Starting coop tommorow and have questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Shellyb, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. Shellyb

    Shellyb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2009
    So, we've decided to go with an 8x8 coop with someones suggestion about not regreting a larger one. So, some questions left.

    1. Can we use plexiglass for windows? How should I go about it if so? I would like them to be removable in a sense with wire covering it so we can open it during summer. Will it be ok during winter?

    2. OSB, so much cheaper but is it going to be a regret on the outside? If only used on the inside should I paint it? What paints are best and not toxic for chickens?

    3. Still not sure how high up to put nesting boxes and roosts. I read that 2x4's do better for roosts then round ones, is that true? I imagine under the roosts the poop will be more concentrated in that area, anything I can do under that area to make it cleaner only a daily basis other then rake the whole thing out? Like a pan or something?

    4. Wood pellets for flooring? Hubby read on this but I have not. Anyone with experience and cost compared to some of the other materials?

    Don't have any real plans that we're going by, just our heads so this should be interesting, lol. Hey at least the girls are only a week old at this point. 3 amberlinks and 3 red sexlings. Anyone else have these birds? Thanks in advance. Shelly
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Sure, just weatherstrip or temporarily caulk for winter, no problems there at all. You can make a wooden frame to set the plexiglas into (best if it doesn't involve screwing thru the plexiglas, as it can be a bit finicky and inclined to crack if you don't do it right) and hinge the frame onto the coop, or any sort of removeable arrangement.

    Oftentimes it is easier though if you can find some used window(s) for real cheap or free, so keep your eyes peeled, something premade may turn up.

    2. OSB, so much cheaper but is it going to be a regret on the outside? If only used on the inside should I paint it? What paints are best and not toxic for chickens?

    If you want the coop to last as long as possible I'd use plywood not OSB on the outside, especially if you're in a wet/rainy climate. If primed and painted well, it will last for a while though, so I wouldn't totally rule it out (3/4" only, not thinner). OSB uses a lot of paint b/c of its rough texture -- prime well before painting, and apply multiple THIN coats not fewer thick coats. Any sort of paint is fine, they don't make paint with lead in it anymore and chickens don't eat non-peeling paint *anyhow* [​IMG]

    3. Still not sure how high up to put nesting boxes and roosts.

    Roosts distinctly higher than boxes; actual height depends on your breeds, coop design, and personal preference.

    I read that 2x4's do better for roosts then round ones, is that true?

    Chickens don't cling tightly to a perch the way a songbird or parrot does, so they do well with a sort of flattish roost as opposed to say a closet rod. (They *will* still roost on a closet rod, though, if given no alternative). The wide side of a 2x4 is best in northern climates to avoid frostbit toes; in always-warm climates you can use the 2" side if you really want although I still don't see any obvious reason not to use the 4" side.

    I imagine under the roosts the poop will be more concentrated in that area, anything I can do under that area to make it cleaner only a daily basis other then rake the whole thing out? Like a pan or something?

    Search "droppings boards" for lots and lots and lots of threads on the subject [​IMG] Or see the pic of my sussexes on my personal page (link under my name at left)

    4. Wood pellets for flooring? Hubby read on this but I have not. Anyone with experience and cost compared to some of the other materials?

    Opinions differ on pellets vs shavings vs straw; personally I prefer shavings; you may want to try a couple options you're seriously considering and just see what you like best.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  3. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
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    I'm in the process of putting the finishing touches on my coop. Mine is raised approx. 24" above ground and I used regular 2x4's with OSB on the outside. I covered the OSB with roof paper (starting at the bottom and overlapping on the way up) and was very lucky to have access to free beautiful cedar lap siding. If I hadn't had the cedar, would have used the barn looking 4x8 sheets @ Lowe's - cheaper than most other sidings - and then painted it with exterior paint. My understanding on the OSB is that the chemicals used will air off in about a week - look for postings from DarkWolf - he knows a bunch about wood! My chicks don't seem to notice the OSB on the inside.

    I made my own windows: took 2x2's and made about a 3/8"-1/2" groove down the middle with a dado blade on the table saw. (Be sure you stain or paint before inserting glass!) I cut 4 pieces of the 2x2 (to fit window opening) and then inserted glass in the groove and carefully nailed an exterior nail in the corners. I did putty the glass in place to prevent leakage - I'm sure there are other ways to do this, it's just how I did mine. Two of my windows are stained glass inserted into this groove as well. I attached the windows to the outside opening with hinges and attached a kitchen knob so they could swing open. Covered the opening on the inside with 1/2" hardware cloth and also window screen - we have lots of flying things in Texas! When I get time, I'll have pics on My Page...I do have pictures on my page from an old book I used to make my own coop plans with.

    I made a really cute roost using 2x2's as the support sides and cut tree trunks for the roosts; however, I noticed that my birds went up to the highest 2x4's on the side of the walls (sad to see them cramped up against the wall, but they're still young!), so I have added new 2x4 roosts and they love them and ignore the cute roost... I am trying the deep litter method using pine shavings, but may consider the pellet route as well. I sprinkle DE on the shavings about once a week (helps to dry the poop and keep mites down, etc.) and add a small layer of shavings - so far its working well. Found some guy on the internet that swears by pellets, but can't find his site again!

    I think the main thing about nest location is to have the roosts on the opposite side of the nesting area to keep poop out of the boxes. Search on this site and you'll find various opinions! Mine are exterior (like the pic on My Page) and in the process of being made.

    You are wise to go larger - wish I had! I'm tall and all I could think about was making a tall ceiling so I could stand inside the coop. Mine slopes from 8' in the front to 7' in the back - should have make it no more than 7' to 6' and the floor area larger...oh well, live and learn! However, you better start soon - you won't believe how fast they grow from a week old! Have fun, search this site for tons of information and ideas, and use your own instincts! Gail
     
  4. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Halifax, Pennsylvania
    some great ideas here! thanks!
     

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