So i've decided to build a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Gridguru, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. Gridguru

    Gridguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,

    I've been lurking in the background and reading many many posts for a while now. I decided to go ahead and join and post updates on my coop construction in case any future first-timers (like me) might find this helpful. I hope thats okay.

    So big picture story before i get started. We moved a little bit out in the country a few years ago and my wife has been begging for chicken ever since. I've always said no. Then some friends got chickens a year ago. They don't take very good care of their chickens unfortunately, but my wife goes over almost every day to sit with them and take them snacks. They love her. They run up and crouch to be picked up every time they see her.

    So i caved. Plus, i really dig the design and construction process, so it's a win-win i guess. I am a big researcher and have been reading everything i can find about owning chickens, but that said, i am definitely a novice. If you see anything that's out of place or wrong, please let me know.

    The coop will be a 6x6 raised base. It will have a slant roof, 6.5 feet from the base on the high side. The nesting boxes will protrude from the one side. The plan is for 8 chickens. We will have a run as well, but i'll tackle that when this is done.

    My plan is to build it in pieces, starting with the base, and then doing each framed wall separately. That way I can do the construction in the garage and driveway rather than in the backyard. I can then carry all the pieces out to the yard to assemble when I am ready.

    I started with the base, which should be the heaviest part by far, but we should be able to manage it okay.


    So I cut the pieces that will form my base flooring for the coop. The coop will be big enough so that we can get inside to clean, so that’s why it’s not just a bunch of 2x4s. It will need to support our weight and the weight of the framed walls/roof. Oh, and the chickens (negligible).

    [​IMG]

    Next I added 18inch 4x6 posts in the corners. My neighbor had grape vines for years and gave me his old posts. They are awesome. Weathered, straight and in good condition. Oh, and free.

    [​IMG]


    Legs on, I flipped the whole thing upright and added the framing at the bottom of the legs. The one side is open as chickens will be able to go under there to get out of the sun or rain, dust baths, run away from mean chickens, etc...

    [​IMG]

    Finally, I cut the plywood to fit the top. I am not going to attach it however as Base + Plywood would be too heavy to carry all the way to the back. I’ll secure the ply as I assemble. The roll on top is vinyl flooring. I’ll put this down on the plywood as it will make coop cleanup easier down the road i hope.

    [​IMG]

    More to come. I’ll be taking my time on this as we wont have chickens ready for the coop until April most likely.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    You're a good husband, looking good. Edited to say your coop looks good, not you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    [​IMG]


    Nice one!

    CT
     
  4. Gridguru

    Gridguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ha!
     
  5. Gridguru

    Gridguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2016
    Dallas, TX area.
    So this might go quicker than i thought. Good plans and good tools make things much easier!

    Today i put together one of the wall frames. This one will be the side with a big door (4'-3" x 4'-10"). We'll use this to get in to clean the coop when we need to.

    Here it is on the base to give an idea of the size. This shot doesn't show the door frame/jamb.

    [​IMG]

    Here it is with the door frame inside it. This isn't currently attached as it will be floated and shimmed when i install it to make sure it's level (even if the rest of the thing isn't!). I don't want a door that big swinging back closed on my daughter or wife.

    [​IMG]


    It's 6'-5" on the high side and 5'-5" on the low side. I know that wont be much of a pitch on the roof, but it should be enough to keep rain moving down. I don't need to worry about snow here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  6. Gridguru

    Gridguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was able to find an old barn window (34"x35") that i will end up putting on the wall opposite the big door. I will be able to open the window, but there will be a screen on the other side, so the window can be open throughout the summer. The "screen" will be secured hardware cloth. I think it will be nice to see the chickens do their thing through the window.

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    The window is missing one pane, and it will need all new glazing as the old stuff is falling apart in most places. So i had to use a trusty painters tool to remove all of the old glazing. Next i get to learn how to glaze a window. One more thing i've never done before.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Wow, we use plexiglass, and good call on the hardware cloth, keeps out the sparrows.
     
  8. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    Nice work so far!

    Suggestions if I may....

    Since the coop is elevated make it so that if a hen decides to lay UNDER the coop you can get to her or the eggs as need be. Easy enough by making drop down sides or lift up sides on the lower sections. Not sure if I am being clear in what I am meaning there.

    External nest boxes take extra effort to make sure they stay dry inside. I am sure there are lots of options there. Just wanted you to know that.

    The only experience I have ever had with mites was on the 2 coops that had external nest boxes. I think they got damp and made a good home for the mites.

    Just a yesterday I had to dig a broody chicken out from under my massive coop. NOT fun at all for either of us.

    This is the coop I made. It now has a lining of flagstone to keep them from digging under again.
    [​IMG]

    They dug under where the stepping stone is leaning in this pic. The structure is 8x14 so not easy to get her out.
     
  9. Gridguru

    Gridguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good feedback, thank you!

    I've already told the wife, the first time they lay eggs under there, i'm closing off the access. But i like the idea of the drop down/lift up sides.

    I think i have a good plan to keep the external nesting boxes dry, but i'll watch closely as i really don't want mites.

    Love the clean lines of your coop. I plan to do the same thing with the flagstone around the edges of the run. Our ground here is real rocky, so it's already difficult for critters to dig in, but i plan to bury an 18in apron as much as i can and line it all with stone. Functional, and good looking i think.
     
  10. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    You wont really need to dig and bury the wire. If you lay it on the ground and pin it down or add stone on top in places it wants to raise up the grasses will take hold and secure it very well. You wont even be able to see the wire within one season. I did it and it kept a fox out. He dug trying in a couple places only to hit wire and move on.

    Thank you for the compliments on my coop. I am rather proud of it since I am just an old lady and made it myself. Hubby helped raise the roof rafters and set the walls that I prefabbed in my shop.
    (Yes MY shop) I love to build useful things. [​IMG]
     

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