The Victory House

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
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Missouri
Was watching a program on what the US citizens did leading up to and through WW II, and with everything in short supply, how urban folks were pressed into planting gardens, etc. for food. They were the Victory gardens (and Victory just about everything else). An extension of that was the need and desire for urban back lot chickens. But they needed a house to raise them. Enter the Victory House.......

https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/aben-plans/nd727-15-1.pdf

While certainly plain Jane in appearance, it has all the essentials for raising about a dozen birds....more than enough to keep a family in eggs. Even if not this, use it as a guide for what a chicken house should be. Doll it up if you want cute, but do take a look. Simple to build and functional.

From this, either let them out into the fenced in yard or build an attached run of the same or larger size. Just replace the sides with wire. Same roof line with a pop door connecting the house and run.

To improve on this, move the door from the center off to the right (east) side, and put in a 3rd window. Perhaps the windows could be made 2X this size and include plenty of ventilation. In climate zones 6 and warmer, you could replace the front door with nothing but wire to really open it up.

Or go for the Woods 6' x 10'.

But in any case, if at all possible, if you need a chicken house for a small flock......forget the dinky, poorly built death traps. Go for the Victory!
 

squadleader

Songster
Dec 23, 2017
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Richmond, VA
Great job Howard!

You're the only guy I know who could find us a complete set of architectural drawings for our chicken coops, and at government expense no less! Finally something of use for our tax dollars! :)

It's interesting, they even have drop boards detailed, they realized it's a great way to lower the ammonia load in the coop, since over half the poop is generated from the roosting bars.

Keep up the great work, you really provide a ton of useful information for anyone looking to step up their game, when it comes to taking the best possible care of their chickens, and using mother nature to do as much of the work as possible for us, rather than us wasting energy fighting her!

People want to do a good job, knowledgeable people like you and @aart make it possible for them save so much time, effort, and money in building the coop right the first time. Waste and inefficiency are such a disappointment to people, you're helping them avoid that with all your efforts here.
 

squadleader

Songster
Dec 23, 2017
169
278
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Richmond, VA
Hey Howard, there's a lady in this thread who's decided to go with a 4x8 coop, instead of a 4x4 coop.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/clear-roof-for-light-yay-or-nay.1225403/

I'm thinking she could orient one of the 4' sides to the south, make that side open wire, maybe put 18 inches of wire at the bottom of the east and west walls, with the 18 inches of wire being closed off with clear panels in the winter. I'm used to my 8x16, with one whole side a roosting bar, and realize with a width of only 4 feet, that probably wouldn't work for her. I assume the entry door should be on either the east or west wall, with the roosting bars on the north wall, with the hope of taking advantage of the cushion of air that would be at the back of this house, if only the south wall was open in winter. I suspect this would work based on the same principles as the Woods House.

I know Woods didn't advocate eaves over the south opening, and accepted the idea of rain blowing into the coop about 3 feet, but his coops were bigger, and I also think he wanted to keep them simple and less costly (he was trying to appeal to large scale producers at the time), because for the life of me, I can't see how a three foot eave on the south open end wouldn't be a good thing, especially with a small 4x8 coop.

Do you think my reasoning is correct here?

If so, what internal layout of the door, roosting bars, feeder, waterer, and maybe dust box would you recommend for this little coop she's thinking about?

Maybe you could reply to her thread?

I'm inclined of course to my layout, but I don't think it'll work for 4x8, and I'm thinking you might know what would work for a 4x8, and that also uses Woods open south side.

Thanks!
 
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squadleader

Songster
Dec 23, 2017
169
278
111
Richmond, VA
Hey Howard, I had a lot of coffee this morning, couldn't help myself, and jumped into that thread about the little 4x8 coop. If you have time, check it out and see if I missed anything, or any other improvement you can think of.

I liked the subject, I think Woods principles would work, even with a little 4x8 coop, but with the proviso of adding a three foot eave over the south face.

That would keep any blowing rain out on such a small coop, especially since I recommended an elevated dust box on the open south face.

Thanks!
 
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Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,977
296
Missouri
It appears I never responded to the Squadleader.

On the thread for the 4 x 4 coop, what that builder started out with seems to me to be similar to the Purina Coop, the plans for which used to be available on BYC and other places. I think I had a copy of those plans (and may still if I looked all day for them). However, Purina quickly took those plans down and they are no longer to be found, except in some deep dark secret places on the Internet. The problem being it was not a very good design, at least from a light, ventilation and good poultry husbandry perspective. Worse was one built on a This Old House segment where the guys did a fantastic job of building a truly horrible design. Six nest boxes? Really?


So moving on to the 4 x 8, here are some plans I sketched out some time back for a simple 4 x 8 coop. You could use the same basic construction methods as the Old House guys did. Mostly wide open front.....if you wanted a run, make it just like the house, except enclose it with wire. Put a roof on and extend it over the entire run. Such a coop would be good for 6 to 8 birds. Set it on a cement slab and it would be pretty much bomb proof, and the pop door could be left open so they can come and go as needed. In the Winter, you might want to close the pop door at night to cut down on drafts.

4 x 8.jpg

Second option is the Woods mini.......

Woods mini.jpg

Problem with this one is the run options are more limited. Less waste and scrap than you might think as some of that gets used on the ends and maybe the roof. But still good for maybe 6 birds or so.
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,977
296
Missouri
BTW, I have started construction on my version of the Victory House. Will post some pictures and descriptions when it is done.
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,977
296
Missouri
A tease.........still in progress.....but getting there.

20180418_161615.jpg 20180418_161638.jpg

I have a nasty habit of overbuilding things to begin with, and today, while deciding what to do about the rafters, wind was blowing a steady 25 to 30 mpg, with gusts over 40. Barn was humming. So on went the hurricane clips. For a 6' x 8' shed? :rolleyes:
 

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