What would you do different?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sharona, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. Sharona

    Sharona Songster

    Jun 10, 2007
    We've got a great thread about things to do for coop cleanliness so I was hoping we could share what you would do different next time? I realize we have a great coop section in the works too but I'm looking for things that we tried and worked awesome or that we would modify nest time:

    Cleaning Options
    Size of coop
    Size of run
    Flooring for the coop
    Flooring for the run
    Sand, grass, wood shavings,
    Placement in shade/sun
    One coop for all or would you have split the coop for some reason?
    Did you stain/paint use wood/metal?
    Vegetation inside the coop or nearby?

    I think most of you have mulitple coops - what did you learn the second time or what would you change?

    I for one, have been in the process of planning my coop for weeks now but keep delaying out of fear that I'm going to miss something and I'm seeing others that I think fear the same thing. It seems crazy but we've had our metal shed bought for a month now and the foundation is started but I'm driving myself crazy afraid thinking I'm going to build it and mess it up or miss something obvious. It's so much more than 4 walls and fencing!
  2. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    Next time around I want my coop in the middle of a hugh run. That I can have it fenced off in 4 sections. So I can rotate the chickens every week or so into the next run. Just by opening a different chicken door. Plus a brooder area so the babies can be outside near the coop. Seen that in a coop building book and loved it. I have 10 acres so I have plenty of room. Then I want a food storage area inside the coop. Also a few more electric plugs installed I only have one right now. The list could go on & on if I think about it.
  3. Sharona

    Sharona Songster

    Jun 10, 2007
    See that's what I'm talking about!

    I would have never thought about allowing for run change options!

    Thank you for sharing that and if you think of something else please add it!
  4. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    no run - just back yard! putting up that chicken wire is TOUGH work. and we just let them roam around in our yard anyways.... linolium floor in the coop... that would be so much easier to clean. um.... i would have a MUCH smaller coop theirs is WAY too big for 2 little chickens.. i think it is like 84 square feet? and when i first made it i was starting out with chickens and i thought nesting boxes were for sleeping so all thats in their coop is nesting boxes... now i just have them sleep outside on the monkey bars (their pretty safe)... next time i am using wood shavings NOT STRAW. straw is such a freakin hassle. so pretty much i would change like - EVERYTHING.
  5. wren

    wren Songster

    May 27, 2007
    St Augustine, FL
    If I could loosen up my purse strings I would add horse stall mats to the floor. They provide cushioning, are non-skid, and are made to be cleaned. I have windows that can be completely removed, or you can tilt the top of the window in without removing the window which allows for ventilation without a direct blast of air dropping down on the chickens. Paint everything that doesn't move except the roosts. It looks nice and helps keep mites at bay.

    The one coop with several different runs is used in England more than here in the States-if you want to find examples.
  6. TreyClark281

    TreyClark281 Songster

    Apr 9, 2007
    around Katy, Tx
    make it bigger and i raise it off the ground because my back is starting to hurt![​IMG] and id add feeder that is built into it and is refillable from the outside and id put a egg door.
    alot of things!! lol
  7. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    1. Build bigger than you think you need. I think 90% of us here figured we'd have just a few chickens and quickly found ourselves in the grip of chicken addiction and the need for more coop/yard space.

    2. Probably the most important thing when planning the coop and yard is to make it strong enough to withstand predator attacks. Research the predators that are in your area and their means of attack and plan for it to happen. Do not underestimate dogs, either. They can annihilate a flock quicker than you would think and are very, very determined when in 'get the chicken' mode. If it is possible, I highly recommend hot wire for perimeter fencing.

    3. Consider your weather conditions and place your coop accordingly to take advantage of cooling winds and/or shade in the summer or wind blocks for colder climates, whatever applies to your situation. Metal coops quickly heat up to unbearable temps in the hotter times of the year.
  8. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    I tend to get obssesive about things, so I actually planned for alot however,
    Since we havent been through a winter yet, I may have overlooked something there.
    I may or may not have built the coop house big enough.
    When my younger chicks get older, and All of them finally reach full size, I guess I'll know.

    We originally got 4 chickens and ended up with 6, it probably would have been easier to get them all at the same time,
    But if I had got them all at the same time, it would have meant having chicks in the house only one time, and thats kinda fun so....

    Oh I know, this is definate:
    If I had to do it all over again, I would'nt drill through my thumbnail while building the coop!

    In my signiture is a link to my coop thread, if you see anything there that I havent thought of feel free to let me know [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2007
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    The main thing is to build larger, but also, allow for different groups to be separated easily and for long periods. I have since rectified that by building 12' onto the original 8x8 coop and adding a pen to that, so in effect, I can have one large coop and run or two coops and runs side by side. I also retrofitted on 8x8' side of a storage shed and added a a small run to that. First it was the nursery coop, and now, it houses the Blue Orps for breeding. It has a 4.5 x 7.5' pen, which is the coop, then the remaining area has a 5 x 3 ft broody cage with a solid top, so I can sit a dog kennel on top of it for an injured bird to live in temporarily. That worked great for my broody Sunny to raise her chicks away from the rest of the flock and not be hassled on the nest while sitting.
    In the first coop, I underestimated how much chickens love to look out a window and I put the window higher than their heads. That made them stand on top of the waterer to see out the window, leading to poop in the water occasionally. The coop addition has a huge window at chicken level in front of their roosts, but that necessitated a frame with hardware wire INSIDE so they wouldn't fly into the window and break it and decapitate themselves, LOL.
    I'd also put food storage inside the coop and make higher lips in front of the original nestboxes. They just need to be an inch higher than they are, which is maybe 2.5 inches.
    All my coops are basically predator proof at night, which is one thing I did right. Never skimp on that.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2007
  10. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Songster

    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    In regards to painting the inside except for the roost...I thought you weren't supposed to paint the inside of the coop because the chickens could peck and eat the paint??? I'm asking because I need to know, since we're in the process of finishing our first coop.


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