Upstairs/Downstairs Coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by m.kitchengirl, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
    Maine
    So, this was my first year with chickens and ducks. I wanted to make sure it was something that I enjoyed & was good at before I got "in too deep" and have 2 separate coops for my ducks and chickens.
    I built the duck house and, much to my surprise, it seems to be fairing better than the coop & hutch I purchased.
    I have been given the "go ahead" to make a bigger set-up and think I may try to convert a garden shed into duplex for my mixed flock.

    My idea is to have the upper area of the garden shed designed for the chickens, with cleaning trays etc as floor/ceiling, and the ducks down below. The main door I would use for cleaning, and have nest boxes all on the opposite side, and have their coops exit into their own separate pens/ yards. They would not live together, but be housed in the same structure.

    I wondered if anyone else has done this.
    I am NOT HANDY AT ALL, but as I said, I designed & built my duck house & it is MUCH better than the pre-made coops I have. I will probably keep the duck enclosure for meat birds and the present chicken coop for broodies/quarantine, etc.

    Also, I think the best option for me is to have an apron around the outside of the yard, to keep predators for digging under. This is a dumb question, but the apron is NOT buried under ground - right?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Your plan sounds good to me.

    Aprons are typically laid on the surface and secured until the grass grows through them and takes care of the securing for you.
     
  3. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    No you dont have to bury the apron, just stake it down with tent stakes, very cheap at Walmart. Sounds like you have a good idea to me, may take some experimenting to get everything the way you want it.
     
  4. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

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    Ontario, Canada
    I have a two-story coop - this is my second one actually. My advice - make sure the bottom level is shallow enough and tall enough that you can clean it and reach to the back without crawling inside on your hands and knees.
    Otherwise I love the design and it makes such good use of space. [​IMG]
     
  5. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
    Maine
    make sure the bottom level is shallow enough and tall enough that you can clean it and reach to the back without crawling inside on your hands and knees.

    Thank you. I was hoping to hear from some who have done it.

    I think I can re-use some old plastic trays under the wire for the chickens above, with a thin piece of wood underneath to make sure the ducks don't have to watch for "falling objects".​
     
  6. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

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    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes, it makes a big difference! My first coop was a converted metal shed that was all open in front. It was awful and dusty and hard to clean and hard to dig out the bottom/back and the build up of shavings was cozy for winter, but bad for my lungs in spring. The top level was easy to clean.

    My new coop (the shed is back to being storage for garden tools) is a chicken condo coop on top, run underneath...I lay a tarp on the ground in front, pull out the board that blocks the shavings in, take out the food, water and nest box and swing and use a big shovel to scoop out the bedding onto it, then drag it to the compost bin. It takes me less than 30 minutes from start to finish. The bottom I do have to bend to get to the very back, but it is bare earth underneath, so I just use a rake and pull towards me, and that stuff goes on the garden (right beside the coop) or in the compost bin, and the rest stays and continues to break down and I don't worry about it. It is a twice a year thing for the underneath/run part, and about 4 times a year to do a big clean up on the top/coop part. I do spot clean in between though. I also like that the girls can be outside when it's raining and not get wet. It is on higher ground.

    [​IMG] This is the run underneath.

    [​IMG] This is before the roof edging was finished. There are windows on 3 sides - the doors face north and both open up.
     

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