i didnt know anything!!! I just looked around on the web and came up with this idea and its works just fine!!!I wanted the coop to be comfortable both for me to get in there and clean and for my chicks!!! So i used the fence as one wall and built a run along side of it!!! its about 6 feet high and 6 feet long!! i put the coop which it just a box with a door and a window inside the run too!!! This way i can leave for up to 3 days and my chicks are fine!!!! Then on the outside i fenced off a play area for them and i let them run around outside and i have a fenced in property too so they run around all over when i'm home!!!! I have 2 ducks that live in there also and they all get along!!!!
     
  3. Luvducks

    Luvducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Colorado
    I am also New at this. Checking out design ideas on the web. The solar panels sound great! I live in Western Colorado so it would be great to put this sun to use instead of having everything plugged in.
    I already heat water for Horses and Rabbits and now i will have to keep water from freezing for Ducks.
     
  4. golden comets

    golden comets Out Of The Brooder

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    Next month will be a year since I got my first 10 chicks and one rooster.I used my granddaughters play house to get me started and see if I would like it(my dh told me ,wait untill you have to go through the winter with them,we live northern maine)WELL I HAVE BEEN THROUGH THE WINTER AND I ORDERED 20 MORE!!!!It`s adivctive,I have 10 golden comets and 10 black sexlinks,I have ordered 10 more golden comets and 10 aurucaunas that will be here next month,they will be day old chicks.Golden comets and sexlinks are great layers of brown large eggs and never stopped all winter plus they are winter harder.Now to answer some of your questions(1),I was going with vinyl flooring but asked around and not a good idea for me as it will slippery I think,now thats just me a lot of peaple like it.Starting with a small house and building a much bigger one this spring has worked for me.(3)We are going to insulate with the paper back fiber glass only because its cheaper for us,I think you can use almost anything to insulate with as long as the chickens can not get at it to eat it as they will eat almost anything.(4) I was going to put in solar panels and then I was told how hot it would be in the summer if thats the only place they have to go to get out of the sun,so no solar panels for me,but two really big windows for sun and air and vents in the top for ventalation year around.You really need good ventalation,it keeps the smell down in the winter and you will have healthier chickens.This forum is great as many others are for finding answers to your questions,I am an avid reader on here as with other forums,try Daves Gardern.com and go to poultry and livestock once you get on,you can read all kinds of things.I hope this helps some,I know once you get your coop and run and chicks you will get addicted like the rest of us. Good Luck
     
  5. SophieLain127

    SophieLain127 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The solar panels I've choosen are 5watt. Each one is strong enough for one light bulb or small electrical item. In the summer time I will be removing the the electrical items excluding the regular light (so when I'm cleaning) I was going to see what building materials I can get from some of the construction sites around my house (i mean they are just throwing it away anyways). Also I was going to look in to a small clip style fan like the ones you would use on a stroller or something similar for my hen house here in ohio.

    Apparently in Columbus Ohio I have to have my coop and property inspected and approved in order to own chickens. So I have to bend over backwards for this so I want to make sure I'm doing it right.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Remember you will need a battery and controller -- otherwise the lights will only work when the sun is shining, which is not usually when you want lights [​IMG]

    Also, if you are thinking you'll run a heatlamp off solar panels you need to get professional advice on the sizing of the system, it will be somewhat expensive (remembering that heatlamps are 250 watts, that's a *lotta* juice...) (and heated waterer bases are still about 100-125 watts each)

    I'd look into this a lot further, get pro advice on sizing the system, before buying anything.

    Is it better to start off with a few hens in a big house or a small house that will need to be upgraded if I get more chickens?

    If you can afford to build a larger coop, do it now -- it is WAY cheaper and easier than discovering you've built something too small (adding-on or building a second one is a lot more trouble and expense than building larger to begin with. If you decide you don't like chickens after all, you will then ahve a nice storage building or small shop or potting shed or whatnot)

    Has anyone used rolled vinyl flooring or linoleum for their coop?

    Yes, about half of BYC to judge by posts. Read through old topics or use the 'search' function, you will find a huge number of threads about it. Readers Digest Version: you need sufficient bedding on it to be nonslippery; some people really like it, others like me think it is no better than anything else but also no worse; sheet vinyl is more reliable than the vinyl tiles.

    I was thinking of putting alot of windows in does anyone have alot of experience with this and if so does it really keep up egg production in the winter?

    In principle chickens need a 14-hr day to lay. (In reality, it varies WILDLY, some needing more light than that, others laying thru the winter even with 7-hr days). Windows will not extend the time between sunrise and sunset; but they will ensure your birds are experiencing as long a day length as your latitude permits.

    Is there anyone who has stellar picture of the inside of their small coop?

    Check out all the many many coop pages linked to from the Coop Design section of this site, link at the very tippy top of this page.

    Is it better to have a variety of hens or just one breed?

    Whatever floats your boat [​IMG] -- depends entirely on tastes and goals.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     

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