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Total Newbie - Coop Help Please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nxb161, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. nxb161

    nxb161 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2013
    NorthEast Pennsylvania
    I am planning on getting 3 young hens this spring. This will be my first chicken experience. I don't quite trust the animals in the country to let them be free range. I am now trying to figure out what to do as far as a coop. Ideally I'd want something secure that has a run in it, but also I'd be able to move around the yard. I think it'd be nice to have part of the run sheltered from the elements as well. I am no carpenter, so I don't plan on making the coop myself. Any tips on size, style, etc would be great. Also would you guys recommend those solar powered night eyes, to keep animals from trying to break into the run/coop?
     
  2. Lilslinkfarm

    Lilslinkfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 18, 2012
    Jane, MO
    There are some really great ideas in the coop section of the website! Check it out if you haven't yet. Most of them have almost step by step instructions and pictures on how they built it which really help a lot!
     
  3. Ehirning

    Ehirning Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2012
    I would go with an A-frame tractor. There are lots of ideas on this site that you could take to a handyman or carpenter to have built. Check out Craigslist for carpenters that are looking for work. You may even be able to find a used tractor or coop. Welcome to he addiction!
     
  4. nxb161

    nxb161 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2013
    NorthEast Pennsylvania
    http://www.frugah.com/Outdoor-Farm-Chicken-Coop-p/d3-0001.htm

    I am currently looking at this for a starter coop. It got decent reviews on here and amazon, and of course it did recommend some alterations. It looks like I might be able to move the run from one side to another. I would like to know if you had to use this coop, what changes would you incorporate? I don't see this as a permanent home, since I think the wood is probably a lot thinner than I'd want. Is 2 nesting boxes enough for 3 birds? Also on the inside there is what looks like a plexiglass tray for poo, does that need to be covered with pine shavings? Do they tend to just go from roost to roost to nesting box or walk along the bottom? I know at a minimum I'll need to secure any openings from prey.
     
  5. Ehirning

    Ehirning Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2012
    That's pretty nice. I don't think you could move the run from one side to the other since there's only 1 door. I think you're right about the lumber thickness, it may not hold pntoo long if it's too thin. The plexiglass is genius! Makes cleaning so much easier. The only modification I would do is add some plexiglass or vinyl tiles inside the nesting boxes and possibly raise the coop up higher. Sometimes hens like to sleep (& poop) in the nesting boxes and a higher coop is easier on the back to clean. One other thing I would change is some soret of fiberglass roofing and a gutter to either channel rain water away or catch it for the girls. I would still show the pics to a carpenter who could build it out of good strong materials for about the same cost. 2 nesting boxes is more than plenty for 3 hens! I have 41 and they all use the same 2 nesting boxes.

    Also; be prepared, chickens are addicting. You may end up with a whole bunch if you're not careful.:D
     
  6. PeepsAreForMe

    PeepsAreForMe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Pemberton Borough, NJ
    I agree with Ehirning - raise it up! But how are you going to clean inside the coop - crawl inside that little pop door? It is NOT fun! That's why I had my husband build a raised coop. Maybe you could make the other side one big door.
     
  7. nxb161

    nxb161 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2013
    NorthEast Pennsylvania
    As far as moving the run to the other side, I'd have to cut a hinged door, I won't know if that is feasible until I get it, and also make sure that the other is lockable. I'm going to get this one, but will start planning on building one over the summer. I just don't have a whole lot of carpentry experience, but I think this hobby might help out with that. I think the gutters would be a good idea, to get the water away from the coop as much as possible. Also in one of the reviews someone said the put the roof on with hinges for easier cleaning. Does anyone have a solar vent that can recommend?
     
  8. nxb161

    nxb161 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2013
    NorthEast Pennsylvania
    There is a cleanout tray, but I was planning on hinging the roof as well. Raising it up might be a good idea, I'll have to make a ramp for the hens which shouldn't be a big deal
     

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