Red-Neck Crate Coop..

tonbetter

In the Brooder
Jul 13, 2021
9
43
41
Central NC
So when the wife said to get Chickens I jumped at the chance and attempted to do it as cheaply as possible. I ordered the "Ladies" and went to FB marketplace in search of materials using my favorite 4 letter F word... FREE. I lucked out and found someone who was looking to offload a huge crate that was used to ship "airplane parts". My intention was to cut it in half equally however, due to damage, I had to make do with what was salvageable.. Did I mention it was free?

Anywho. I simply removed the bottom of the large piece and turned it over on top of the other to make a large box with an overhang on one end. There was some internal 2x4 structure to the crate that facilitated instant roosting poles. Work Smarter, not harder kids! I had some leftover decking and other Free wood laying around and created a sloping roof to provide some ventilation. I cut in some more ventilation and added a few doors and a nesting box and many days later (lets get real here.. many.. many on again off again days later) the coop was done.

I followed it up by adding a rain barrel to create an automatic watering system.. with 3 gravity cups inside and another 3 cups to be added later outside. All in All. I have about $75 to $85 in materials invested in the coop. I'm confident it will hold at least 12 to 15 of the 19 birds we got from Cackle.. (We ordered 15.. they sent 19. 1 extra for each breed. Buff Orpingtons, Cinnamon Queens, Barred Rocks, and Silver Laced Wyandottes) We will offload the ones that don't fit friends that have their own flocks. We ended up with 1 Rooster that my 10 year old affectionately calls "Pecker". I have informed him that we need to find an alternate name for the rooster... he's uncertain why?!?! Did I mention he is 10... Irony eludes him... In due time my son.. in due time..

Anywho... Let me know what you think.. Just please don't be ugly about it..

PS.. I still need to seal the roof and add the PVC guttering.. Then the Red-Neck Chicken shack will be fully complete.

PSS... the man child next to the coop in the photos is my 13yr old.. who stands almost 6ft tall to provide perspective.. because I didn't do any sort of precise measuring during this build.. I do build other things.. but this was fun to do on the fly..

"Pecker" wondering why I am so close to his ladies..
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How it all began....
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The angled bottom is removable to access the coop to clean it out and doubles as a poo board that is under the back roost.. a wheelbarrow fits perfectly under the floor.. ask me how I know? (just the way I planned it!) The 4" PVC pipe will be cut in half to make the gutter and routed to the 2" into the rain barrel
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Sloped roof with sheet metal and hardware cloth dome over the top between the roof and the inside of the coop.
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The access side drops down for quick access to fill the hanging feeder and clean out the water cups if needed. The vent door on top closes with a turn of the wood pieces holding it open on each side.. the wood becomes the lock for the vent door when the weather turns bad.. I will be creating a door for the forward-facing vent as well.
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Man Child wondering why he's performing forced labor... (Because I said so!)
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Terrible view of the inside showing one of 3 roosting poles and the watering system... and "Pecker" watching my every move...
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You know who and a couple of the "Ladies" enjoying the view..
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The Temp pen that we used to get them some yard time when not locked up in solitary.. I mean the brooder box..
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3KillerBs

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Welcome to BYC! :frow from the Sandhills.

Great venting and roof overhang. Ventilation is especially critical in our climate because heat is much more dangerous to our birds than cold is and you've put the vents right where they belong.

What are the actual dimensions?

I'm concerned about the slanted floor because chickens need about 4 square feet per adult, standard-sized hen inside their coop and they won't be able to use the slanted area.

However, if you build a secured run that is at least partially covered with a solid roof and never close the pop door that can function as an open air style coop -- given that in our climate there will be very few times that the birds will need to be confined to the coop itself. :)
 

tonbetter

In the Brooder
Jul 13, 2021
9
43
41
Central NC
Welcome to BYC! :frow from the Sandhills.

Great venting and roof overhang. Ventilation is especially critical in our climate because heat is much more dangerous to our birds than cold is and you've put the vents right where they belong.

What are the actual dimensions?

I'm concerned about the slanted floor because chickens need about 4 square feet per adult, standard-sized hen inside their coop and they won't be able to use the slanted area.

However, if you build a secured run that is at least partially covered with a solid roof and never close the pop door that can function as an open air style coop -- given that in our climate there will be very few times that the birds will need to be confined to the coop itself. :)
I would have to measure to tell you exactly. I put a piece of the PVC wall panel on the floor to prevent the droppings from getting to the wood floor in the event the bedding doesn't soak everything up. I had to cut about 1 foot off of the end of it so my guess is the floor space is 4x7.. I have a 160ft electric fence that will be going in this weekend so once that is in place the plan is to allow them to come and go as freely as they want. If they do well and we don't suffer any loss. I plan to get another 160ft section to double the "protected area"
 

3KillerBs

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I would have to measure to tell you exactly. I put a piece of the PVC wall panel on the floor to prevent the droppings from getting to the wood floor in the event the bedding doesn't soak everything up. I had to cut about 1 foot off of the end of it so my guess is the floor space is 4x7.. I have a 160ft electric fence that will be going in this weekend so once that is in place the plan is to allow them to come and go as freely as they want. If they do well and we don't suffer any loss. I plan to get another 160ft section to double the "protected area"

Technically, 4x7 of actual, flat floor space would be enough for 7 hens. (Here's a good article on why these numbers are guidelines rather than hard-and-fast rules: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/how-much-room-do-chickens-need.66180/ ).

My experience so far in a similar climate is that, even though the guidelines are suggested minimums, you *might* push that to 10 -- especially if you have sheltered areas in the run so that they can go out comfortably even in heavy rain. (Though you won't have room to integrate new birds and might still see bullying behavior, especially related to roosting).

This is what my area looked like this past summer before we finished building the new coop:
0813211502_HDR.jpg


See how they have multiple options for getting out of either sun or rain without having to actually go into the coop?
 

tonbetter

In the Brooder
Jul 13, 2021
9
43
41
Central NC
Technically, 4x7 of actual, flat floor space would be enough for 7 hens. (Here's a good article on why these numbers are guidelines rather than hard-and-fast rules: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/how-much-room-do-chickens-need.66180/ ).

My experience so far in a similar climate is that, even though the guidelines are suggested minimums, you *might* push that to 10 -- especially if you have sheltered areas in the run so that they can go out comfortably even in heavy rain. (Though you won't have room to integrate new birds and might still see bullying behavior, especially related to roosting).

This is what my area looked like this past summer before we finished building the new coop: View attachment 2851964

See how they have multiple options for getting out of either sun or rain without having to actually go into the coop?
Understood. Thanks for the advice.. I did plan to add a few low shelter in the fenced-in area for options for during the day. The tree next to the coop will also be in the fenced-in area as well as the space under the coop. We are aware that we will need to downsize.. but plan to see how the flock does before making the call. As it stands we plan to sell at least 4 birds to get back to 15 in a couple of weeks and if needed we will go lower on the count. They just turned 6 weeks old on 29 September so we have a little time before we need to make that call.

I see you have what looks like an electric fence.. How is that experience so far? This is all new for us so we will be doing a lot of trial and error.
 

3KillerBs

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Jul 10, 2009
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I see you have what looks like an electric fence.. How is that experience so far? This is all new for us so we will be doing a lot of trial and error.

I love my electric net.

I will admit that some of my birds can fly over it, especially youngsters and my California White, who not only flies like a helicopter to get out but also knows how to fly back in -- unlike all the others who get out then pace the fence complaining.

I will admit that it's annoying that chicks can go right through the mesh for several months.

I will admit that my Solar Intellishock charger needs a plug-in charge about once a week or so in the winter when days are short.

But despite these drawbacks I think it's one of the best investments I've made in the chickens. I get a huge run, the flexibility to move it to fresh ground, and a reasonable degree of peace of mind in re: dogs, coyotes, raccoons, and the like. (I have to live with the hawk risk -- one of the reasons I'm mainly choosing larger chickens who are less appealing as prey).

It was dead easy to setup even with absolutely zero electric fence experience and it's easy to manage.

This is the kit I bought: https://www.premier1supplies.com/p/poultrynet-plus-48-inch-starter-kit?cat_id=190

There are advantages and disadvantages for plug-in, battery, and solar chargers. Here's a good article on all things electric fence related: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/a-treatise-on-electric-fences-for-poultry.72229/
 

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