This Old House Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Howard E, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was channel surfing late last night and caught an episode of TOH, in which the guys were making a lady a chicken coop;

    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/tv/ask-toh/video/0,,20988109,00.html

    Fast forward to scene 6.

    Guys did a marvelous job of building an incredibly poor design. Surprised they would do that.

    How many flaws can you spot? To start with, that is 4' x 4' or 16 SF. Assuming 4 SF per bird, the house would be designed for 4 birds. I count 6 nest boxes, when they only needed one.

    What else did they do wrong? What did they do right? (teachable moment here)
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC!

    I saw that episode!! You know what I didnt like??....NO ventilation!!! How in the world are those birds going to breathe and not get frost bite?! And why so many nest boxes hogging up all the room?!

    Hopefully the home owners came here on BYC and figured this stuff out! :lol:
     
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lack of ventilation would probably be the most egregious error they made. If the owner closed that sliding pop door, the birds might not have made it through the first night, even in warm weather.

    I did not see any form of roost, so most likely, the birds would have roosted in one of the nest boxes, or the perch leading to them. Where are the droppings to go? In the nest boxes? There was some type of unexplained structure on the floor beneath the nest boxes, but not nearly tall enough to be a roost. It was tall enough to make clean out of litter and droppings a real chore.

    The plywood floor had the C face, or rough side, with knots, cracks, splits, etc inside. Once those got dirty from the droppings would be hard if not impossible to clean well. Perhaps some vinyl flooring or other covering over it?

    Then those nest boxes.......too many, and perhaps the tops were high enough to prevent it, but the tops were left flat, so lacking a roost pole, a bird might fly up and try to roost on top of those. Or again, in the nest boxes.

    The screened in run was nice, but apparently did not extend under the house and no roof cover above it. So no shade or protection from rain and snow while out in the run, which even for a few birds, would quickly become a wet, muddy mess. You would have to put deep litter down, but once it got wet, again, likely a wet mess and something you would have to clean out often. Nice that they buried the wire, but that left only the light chicken wire at ground level. That would probably not deter a determined predator.

    Bottom line is the guys are really good builders, but someone gave them a bad, not well thought out design to build. Unless some changes were made, I doubt that coop is still in use.
     
  4. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many people saw this and thought this was a good idea.

    I agree with Howard on all his points.
     
  5. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pretty poor design. Small, dark, unventilated, no roost, too many nestboxes, chicken wire (attached with staples) instead of hardware cloth, no entry protection from predators where the run & coop meet. Where would the food be placed so it's protected from the weather? Doesn't look like they utilized the space under the coop.

    Glad I don't have to clean it!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Horrific on all counts.
    Good thing there wasn't a place for comments.
     
  7. chfriedmam

    chfriedmam Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm jumping on the This Old House discussion to get some advice!

    I am trying to plan a simple, simple coop and the thing I liked about the This Old House was the assembly-rather than framing out the walls just adding the floor after. I live in Los Angeles Valley, lowest temps usually in the 40s. Rain 10 days a year if we are lucky. I was thinking of assembling a similar coop, but actually making the top FLAT and covered with hardware cloth, then adding a slanted, lean-to roof paneling roof on top of that. So, a fully open roof for ventilation. And 2 windows/holes for airflow.

    AND of course using hardware cloth and enclosing the bottom and just setting 1-2 nesting boxes or even deferring making a cutout on one side until laying starts and attaching a premade nesting box then.

    IS MY OPEN TOP IDEA HORRIBLE? WHY? Please excuse totally lame drawing. If you saw the This Old House episode you will understand. Maybe I'd even skip the beveling on top posts and attach rain/sun-cover an alternate way.[​IMG]


    PS, I know a lot more thought needs to go into this, just kinda asking about my open-top idea.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    "making the top FLAT and covered with hardware cloth, then adding a slanted, lean-to roof paneling roof on top of that. "
    Not a bad idea.....you'd want the roof to be much bigger than flat top to provide good shade and keep any rain out.
    Space is important tho, read the article linked in my signature.
     
  9. chfriedmam

    chfriedmam Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your feedback. I am very inexperienced and just need to know if my ideas are completely insane. I'm gonna read your article on space now. This is a house for 3 large layer chickens, so I'm hoping 16 sq.ft. of inside space is enough.
     
  10. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would put a solid roof on, if nothing else to protect the birds from the beating sun in your area. A better plan, if you stick with a design of this type, might be to take one entire side.......say the front side, and make it open wire. Three sides, top and bottom solid and one side open wire. All of it open wire, including the door.

    One.....and only one.......nest box and make it external.

    Do you plan to include a run? Would be a good place for the food and water.
     
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