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Starting my first coop tomorrow - needing to check in!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wolfandfinch, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2011
    Vancouver BC
    Hey all, I am starting my coop tomorrow, and after years of reading all your progress threads, your oops threads, looking at pics of your coops and more I am so excited and VERY nervous. I thought maybe I could write down my process so if you saw any glaring holes I could get your feedback sooner than later :) Thanks if you have advice or support or a little pep talk for me, I'm not the world's best builder and obviously haven't built a coop before :)

    So, I thought I'd go at it in this order, having talked to a friend of ours who is a carpenter. He doesn't build coops though so I'm all ears...

    1) clear out the area meant for the coop
    2) level the ground in the area
    3) cover the area with a tarp to dry out a bit (I live in Vancouver so in a constant torrential downpour)
    4) dig out apron (if I choose to go that route, or maybe just a bit for a more horizontal apron)
    5) build the roof trusses (Rob told me it was my best bet to build them first as it's easier to futz with getting the walls to fit the trusses than getting the trusses to fit the walls)
    6) build walls (on the ground, all four)
    7) dig out holes for foundation blocks and fill with gravel, place foundation blocks on gravel
    8) Place walls and tie in
    9) place roof trusses
    10) lay apron and staple to bottom plate of walls
    11) Build out coop (floor, walls, windows and doors, nesting boxes, lino on floor, roosts)
    12) Build out run (hardware cloth walls, hang screen door with hardware cloth, perches
    13) tar paper and shingle roof
    14) amenities (feeder, waterer etc)

    feel free to point out major or minor errors in my thinking!! thanks :)

    PS also, please wish me good luck with the weather, I have no desire to work in freezing rain, but this week is my only chance to build for months
  2. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2011
    I don't if there is a big lots kind of store in your area, but if so, I would buy a cheap tarp to give you and your foundation cover from possible rain, it will make life much more pleasant for you building. And you can use it later to cover at least part of yur run for rain (mud, & snow) protection.
    If you go down at least a foot with the foundation blocks you won't have to worry about predators digging to get into your coop. There are so many step x step coop builds on this site its great. Your chickens aren't going to critique your building expertise and you are going to feel great about doing it. Pretty is nice, but predator proof is necessary. Have fun! And rope friends in to help, that's what friends are for. But have your party after you're through working for the day.
    Make your coop bigger than you think you need, chicken math always kicks in and if it doesn't, bigger is easier to keep clean. On my hoop run I went horizontal instead of burying the wire for predator protection, it works, but is a pain, my grandson (4 yrs old) trips over it at least once every time he visits. Please post pictures.
  3. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2011
    Vancouver BC
    thank you! I am making the coop 5X6 and the run 10X6 for only 4 hens. I can't have more legally. I may illegally go up to 6 hens but that's all I'd risk.

    I was thinking of partially burying a horizontal apron to get the best of both worlds.

    I have a tarp ready to cover my site and materials, it's so gross here right now. Not looking forward to working in that freezing rain!

    I tried to rope in friends - ended up with one person coming on Thursday and one on Friday. Neither has any building chops but the extra hands will be so great, as will the comraderie :) I've offered canned goods, dinner and homebrew in exchange.
  4. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2011
    Vancouver BC
    I'm done for today! What a slog! I cleared out a HUGE area - including stacking a tree's worth of logs that were laying all over the place, all the clippings from a year's worth of pruning a huge syringa, distributing mulch that was holding a 100' tarp down in the way. That was the bulk of the work actually - I redid almost all of our path. I moved two full compost bins (yuck! but so necessary). Then I was able to dig in a 1" square metal mesh (large welded "wall), down a foot that I put against the fence for added predator protection coming in from the neighbour's yard. I also got three foundation blocks down and levelled. Need to do 3 more - I'll need to buy them in the morning I guess, I've run out of things to scavenge from our renovation leftovers.

    I'm so proud of how much I got done and how much better the garden looks. Tomorrow I'll get the rest of the foundation in and level the run ground with a layer of sand. Maybe I'll even get started on the roof trusses!

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