Stumped on Coop!! To build or to buy???

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by SonnyGirl, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. SonnyGirl

    SonnyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2011
    Pine Bush, NY
    Hey all! I live in NY, recently moved 2 hours upstate for college and plan to move my turkeys with me! The main thing holding me back, however is I can't decide on whether to BUILD a coop or BUY one!! My Dad and Uncle said they'd come up for a day or two but I'm not very construction savvy and would need a plan and materials. I looked on here but couldn't find any actual plans or material's list to go buy. I wanted something not TOO big (so it stays warm easier), like 5X7 or so.. I'd like a window, would like it tall (cause they love nice roosting height) and so I can fit in there to clean it. I don't even know how much it would cost to BUILD one. I'm hoping to at least finish a floor and coop (and if possible a run!) for $1,000. With that said, I also found "Lifetime 8' x 5' Storage Building With Windows"for $700. Heres the link:;infoParam.campaignId=T9F

    This looks to meet the criteria I want! I've read a little and heard that they might get hot in the summer (but they'll have a big full enclosure with roosts and option to go in coop or stay outside summer nights) and it seems like something that might keep them warm in winter - which is a bigger concern for me living in NY! Any suggestions/advice/ideas/votes on what I should do??? Thanks so much for anyone who takes the time to reply!
  2. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

    Apr 7, 2010
    just my experience but......i spent a small fortune on a coop for my turkeys (nearly €600) and did they use it? nope......not once. they prefer sleeping out all year round on the fence posts. luckily i was able to convert the coop into a big house for the chickens (and the donkey occasionally uses it too)

    so....if i were you...i wouldnt go spending loads of money on just build a roost with a roof over it, maybe open on 2 sides and closed on 2 sides.....just so they have somewere to get out of wind/rain if they so choose :)
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I suggest you go to the top of this page and look in the coops section. Several of those have fairly detailed descriptions on materials and how to build it. You can go to the library and look at the books on how to build a shed. They should have some pretty detailed books with material lists. You can also look through the books at Home Depot or Lowe's. They often have pretty good books on shed building. To convert a shed to a coop, you just need to add ventilation, a roost, and maybe a pop door. Anything else is optional. Not sure what you plan for turkey nests.

    I agree you need it tall so you can walk in and they can have some roost height. But I don't agree it has to be small to stay warm. Just like chickens, turkeys can handle cold weather a lot easier than hot. Something to do with them wearing a permanent down coat. They need good ventilation in the winter to get rid of the moist air. And in the summer, they need lots of ventilation. Lots. Overall, I think you will be happier if you provide them all the room you can stand. I find I don't have to work as hard if I provide them extra room. I don't know how many turkeys you have so I really can't comment on what size you need. I just recommend large in general.

    I raise mainly chickens but I have hatched and raised turkeys. I'll put some turkey eggs in the incubator next week. But I don't keep turkeys for the eggs, just raise them for the meat. I don't consider myself a turkey expert like a lot of people on here, just familair with raising them.

    I'm not a huge fan of the coops or buildings you buy. They are usually really expensive for what you get. You could make that building work, but you would need to add a lot more ventilation up high. With the help you've got coming, you could probaly build something better for less money.

    I sugest you select a design with plenty of overhang on at least two sides, leave the top six to twelve inches of the walls off, and cover that with hardware cloth to keep predators from climbing in. That is permanent year round ventilation.

    For windows, which really are not hard to install, you may be able to get something off Craigslist or check to see if you have one of those building materials recycling stores around. Or you can just put a couple of horizontals between two studs and cover that with hardware cloth. Instant window with light and extra summer ventilation. If you want to cover that in the winter, get a sheet of plexiglass and rig that up so you can bolt that over the opening. Or build a shutter. Or mount a piece of plexiglass over that opening for permanent light but no ventilation. There are so many ways you can do windows your problem will be deciding which way you want to go, not actually doing it.
  4. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2010
    You could get a frame kit for a shed, cover half of the sides and one end with siding, the cover the whole roof, and leave the other half (or more) covered with screen fencing. This is what I'm going to do. I will also be using poultry flooring that is an open mesh (poop falls through it) You can put 2x4s across the span of the roof for roosts for the turkeys. The person I got my turkeys from live in a similar type coop and this is located in MI so it gets cold!
  5. SonnyGirl

    SonnyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2011
    Pine Bush, NY
    Hi guys. Wow, thanks for so many replies and great descriptions so quickly!! I really appreciate all the advice! I didn't want to write a big long novel, but I think I left some information out!! oops :) Um, I only have two turkeys right now! I'm hoping to complete a trio soon (either buying 1 more or perhaps keeping a poult this spring) but I would like to keep it down to just 3. Im living in an apt on a farm for college, but for summers, I will be staying at my parents house 2 hours south. I have a great 10X12 wooden coop down there with LOTS of ventilation (in fact, I found it difficult to keep it warm this winter, had to section off half of the coop on the coldest nights (5 degrees F) to keep it from being 5 degrees IN the coop. I know they can tolerate cold alright, but it was nighttime and they were shivering up on their roost. I finally got that set for winter, but can't take it with me! And that one has a huge fully-enclosed run with anti-predator heavy guage chicken wire burried two feet underground around the perimeter. I now need a new coop for my apartment for semesters at school. I appreciate the advice, Spish - but I don't think they'd do well in 5 degree weather with the wind blowing and 2 feet of snow! Granted, it's usually more like 30 degrees up here (but can be very windy), but we do get our single-digit nights and LOTS of snow. Where my birds are right now, I free range them most of the day, "herd" them into their outdoor enclosure before sunset. They'll sit on one of their roosts out there until dark.. and then I keep the door to their coop open and they go in by themselves. I go up afterwards to shut their little door, give them their evening feed, and check the temperature. So.. I know my birds at least, like their shelter. Im guessing in the summer time, they'll probably fall asleep on their outside roosts though!
    Thank you for the coop suggestions Ridgerunner and Silly chicken! For the shed I was considering buying, it does have two vents on top (front and back) and two fully-functional side windows (they open). So I was planning to cover the windows with chicken wire (safely so no sharp edges) so that I could open the windows when I need more ventilation. And for the summer, I was thinking I could just leave both doors open during the day and one (or maybe both) doors open at night too. The coop will be attached to the fully enclosed, secured run. BUT... if you all think I could buy materials and (with my help!) build a better coop for under $700, then I would be happy to put in some more research and stop spazzing out (getting overwhelmed) and just come up with a plan! lol.
  6. motostevo

    motostevo New Egg

    Mar 14, 2012
  7. SonnyGirl

    SonnyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2011
    Pine Bush, NY
    yeah thanks for the link... I already saw that ad EVERYWHERE :/

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