Woods Fresh Air Poultry House

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,876
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Missouri
A couple things going on with this house, which if you follow this thread is actually two houses. The original, and then a second.

The OP Jeff posted pictures of his roosts and nest boxes at around post 14. These are pretty much true to the Woods design, with roost bars across the back and nest boxes on the side. I built one of these as an 8' x 12' and mine will be done this way.

The second or latest build in this thread, is a 6' x 10' or what Woods described as his back lot version. Interesting that 100 years ago, a 6' x 10' coop was considered the small backlot version. Modern builders should take note. My vote is to make this 6' x 10' version the official BYC backyard gold standard coop.......the one to measure all others against. Did I mention I'm a fan?

Anyway, the plans for the 6' x 10' version are also shown.......around post 38. Note for that one, the nest boxes are shown beneath the roost bars, with a dropping board between them. That may not be evident from the sketch, but that was what Woods intended for the 6' x 10' version. That was a common way of doing it 100 years ago. The Quisenberry Fool Proof house from that era used that arrangement exclusively. It was a way to get more use out of a compact floor space. It also placed the roost bars above the dropping boards, which cut down on air movement through the roosts. It was an integral part of the draft free ventilation system. At least it was on the Fool Proof house. Woods probably did it to maximize space.

This latest build deviates from the plans by putting a single roost bar in front of the nest boxes, which is more or less the landing bar for the nest boxes, with no other roost bar included at all. It appears as if it is intended to serve double duty. If past tendencies of other birds are any indication, most likely the birds will be using the nest boxes as roosts much as that large roost branch, if not exclusively. Time will tell. If so, and Jeier wants to change it, he clearly has the skills needed to do so. There are a couple other things that appear to my eye as deviations but unless it causes problems down the road, nothing to worry about.

Yes, I vote we make this the Gold Standard!
 
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Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
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3,896
296
Missouri
I thought so. I love that style of coop but it wouldn't work for my yard.

To make a coop like this work.........say the 6' x 10' version, you would only need that footprint, plus a few feet of margin surrounding it. So maybe 10' x 15' or so of total lawn space. The open end needs to face south, and should be elevated a bit, or at least flat and on a well drained site. The open end needs to have an unobstructed pathway for winter sunlight (not blocked by buildings, evergreen trees, etc). If you have that, you have a workable site for this coop.

What is not as evident about a coop like this is it can be viewed as integrated coop and run. No other run is needed. A 6' x 10' coop has a gross area of 60 SF, so 6 birds would have 10 SF each. They could stay in there and never leave. A dozen birds 5 SF. Also stay put, but if there is room to roam, they could be let in and out.

I'm keeping 15 pullets in my 8' x 12', who are now about 12 weeks old. Mine are allowed to use a large lawn/garden area, but tend to spend most of the day inside. They like it in there and if inside, are safe from hawks, etc. They seem to know that. Plus, with all windows and doors open, it is about as well ventilated as a covered run, which makes it comfortable (meaning not a killer hot sweat box) in the full heat of summer. We have been at mid to upper 90's actual temps, with humidity, and they still choose to stay inside. They like to come out to play early in the morning and late at night, but throughout most of the day, stay safely inside.

Where my coop is located is pretty much wide open and exposed to the winter winds. So with a coop / run combo, the open sided run part would be unusable for months at a time. This one, however offers full use. If they have to stay in for weeks at a time, they can. Plus it is safe in there. Snakes and rats are about all that could get in this thing, and so far, they have not.

If you are researching coops, consider this the gold standard!
 

JackE

Crowing
Apr 26, 2010
2,327
755
281
North Eastern Md.
I have followed the thread, and yes, I know there are two separate coops in it. The first one is well done, very good job. The second one goes off the path a bit. From the side window placement, to the high nestboxes. The boxes will have to be at practically ground level, in that coop. Otherwise, and it's not just a guess, the chickens will make a heckova mess in them. The boxes could, hang from a droppings board in there, with the roosts, above everything. The side windows, I can't really tell from the pics, (at least on my computer), are they glass, or screen? If they are screen, they'll have to have some kind of covers/panels made for the winter.

As far as the GoldStandard goes. I'll throw my coop up there, as it is the first Wood's coop to show up on this website. ALL the other Woods follow it. :)
 
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Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,876
3,896
296
Missouri
No argument from me on that. Yours was the house that inspired me to build one.

For those wondering, there are now at least 4 sizes of Woods coops on BYC.......JackE's at 8' x 16', one here at 8 1/2' x 14 1/2", mine at 8' x 12' and the second here at 6' x 10. There may even be others that I"m forgetting or not aware of. If so, someone please link to it. The base plan Woods Colony House was 10' x 16' and he had plans for larger ones in the range of 20' x 20'. So sizes for as few as 4 to 6 birds to as many as 100. So that makes at least 6 different sizes, yet same basic overall design. As long as you follow the same basic design parameters, the Woods style fresh air house works and works well.

PS: Kudos to BYC member and sometimes poster Robert Planadon who is the modern era publisher of Wood's Fresh Air Poultry houses book. That is what made it possible for a lot of us to build one.
 

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