What should I do with this? Opinions needed

jettgirl24

Songster
9 Years
Feb 21, 2010
1,026
11
163
Duvall, WA
Hi All - I've had what was supposed to be my nice big 12 x 12 coop under construction for a few months now. My boyfriend has been working on it off and on but it's been a very slow process. To make a long story short, my boyfriend is no longer in the picture. While I'm pretty handy, I have very little construction experience and now I have a partially built coop that I don't know what to do with. On top of that I'm feeling like I may have gone the wrong direction with this coop. I would like to maintain a laying flock as well as two breeding flocks (Silkies and SQ BRs) plus it'd be nice to have a grow out pen. Rather than building a big coop I'm wondering if I should have done a shed row type coop with several separate pens.

Here's what I'm working with:





I can either continue with this build and try to finish out the 12' x 12' coop as is. There is room for about an 18' x 18' run in addition to that. My other option is to pull this apart, cut the platform in half, and start over with a shed row type coop. It would be 6' x 24' long and would most likely be divided into 4 separate 6' x 6' pens. The back of the coop would sit on a 3' or 4' wide terrace and the front would be on legs. By having most of the coop's footprint in the terrace area it would leave room for a run that is approximately 18' x 30', possibly larger. Here is a picture of the terrace, this is not the terrace it would be built on but they look very similar. The other one was just too overgrown to get a decent picture
:



The shed row coop would look something like this, only raised off the ground about 2'. I'm thinking it would be 4' tall at the back and 5' or 6' at the taller front side:



So if you were in my shoes what would you do?
 
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ChickInDelight

Never an Empty Nest
8 Years
Apr 27, 2011
1,145
31
158
Browntown, VA
Pallet construction - nice choice. I am doing my duckhouse with pallets. They fasten together nicely with metal plates.




I cannot offer real advice because I am a wing-it kinda woman. I can offer encouragement. You go girl!


Wow - you have lovely home and property. What you need is a boyfriend upgrade!
 

ailurophile23

Songster
9 Years
Dec 21, 2010
492
56
111
VA
I think I would start over and do the shed row coop - if only because it gives you more run room. Plus shed roofs are much easier to build! You could always finish the started coop and split it into four squares for 4 separate coops (4 separate entrances and 4 separate runs) but you still only have and 18' x 18' space for the run. And that sounds like a headache. Personally, I would just start over - that way you get to take pride in a job you did all by yourself. Whichever you choose, please be sure to share pictures along the way (even of the de-construction if that's the way you go) - you know will get lots of support and helpful input whenever you need it!
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
166
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
I think it depends on whether you already have chicks or not (whether there is a time crunch). But your current set-up is plenty large enough to be divided from within...kind of like stalls in a barn. I hate to see all the work that's gone into your current set-up go for nothing...
 

jettgirl24

Songster
9 Years
Feb 21, 2010
1,026
11
163
Duvall, WA
Thanks ChickInDelight, I feel like the yard is a freakin jungle right now so your compliment is especially nice


ailurophile23 - I'm sort of leaning in the direction of the shed row right now too... The additional run space is what I really want but the roof is also a consideration... It's the most daunting thing about trying to finish the big coop.

teach1rusl - I have chickens all over the place right now! I've got 14 now (a coyote got 2 last week
)... I've got 7 in a temporary coop in my layer pen which you can see in the background of the 2nd pic. I've also got 5 teenagers in a stall in my horse barn plus 2 Silkie chicks in the brooder in my sun room. While everyone is reasonably happy right now I am feeling pressure to get this thing done, especially with winter coming. I agree with you... I kind of hate to take it down now and it could potentially be divided up. The main problem with it is the run space. There's only room for the run on one side of the coop unless I tear out my garden on the other side, which I am loathe to do
It's a bit of challenging layout because I have a 6 stall horse barn down there too and need room for mounting, leading out to pasture, etc. I'm so back and forth about it, I just can't decide what would be better!
 

Hawkeye95

Songster
8 Years
Jun 18, 2011
4,427
52
246
Oklahoma City area
My Coop
You'll be doing this yourself, right? In which case, I would recommend you keep what you have as the base looks GREAT! I mean, it looks sturdy and sound. I like it and it seems big enough you could divide it up down the center and have two doors going in each side of your divided space. You could put the run off of it like the picture you posted and have it divided as well. I see no reason to tear it down. For one, tearing it down would take a lot of time and two... you might ruin a lot of material doing it. Here's another piece of advice... you don't need a man to build your coop! Girl power is going strong right here! I've been building my coop myself. Granted... I did need my husband to come out and hold stuff up when it got to the really heavy parts. But I was able to frame up the walls, cut all the wood, and build the roof trusses MYself. All you might need is to convince a girl friend or two to come over and help you when it comes to the really heavy parts where you need two hands. Otherwise, get out the tools and do it!
I never touched a power tool before I started my coop! The internet can teach you about anything you need to know.


ETA: I would just frame up a wall to run right down the middle of the coop.
 
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ailurophile23

Songster
9 Years
Dec 21, 2010
492
56
111
VA
jettgirl24 - some random thoughts - if you keep what has already been started, you can either add some height to one side (nail a few more boards on the top band so you have a sufficient slope) and put a shed roof on it to make the roof simpler OR go look at a bunch of barns or outbuildings to see how the trusses are done and find one you are comfortable with. Whatever road you take (continuing what is started or tearing it down and starting over), I highly recommend using brackets for putting in your floor joists/roof supports - they make these to fit various sizes of lumber and it makes it ever so much easier - you install the brackets on each side of your span and then slide a piece of lumber into the bracket.
 

Honeysucklefeathers

Songster
8 Years
Jul 19, 2011
290
2
103
western KY
I would use what you already have started. As stated, you can split into stalls and go from there. If you have room for an addition, you could repurpose this one and have lots more chickens
I wouldn't tear down the existing at all. Looks like a good foundation. Wishing you great success
 

smokinjay

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 11, 2011
98
3
29
I would not use the pallets for framing finish the other two wall with studs and start putting in rafters.
 

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