Some coop design questions--experts?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Concordmommy, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Concordmommy

    Concordmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Hi again all--just have some questions about my plan...

    1. do you HAVE to put your 2x4's from framing onto concrete piers or is that just extra protection from rotting? Can you just treat the bottom 2x4's with some kind of sealer/anti-rot stuff?

    2. one plan I saw had the hen house sided with fenceboards. Then they also wanted you to caulk the inside seams AND put plywood on the inside walls as well. Is this overkill? Do you have to caulk if the boards fit together well? Or is that inviting drafts? I live in northern CA where it's pretty warm year round, but it does get a little chilly (down to the mid-30's at the lowest) in the winter. If I do have to put plywood on the inside walls, can I just pick a thin thickness and not 3/8?

    3. The same plan has you with just a mesh-top to the henhouse, no boards up there. Basically a big box with mesh on top, and then the corrugated plastic roof placed on top of that on rafters. Is this too much open-air? Or is that good for ventillation?

    I think that's all for now...I'm trying to tweak these plans to fit my space and it's really a lot harder than I thought. I think I'm obsessing a bit.
     
  2. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    the blocks will help protect the wood. If you buy treated lumber you shouldn't need to seal it. In warmer weather you will want a lot of ventilation so i wouldn't caulk. Roof sounds good as long as it provides shade and doesn't create heat. The clear plastic may cause this problem so i used corrigated metal for mine here in Texas. Hope this helps and welcome to BYC
     
  3. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    Northern Nevada here, east of the Sierras.

    I think it depends on how wet and windy it gets in your location. If you get a lot of rain or wind I would caulk the joints or use siding sheets instead. And same for the roof. I like the ventilation idea but I don't like wet birds. If you get blowing rain you might want to have a really good overhang on the roof part. A large overhang is nice in the summer too so it can provide some shade on hot days.
     
  4. wundernurse

    wundernurse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2009
    Atlanta
    concordmommy- Are you using the Garden coop plan?? If so it was the coop I built I and I love it!! I am in Atlanta and all that ventilation is great for our climate. I used the tinted plastic roofing panels so the girls don't bake in the summer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  5. dukecitychick

    dukecitychick Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    I set my coop on cinder blocks with pressure-treated 2x4's between the cinder blocks and the plywood flooring. I really didn't want to pour concrete! If I were really worried about rotting I would have maybe painted the underside of the floor before laying it down. But I live in New Mexico, so....

    I just actually made my coop page today if you want to take a look:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=26134

    I think if you overhang the roof quite a bit so it doesn't get WET in there, you can do without double walls, etc. I think chickens are tough and it seems to me they should have time to gradually grow feathers by next winter. It's not like you're moving them from Florida straight to an unheated barn in Alaska. But my coop hasn't been "winter-tested" yet, so maybe you shouldn't listen to me! :)
     
  6. Concordmommy

    Concordmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2009
    I'm thinking for the floor parts I'll use the treated lumber and not bother with the cinderblocks. I just don't want to deal with all that, especially if we have to end up moving it if someone turns us in for having it too close to our property line.

    Yes! It's the garden coop. I like the design, but I'm trying to tweak it to make it a bit smaller for the above reason. I think i'm just going to make it 4foot by 10 foot instead of 5 foot by 10 foot. would make it easier if we have to relocate it. I think I'll dig for the hardware cloth though for predators...we have something that is digging in our yard for grubs and I'm sure they'll do the same for chickens!

    I'd love to see pics of your garden coop!!
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:You mean, put small-dimension wood framing directly on the ground? Not a good idea in hardly any climates -- even if the wood is pressure-treated and/or sealed, or heck even *creosoted* (no longer legal in most places b/c of groundwater contamination and I sure wouldn't do it in a chicken house anyhow) it will just not last very long. And replacing rotted-out sills and bottom parts of framing is just about the worst repair job there is.

    Really really, use some sort of footing or something to keep your sills up off the ground if you are using house-style framing. Or build on pressure-treated 4x6 skids. (If you are doing a pole-built coop, using large dimension pressure-treated posts will substitute; but then to get a really good predatorproof interface between wall and ground you almost have to use a low cement-block kneewall or some such thing.)

    2. one plan I saw had the hen house sided with fenceboards. Then they also wanted you to caulk the inside seams AND put plywood on the inside walls as well. Is this overkill? Do you have to caulk if the boards fit together well? Or is that inviting drafts? I live in northern CA where it's pretty warm year round, but it does get a little chilly (down to the mid-30's at the lowest) in the winter. If I do have to put plywood on the inside walls, can I just pick a thin thickness and not 3/8?

    Caulk seams between the interior plywood, you mean? I would (caulking should be only in the joint, not accessible to chickens), or screw battens over them. It is not difficult and prevents drafts. No matter how well you cut your plywood, realistically there *will* be drafts. The resulting drafts would be tolerable (tho still not really a great thing) in the mid-30s, so you *could* skip it if you want I guess... however in any colder climate those drafts would create real frost and condensation problems, which make it hard to keep humidity down.

    To me 3/8" plywood IS pretty thin [​IMG], but if you would prefer 1/4" and can find a decent enough grade then sure, as long as the siding boards on the outside are in good shape. (I would not use thin plywood as the *only* wall; my uncle had a raccoon rip apart 3/8" plywood to get to stored birdseed...)

    3. The same plan has you with just a mesh-top to the henhouse, no boards up there. Basically a big box with mesh on top, and then the corrugated plastic roof placed on top of that on rafters. Is this too much open-air? Or is that good for ventillation?

    You might want a way to put something atop the mesh (to reduce ventilation) for cold nights, but in general in a hot climate it sounds reasonable to me.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  8. Concordmommy

    Concordmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Duke, so you put flooring down? I guess that would be my next question--what's the advantage of having flooring rather than just dirt? I was thinking if I had a floor then I wouldn't have to dig for the hardware cloth, but then it would be impossible to move later on if we had to (can you tell I'm paranoid about that?)

    We do get wind sometimes, and rain, but never more than a couple times a year. I may be able to put a tarp up for those times for the couple of days we have a lot of wind when it's also raining.
     
  9. Concordmommy

    Concordmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Pat, i mean caulking between the boards on the outside of the henhouse--they are fence boards. Can I just get away with JUST having the fence boards as the henhouse and not caulk or put any kind of liner inside of plywood?

    We're not HOT climate, but we do get pretty hot in the summer. can get up to 110 out back here if we have a heat wave. Normal summer temps can get up to the 80's and 90's. Typical spring/fall though is upper 50's, 60's to low 70's.
     
  10. flopshot

    flopshot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2009
    with temps like you have i don't see a need to caulk anything. think about all the birds living in barns. you won't get much draft through a slight gap. as far as the floor, you could plant some 4X4 posts to frame from and deck that. i preffer either that or a concrete floor as i don't trust free standing structures such as those on blocks.
     

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