Soliciting for the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

SoonerFan918

Hatching
Dec 11, 2015
9
0
7
Eastern Oklahoma
Hey BYC Family,

I'm in the process of building my first coop and I've seen a lot of really neat ideas sifting through the many posts and pic. It's a little overwhelming with all the information out there, so I thought I would come out and ask everyone for...

The Good...must have's that will make upkeep, cleaning, protection, etc. Hopefully you get the idea
The Bad... Things you may have tried and didn't work, needed modification, etc.
The Ugly... Things you would absolutely stay away from.

My current basic coop design is a 10' x 10' with a 6' x 10' run on the south and east side of the coop. I have plans for 4 nesting boxes with access from outside and all the basic amenities. I'll be getting my first set of chicks in May so I have plenty of time. I will try to upload some pics to show the progress as soon as I can

Thanks in advance for all the responses.
 

sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,757
772
Macon,GA
Hi, sorry I missed your new member post, so here's my welcome
welcome-byc.gif
.

The Good :
  • Wish I had room to add under the roots poop catchers - but my coop in GA is bedded all in sand, so not a big deal here. I think the original thread was called " lotsa Poop" ? Basically rectangular trays with sand under the roosts.
  • External nest boxes as you are planning. I think the recommendation is 1/4 hens, I have 2 with original flock of 6 - and 2 were frequently broody and when broody sat those two boxes -
    he.gif
    They all worked it out, but wish I had added a 1/3 ratio.
  • Cameras in and around the coop - a wonderful thing for peace of mind, especially early days out of the brooder to the coop. And loads of fun to see who was laying those first eggs!
  • 1/2 inch Commercial Grade Hardware cloth on all the coop window, run and 2 feet outside on the ground - tampered dirt topped with 25-30 pound steppers or rocks on top of that - In GA no digger will challenge that.
  • Ventilation - Hardware cloth on the windows with "shutters" that can be adjusted for wind block, rain blocks.
  • Shade - my gals don't like direct sun. This was a surprise and had to add a coolaroo shade to block am sun in the afternoon.
  • Ventilation, ventilation - no matter your area. But if you can build so the prevailing wind and rains don't blow into the coop would be best.

The Bad: Didn't build large enough to start and had to more than double the covered run area. It is a challenge to build around those hens. Look at the minimum recommendations and double that.

The Ugly: try to build and arrange the coop so the gals don't walk thru last night's poop to enter the nest boxes.
sickbyc.gif
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,740
34,220
1,122
Colorado Rockies
You definitely have the right idea - learn from others' mistakes and triumphs.

The best thing I ever did was to incorporate old full length glass doors in my run to act as wind breaks. This would work in coops, too. I installed an old garage window as a door on a new coop addition, and the chickens love basking in a sunny window on a cold winter day.

The worst thing I ever did was to make my coops too small. I didn't allow room for myself in the picture, and the chickens don't have enough room to jump down off the perch in a long, narrow coop.

Oh, and poop boards - still the very best thing I ever got off BYC!
 

sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,757
772
Macon,GA
The run should be bigger then coop..
4 Sq feet per bird in coop..
10 Sq feet per bird in run..
Hope that helps ya start out...
Honestly I think they need more room - these are the minimum amounts needed.

But maybe I pamper mine too much..
wink.png
 

BantyChooks

Pullarius
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Aug 1, 2015
58,922
208,027
1,727
Hmm... I gotta bunch of stuff!

The Bad:

Make sure the nest boxes are lower than the roosts, the previous owner of my coop had 4 1/2 foot high boxes screwed into the floor, its a pain to clean!

If you have bare two by fours on the inside of your coop, make doubly sure not to fasten nest boxes down. The chickens roost on the boxes and poop down the back, now I cannot remove the boxes, and I estimate there to be 3+ feet of poop down there! :th

Keep a seperate area of your coop screened off for injured hens, or as broody quarters if need be.

Good:
Keep a nice, sturdy feed box in the coop to put feed bags and anything else you want to be kept clean in it, it will save you money from rodents havin snacks!
 

BantyChooks

Pullarius
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Aug 1, 2015
58,922
208,027
1,727
The run should be bigger then coop..

4 Sq feet per bird in coop..

10 Sq feet per bird in run..

Hope that helps ya start out...

Honestly I think they need more room - these are the minimum amounts needed.

But maybe I pamper mine too much..;)


More room is way better! My chickens have almost 10 sq feet each in the coop, and about 100 sq feet per bird in the run. Always been pretty healthy exept for injuries and stuff.
 

sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,757
772
Macon,GA
Hmm... I gotta bunch of stuff!

The Bad:

Make sure the nest boxes are lower than the roosts, the previous owner of my coop had 4 1/2 foot high boxes screwed into the floor, its a pain to clean!

If you have bare two by fours on the inside of your coop, make doubly sure not to fasten nest boxes down. The chickens roost on the boxes and poop down the back, now I cannot remove the boxes, and I estimate there to be 3+ feet of poop down there!
th.gif


Keep a seperate area of your coop screened off for injured hens, or as broody quarters if need be.

Good:
Keep a nice, sturdy feed box in the coop to put feed bags and anything else you want to be kept clean in it, it will save you money from rodents havin snacks!
thumbsup.gif
out of ovations :(

Didn't think about then nest boxes 'cause mine are.

But I would add to the Good: easily removable roosts to clean or replace

And to the Bad: no crevices in the coop you cannot clean easily.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,133
38,093
1,096
southern Michigan
Welcome! Build BIG! We start with a few birds, and then want more, and more, and need a bigger coop and run. Your coop should hold twenty or so standard birds, or a few more bantams, but the run is small. Predator protection and ventilation are the biggest issues that we tend to learn about the hard way, so starting out with a very good plan will save you a lot of heartache. Avoid chicken wire! Deep bedding is the easiest way to manage the floor, which can be plain old dirt, as long as the coop perimeter is dig proof. Look in the catalogs, feathersite, and Henderson's breed chart, and some of the good poultry books, to pick some breeds that look interesting, and will be good in your climate. Order a mix, and see what you like. Breeds that looked perfect to me in theory, didn't always work out here. Cover your run, at least with netting to keep out hawks, and best with a roof, to keep out snow. Enjoy! Mary
 

SoonerFan918

Hatching
Dec 11, 2015
9
0
7
Eastern Oklahoma
I'm raising the coop where the floor will be 24 inches of the ground so that will give the full 16' by 20' run. I thought that the 100 sq ft under the coop would add some shade. plus I plan to add some removable wind breaks around the north and west sides to give them some protection from the wind
 

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