So tell me, what would you do differently with your coop???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by OBnurse, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. OBnurse

    OBnurse Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2010
    North Western Wisconsin
    We are going to build a coop next spring. Live in Northern WI. We plan on having 14-20 hens and 2-3 roosters.

    What should we do??

    What did you do that you wish you hadn't??

    Or what didn't you do that you wish you had??

    What changes would you make if you had it to do over again with designing and building your coop?

    To insulate or not? To have a window or not?
    How many nest spots? Storage??
     
  2. sillybirds

    sillybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2008
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    Bigger.
    Roosts further apart so they don't pick at each other so much.
    Larger roof overhangs over exterior door and nest box opening.
     
  3. OBnurse

    OBnurse Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2010
    North Western Wisconsin
    Quote:Thanks!!

    Quick question though, What is a nest box opening??

    (sorry...newbee..)
     
  4. Iheartchicks<3:)

    Iheartchicks<3:) Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Quote:Thanks!!

    Quick question though, What is a nest box opening??

    (sorry...newbee..)

    if you dont want to collect the eggs from the coop, you can hinge a door on the outside that you swing open that accesses you to the eggs.
     
  5. OBnurse

    OBnurse Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2010
    North Western Wisconsin
    Oh, Duh!!! Thanks! LOL

    I wanted to do that. But then my Dad thought that since were were insulating it, and we get cold winters that it would be better to limit doors and keep all walls insulated. If we lived in a warmer climate I would love to do that!! But it would probably be better to just deal with having to go into the coop.

    Thanks for you input!
     
  6. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    The only thing I wish I did different (but I'm fixing in the spring) is actually fixing up the roof (it leaks) and getting the front door finished (so I can have it open to sunligt but noone can actually exit through it.

    My coop is about 10'x14' and can fit quite a few chickens. Currently I have two big roosts, one on each side, that are made completely of, well, a small tree trunk. I have over 40 hens in the coop and there's plenty room for me to still have more. The really nice thing is that there's plenty room to walk around, easily clean up, and have a couple feeders in the coop. Also, the perches are quite a few feet above the ground, so we've never had predator problems.

    I'll get pics tomorrow.
     
  7. OBnurse

    OBnurse Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2010
    North Western Wisconsin
    Yes! Pics would be fantastic!
     
  8. OrphanNanny

    OrphanNanny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2010
    Wausau, Wisconsin
    First of all...plan for more space, because you are most likely going to want MORE the following year [​IMG]

    I was fortunate enough to have an old shed/garage to start with...so I had way more room than was needed (to start with...)
    we levled out the dirt floor and laid down heavy plastic, then threw some gravel on top...built a floor with rough lumber we had cut from a tree that came down during a storm the winter before. ]
    Built up and insulated with fiber board on the south side, what was originally the two garage doors...put in one screened window in on the south side, "people" door with window and another window on the west side, chicken door, to outside enclosure, and another "people" door with window on the north side...and with a light in the winter, had eggs everyday!
    Now that's without any REAL insulation, they did just fine...however there were some mornings with frozen waterers and once or twice I had found a frozen egg. So I did suspend a space heater from the ceiling with a metal hook, it hung about 3 ft off the floor...it had one of those safety settings that i would shut off if tipped over, but I still didn't want the risk so I set it at the lowest setting and hung it up so the girls couldn't mess with it.
    Did the whole "deep litter" method, which my garden thanks me for....

    That was last year and my first year to have chickens....this year I just had to get more....and with some more free and found materials, I've now got a giant, thermal pane picture window in on the south side of the coop, just moved the little sreened one I had over a few feet...was able to reshingle, vent and insulate the roof....I'm thinking with all the remodeling and the sweet redecorating, my new and old girls will be cozy, warm, and happily laying all winter long again [​IMG]

    I've got a mixed flock of about 35 with 2 roosters....I have a nesting box that an "old" friend of ours insisted on building, and he's 91, so I wasn't about to disagree, and it has 10 nests in it, more than I need, but nice to have in case I want to and will most likely, get more chickens.

    I was also able to build an innner enclosure, that was big enough to fit the brooder box that our old friend built for us, and to keep the babies away from the older hens this last spring...some 2x4s framed off and some chicken wire, and another old, free door.

    I guess my main advice is to plan BIGGER...than what you think you'll need, try to "find" as many building materials as you can, and then find or buy a little extra, especially for chicken wire and fencing, because there will most likely be someplace, you don't want them getting into or out of [​IMG]
     
  9. OBnurse

    OBnurse Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2010
    North Western Wisconsin
    Thanks!
    Great advice!!
     
  10. Tianychickies

    Tianychickies Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2010
    Don't worry about the insulation so much, especially with so many birds. Make sure you have good ventilation because it will get very moist in there if it is air tight. When you make the roosts use the flat side of a 2X4 or 2X6 so that the birds have to flatten their feet and fully cover them with their bodies. I didn't insulate the main part of my coop but I did insulate the attached nesting boxes just because I thought that area would get the coldest, and it seems to have kept it cozy enough for them. My husband did not want to listen to me when I said to put ventilation holes under the eaves but now we are going to put more because its not enough still. I live in Alaska and as long as you have cold hardy breeds they will do great.
     

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