Started a new coop today. Probably shouldn't quit my day job...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hungry hunter, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. hungry hunter

    hungry hunter Chirping

    Mar 9, 2016
    the Heart of Texas
    We got several chicks last week from TSC and I immediately started thinking of a simple (and fairly cheap) coop build. We have a small coop/tractor, but there's no way it would accommodate our new arrivals. So I set down and drew up some plans for a new coop. Today I went and bought the supplies and made quite a bit of progress. I thought I'd share a few photos and see what y'all think.

    Here is the before picture of the old coop/tractor in part of the run. The run extends along the fence to the left. I'm not sure on square footage, but it should be plenty big for our flock. [​IMG]
    Since I want to minimize the amount of materials to buy, I've decided to use the wall of our garage as one of the walls of the coop. I just need to figure out a way to anchor it.

    Here's a shot of most of the framing finished. [​IMG]
    The coop is 5'x8', so I think it should be large enough for 7 standards and 2 bantams. I'll may still use the older coop as well since our older hen uses it now.

    Here is all I was able to complete today. [​IMG]
    I got the hardware cloth and OSB up on the sides and holes cut for the chicken door and the nest boxes. The nest boxes will go on the long side opposite the garage wall and be external to the coop so we can gather eggs w/o going inside. Since it will be a while before our new girls start laying, I cut the hole out for the boxes and nailed the cut out piece back in.

    All I have to do now is hang the doors, find some metal for the roof, and paint it. I think I can find some salvaged metal from an old barn at work. Hopefully, I can find some cheap paint that isn't too awful of a color. So far, I have about $130 in it (hardware cloth is expensive!!), and I could have saved some money if I would have brought my scrap pieces of lumber to our new house when we moved...

    I may end up putting OSB and hardware cloth on the 4th wall and adding a floor, but I'm trying to do a little at a time as money allows. I felt like I needed to get at least this much done quickly because the chicks will soon outgrow their brooder.

    We don't have much of a predator problem here in town, just a stray cat here and there. The Blue Lacy is good at chasing those off. In the time we have lived here, the biggest pest problem I've had is house sparrows. I'm starting with keeping those out, and I'll upgrade is rodents start to become a problem.

    I'll add some photos when I get the roof and paint on.

    Sorry for the long post, but I thought I'd share my backyard chicken experience. This coop is no where near as fancy or nice as most of the coops I've seen on here. That being said, it did go up in about 6 hrs by someone who is in no way a carpenter. I'm pretty happy with how it has turned out so far, but I probably shouldn't quit my day job.
    1 person likes this.
  2. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Songster

    Oct 16, 2015
    Nothing to be bashful about with that coop. Looks well designed and constructed. I've seen "carpenters" do worse work on people houses.

    I'm about halfway thru a coop build myself that I am waiting to post about until it is complete. Some will always find something they don't like about it, but that looks great IMO.
  3. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chirping

    Jan 24, 2016
    Looks good, are you planning some type of overhang for the roof? That could be an issue, especially with the HC ventilation along the top.
  4. hungry hunter

    hungry hunter Chirping

    Mar 9, 2016
    the Heart of Texas

    Yes, I'm planning on having at least a foot of overhang. A previous coop I built that was a similar design (but much smaller) had about a foot of overhang and not much problem with rain getting inside.
    My thinking is that we don't get a whole lot of rain in this part of Texas - but it does get hot. I wanted as much ventilation as possible while offering adequate protection from rain. I covered parts of the hardware cloth areas on my first coop during times of really wet or cold weather, so I think I could do that again here.

    Any thought on other ways to have better ventilation while still protection the birds from rain?
  5. hungry hunter

    hungry hunter Chirping

    Mar 9, 2016
    the Heart of Texas
    Here's an update on the coop:

    Last night I got the roof on. It was salvaged metal I got for free.
    Then I realized that with the metal on, the coop wouldn't fit under the garage roof. So I had to do some shovel work to get it to fit and leveled.

    Today I hung the doors and slapped a coat of paint on it. I'm not crazy about the color, but it was cheap.
    (sorry for the poor picture quality)

    There's a pretty big gap around the door, but I don't think it will be a problem. If it is, I'll figure out a way to shrink the gap.

    All I have left to do is put some roots in and it will be ready for the chicks.

    I want to thank whoever on the forum posted the tip to put a gate latch release inside the coop. All I did was drill a hole near the latch and run a piece of parachute cord to the inside of the coop.
    I'm glad I did it because the first time I went in the coop to do something, the door closed and latched.
  6. Sutremaine

    Sutremaine Songster

    Aug 19, 2014
    How big is 'pretty big'? Rats can get through remarkably small holes, and a larger creature could get its paws into the gap and start pulling.

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