To build or not to build?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickgarden, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. chickgarden

    chickgarden Chirping

    Apr 1, 2012
    Hi! We are new to chicken raising and so I've been trying to do as much research as possible on what we want in a coop. We have debated building our own versus having a local man who builds coops (and raises chickens) as a living.
    My biggest question is on what types of materials use. We are in the PNW so it's wet here. The area the coop and run will be is well protected though on all four sides and the drainage is excellent in that part of the yard. The run will be covered. The builder uses a combination of cedar and "dry fir". We looked into using all cedar and it is so Expensive!
    I've read so many different things on what to do to keep mice and rats out, and so much is conflicting. Is it best to line the bottom of the run and coop with hardware cloth? Or is the apron method best?
    We plan to set the coop up some type of bricks or cinder blocks and thought about sandwhiching the hardware cloth between those areas, but to go under the coop or away from the coop?
    We have 4 chicks and at most might have a couple more in a year or two. The total area will be about 4' x 8'
    Anyway thanks in advance!
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    For a small coop it would be no great challenge to just build one yourself.
    It doesn't have to be fancy.
    Just pick up some plywood and some 2x4's from the store.
    I would probably not use cedar.
    Make sure the wood is treated to prevent mold in your area.
    Have you checked out the COOP PAGES in this forum for some ideas?
    I usually place a wire apron around the coop and throw some dirt or gravel on top of that.
    But it all depends upon your predator load.
    I have some coops/pens on the ground with no apron or wire on the bottom at all.
    But I also have livestock guardian dogs in those areas keeping predators away.
    Good luck with whatever you decide and enjoy your chickens!

  3. Welcome chickgarden. I'm with AC, build it yourself. Use an apren so the chickens can scratch around in their run and do what they do best. I too live in the PNW, Oregon Coast.... Lot's of rain and wind... It's a challenge!
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  4. chickgarden

    chickgarden Chirping

    Apr 1, 2012
    Thank you both! I like the apron idea I think the best. We do get the occasional raccoon and I know that there are mice and rats around - there is a school behind us as well woods. I'm mostly concerned about rats getting in there or becoming a problem.
    One other question about the roof - is a metal corrugated one fine or something that will let light in?
    Thanks again!
  5. mcjessen

    mcjessen Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Coeur d Alene ID
    Totally up to you on the roofing however, in the summer I think a clear roof would be hotter than a solid roof. I like the look of metal but haven't used it.
  6. I used Suntuf clear roofing, but I am on the coast and it rarely get above 70 in the summer. Becasue we are so far north, I like giving them as much light as possible.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by