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Want to build a chicken coop. Good plans, advice, etc?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DragonClaw01, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. DragonClaw01

    DragonClaw01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Basically I have a bunch of chickens and no coop. With Winter coming, I would like to build a coop. Right now, they have shelter from rain, but not so much drafts or cold. They have nest boxes and perches, but I really should build a coop.

    Things to know:

    I have a fair amount of chickens and birds that will need this coop. Not including the ducks and geese, the adult/bigger birds that are out fending for themselves number around 40.

    I have a 2 acre yard and several acres of woods around for them to forage. Mostly a Zosia grass lawn and pine forests with lots of debris.

    I do NOT want a "run" for the pen since I hate caging them up and they have such a large yard anyway.

    I have large dogs that patrol and guard the yard often. Predators are not so much a concern, but a little protection couldn't hurt.

    I need enough room to store 4 buckets (200 lbs of food minimum) , have enough nest boxes, perches, feeders and waterers, the ability to let light in or stop it for the most part, possibly add an electrical hookup and water hookup, have a few boxes near the ground for the silkies, have a door large enough for people to walk in and a high ceiling (I do not like bonking my head on things, forgetting I can't stand up completely)

    The hens number around high 30s, but right now hog the same boxes, spot in the barn, under the grill, etc.

    I would like to access the boxes from the outside as well as inside.

    The ceiling should be able to support hanging feeders and waterers.

    Do any premade plans, coops, etc stand out? What do you recommend?

    I don't have a coop at all.

    It can be a rectangle shape, nothing real fancy, I can pretty it up later.

    I think a dirt floor with straw would do best and then I can compost it and put it in the garden.

    Anyway, what do you think?
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let me ask the correct number of birds. Is it a total of 40 , or also 30 add to the 40 which is 70. Lets work with 40. You will need a coop about 12 x 12 at least to house 40 and it may be tight, and crowded. If you make it 7 feet tall , then you will have enough height to walk in easily. It will also give more volume so your birds will be less crowded. If you have more than 40, than just calculate at 4 square feet per bird. Also take into consideration that your numbers will fluctuate up and down. You may loose birds and you may gain new birds. Better to error on the larger coop. If you look at some of the threads on coops, you can get an idea on what you like. There are many pix posted. What a coop is,,,,,, is a shed or small garage type of structure. You would keep the floor, earth and go with the deep litter bedding. Most easiest for large number of chicken keeping. Interior would have roost boards to accommodate all your birds. Additionally for 40 chickens, you would need about 10 nesting boxes. Not sure where you live, but your coop needs lots of ventilation with large number of birds, Hot or cold, ventilation is VERY IMPORTANT. Make the nesting boxes on one wall and access from the exterior as well. You can also build a lean to on the outside and enclose it so you can keep your feed dry and away from hungry opportunists .. There are endless possibilities on what you may want to build. I do not know what your situation, budget, and ambitions are. Hoping this gives you a starting point on your coop needs.

    WISHING YOU BEST. [​IMG]
     
  3. DragonClaw01

    DragonClaw01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @cavemanrich Around 40 is the TOTAL number of birds. I have some bantams, but mostly standard sizes.

    I have a bit of space and if I'm willing to build it myself with my dad, he will pay for the materials and help with the heavy lifting.

    And I will need room to grow ( I love buying new birds, I can't help it) and room for the peacocks tails when they grow in.

    I live in East Texas, so a high roof with harware cloth should help the ventilation, and maybe "windows" that open, Not a real glass window, but panels I can make go up and down to let light/air in.

    I actually want this coop to be really pretty and awesome, like in the pictures. And I'm willing to do it. Just not sure what the plan is right now.

    Thanks :)
     
  4. Shanna79

    Shanna79 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2015
    I'm a big fan of recycling... You can usually find sheds on Craigslist that you can recycle into a coop. The lady at our feed store said they use a pole barn and then in winter they wrap the sides with shrink wrap to block the wind and rain. (Not cosmetically beautiful) but if you get into a bind last minute it's an option.
     
  5. DragonClaw01

    DragonClaw01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @shanna79

    I do not have a trailer, any sheds I can get will have to be delivered or fit in the bed of the Tundra. Most sheds are not collapsable or very sturdy for free or at a reasonable price.

    I didn't have a coop last winter, but I do have a small barn now that they can be put into for severe weather.

    I want a home made coop since they are more cost effective, give me work to do, and give me more customization options.

    But thank you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  6. Shanna79

    Shanna79 Out Of The Brooder

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    Bummer I had that same dilemma because I have a trailblazer. Luckily I only have a small flock so I didn't need a large coop. I like the shabby chic look and use reclaimed barnwood etc. I just finished my tiny coop this week.
    Good luck!
     
  7. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Post a pix of it. and by the way [​IMG]

    I also have a small flock and I like to repurpose things as well . I was recycling before it became popular.
    here is a pix for my 8 girls, mostly banties.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ChickenJoe3

    ChickenJoe3 New Egg

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    How large is your barn? Have you wondered of sectioning it off for the chickens and "renovating" it for them?
     
  9. DragonClaw01

    DragonClaw01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Shanna79
    @cavemanrich

    Lucky Y'all. I just keep buying little biddies to add to the flock. My birdos love me :3 But, I want them to have a nice coop.

    I need a pretty dang big coop, because I will NOT stop buying, and I know it.
     
  10. Shanna79

    Shanna79 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Caveman!
    I posted pics on my intro page. My phone app has a glitch and won't let me upload pics :-(
    I'll keep trying tho
     

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