Urgent help please for final layout of A frame coop conversion tomorrow!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PouleChick, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. PouleChick

    PouleChick Crowing

    2,156
    6,142
    407
    Apr 6, 2016
    SW France
    I will do a proper post about my coop adventure / disaster for our first coop build but for the moment HHHEEEEELLLLLPPPPPP ! I need to make layout (including fllor door cutting) first thing in the morning.

    We have basically converted an A frame coop (the Ana White one) into a coop on a run base as half way through the build I hated it and decided it was way to small! Anyway this is just our secondary coop long term, I'll be building a walk in larger coop for the winter. So by adding the under area and a floor to the base of the A frame we end up with a small coop not a tiny coop!

    So my issue is we have about 1.4m x 1.3m (4.5ft x just under 4.5 ft) of floor space (base of the A frame). I need to fit in the roost, nest boxes (I'll hang some off the side eventually but for my 3 girls (not yet laying) and 2 silkies (if I can integrate them) I'll just put 2 freestanding next boxes to start with). Also the thing that is totally doing my head in - the hole in the floor to walk down the ramp to the downstairs. Here is a couple of pics to help you visualise it (sorry not taken any the last 2 days of work) to give you an idea!
    [​IMG]
    and a more recent one with the lower part of the sides (the gap is now hardcloth) and one side of the A will be a solid wall and the other side has a lift up door to the top area and to the coop area - this will have hardcoth framed to fit into it so when it is hot the door can be propped up like a verandah and they will have an open side to the coop.
    [​IMG]

    • So how so you think I should I lay it out? (I keep changing my mind / not being sure and driving my DH mad!). Bearing in mind it is almost square and one side of the A opens totally up for me to access to clean etc. No food or water in the coop sleeping area, just below in the hardcoth base. Daytime they have access to a large run or freeranging
    • The floor hole: ( I realise now that it would be soooooooo much easier to have a exit off a wall but too late - just need to work with what I have already built (this is so a learning curve!).
      • I read that about 15 inches by 12 inches is enough for a in floor hole - is this right?
      • When we wanted to cut it today and realised there was lots of questions hubby was worried about - all the shavings falling out? Thoughts?
      • I wish we didn't need to do a downward door but that is how it is and we just have to adapt. Any tips for doing this most appreciated - very little info on the web!
      • Do they need space around it - how do they get themselves from the ramp to the floor - just jump up (sorry I'm so new to having chickens!)
      • What landing / moving space do they need around the top of the ramp / hole opening?
    • Are my silkies going to be able to get up a ramp to the first floor (2nd floor in the apex which was originally the main floor going to be storage at the moment)?
    • Have I forgotten anything?
    Bed time here but we are literally getting up and trying to get it finished (gorgeous weather tomorrow then foul rain and storms Thursday so want to get them in our lovely new warm coop by end tomorrow so they are happy). I look forward to much to your advice and replies - thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    59,377
    47,380
    1,327
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Bottom 'box' is about 1.3m wide x 1.4 deep x about 1.3 high?
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  3. PouleChick

    PouleChick Crowing

    2,156
    6,142
    407
    Apr 6, 2016
    SW France
    @aart yep pretty much (although height maybe slightly less - the hardcloth is 1 metre so a bit extra for the frame I guess). this is not my perfect coop - it is working with what I started at the beggining of my chicken research (ie lots of wrong stuff!) - I want more head height, more space etc but as a 2ndary coop it will have to do!
    I think this pic you can see a bit better that it is a bit shorter than wide:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    5,636
    13,786
    542
    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA
    hmm... I just posted a really detailed post about how I build my pop door in the floor of my coop for someone else about a week or so ago... I will look for it.
     
    PouleChick and ButtonquailGirl14 like this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    59,377
    47,380
    1,327
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Angle of ramp is most important (must be easy to go up and more important to go down, and also in a floor opening easy to get onto and off of from coop floor),
    which will specify head room and size of opening.
    I would make your opening about 24" long for 13" of headroom.
    Sorry all dims are in inches.

    upload_2018-3-13_17-59-1.png

    Hold bottom of ramp up concrete block, stump or wooden box..something, get creative. I think silkies should be able to jump 12" or make a lower step.

    Bedding will fall out hole, unless you add trim pieces to hold it in, but that makes it hard to get onto and off of ramp at top. Better to let it fall out IMO.
     
    jthornton and ButtonquailGirl14 like this.
  6. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    5,636
    13,786
    542
    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA

    Yes to all of this. The ramp needs to be longer than the size of the hole.

    Bedding will fall out. I just let it fall out and further compost in the run and top it off with fresh bedding in the coop as needed.
     
    PouleChick likes this.
  7. PouleChick

    PouleChick Crowing

    2,156
    6,142
    407
    Apr 6, 2016
    SW France
    @aart you are amazing - thank you so so so much for taking the time to do that diagram for me - what a wonderful surprise to wake up to - really really appreciate it. I feel much calmer about the whole process now (I'll go and wake hubby with a coffee and tell him we have a plan LOL!) I've just printed it off and I'll do the translation into cm and we are good to go! I'll make sure I post some pics when I'm done. THANK YOU :bow:bow:wee:wee:yesss::yesss:

    @PirateGirl wonderful wonderful info - makes it so much easier seeing a real like set up. I'm thinking I'll put my pop door on the side away from the side of the coop that opens up so I can have the roost and nexting boxes closer to me and as you mentioned not over the ramp (who wants poop on thier head :p:lau!)

    I think I'm going to use a log as the roost for the moment (there isnt' a huge amount of head height and they are used to roosting on a log where they are sleeping now) then I can work out where I want it before I fix it in. Same with nest boxes I can take a bit of time to work out where they work best so now that the urgent pop door issue is sorted I'm good to go!:thumbsup

    Only other question I have aart is is it OK to have the hole going all the way to the edge - are they going to be OK jumping up sideways? Or I guess by the time they are at the top of the ramp they are almost on floor level so no jumping needed!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    59,377
    47,380
    1,327
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    No Problem, Glad to Help. Caught me at the right time, full of coffee and nothing else to do, only took about 20 minutes....drafting is what I did for a living and still have the software, so easy peasy for me.


    It would be better to have it away from the wall, so they could go straight up and onto floor, but there isn't really room, unless you expand the lower portion out a foot.(see below) But, yes, I would think that once they are at the top of the ramp they can step to the side onto the floor.

    Was thinking, you could put bedding barriers around the opening except for where they step onto the floor.

    upload_2018-3-14_6-35-24.png

    There you go, that sounds good!
     
    PouleChick likes this.
  9. PouleChick

    PouleChick Crowing

    2,156
    6,142
    407
    Apr 6, 2016
    SW France
    OK so that went so well with your diagram and advice @aart - thanks again! This is how it looks - we have placed it on 2 breezeblocks and they have a landing area - the base of the ramp has been notched and fits into the slots on the breezeblock so it is really steady. It only takes up 2/3 so there is space to cut off 1/3 of the top breeze block which would give them a nice step system if they need it.
    [​IMG]
    I know it doesn't go all the way to the edge but I don't think it changed the angle too horrifically much and there was no way of fixing it - this seemed the best option. i'm not sure the silkies will be in there anyway Hermione got in with the big girls yesterday and they really attacked her - it was scary :(

    The hole itself has had to have the thinnest boards we could find around it to hold down the membrane that is over the floor (a roofing product that seems pretty tough but will be watching it carefully and can take it off if it doesn't work!) so will stop the worst of the bedding fall out and at one end we have put a board up on it's side to hold back the shavings I would imagine pretty well. I'd like to do DLM but don't think it will be possible up there!
    [​IMG]

    Yesterday was a frustrating day as this coop is a tranformer job there are lots lof complicated (over complicated LOL) openings etc so working out how to fix the roofing felt and still have 2 levels over opening doors on one side was a big job!

    Will keep you posted on progress!
     
    aart likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: