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Woods House - Mini

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Howard E, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm one of those who frequently bashes the dinky little death traps made by the commercial outfits to sell to backyard growers. For the most part, they are truly horrible. So if those are no good, what is?

    It is no secret I'm a fan of the Woods Colony house. But the original at 10' x 16' is too big for most of us. Even the smallest backyard house Woods described was still 6' x 10'. It was said to be good for up to a dozen birds. Still too big?

    What about one at 4' x 6.5'? By my math, it would be good for up to a maximum of 6 birds. A pleasure palace for 4. If you wanted to do an attached run, this could be made at 8' x 6.5', but the ratio works better if you made it coop 4' x 6.5' and attached run of 6.5' x 6.5' or 6.5' x 10.5' overall.

    I'd build the part under the monitor roof at 4' x 4' and 4' high at the peak. Scratch shed in front 4' x 2.5' with the screened in opening about 24" high and made with wide open wire, hinged at the top to fold up for clean out. Back part would have external nest boxes (2) on the back wall. A single 4' roost bar. Back wall would be 32", so high enough to have a roost bar about 24" off the deck. Monitor window at the top about 8' wide. I seem to recall seeing transom windows about that wide. Treated plywood floor with vinyl floor covering.

    Coop would be built elevated 2' off the ground, with solid sides on two sides beneath the coop part. Covered roof over the run, also monitor style with translucent roof panels for light. You could probably do all this with 3 sheets of plywood and some 2x4 lumber. Overall height would be 6' at the peak and under the run so you could enter the run for clean out etc. I'd leave the feed and water beneath the elevated coop to keep it clean and dry. If space was really tight, you could omit the run entirely and it would be fine for 3 or 4 birds as is. (enough birds for a dozen eggs a week).

    To get an idea of what this WOOD look like, click on the link to my Woods Colony House in my signature page. That is the overall shape and appearance, but reduced to 4' x 6.5' overall. I think it WOOD work!
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    That seems like a really sound plan! Please post some pics when you get it done. :)
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I confess to really not following all your dimensional plans very well, but what I did see; A 24" space under your coop will be a royal pain to manage! I wouldn't like to crawl under it for eggs, chickens, cleanout, or whatever. I think a ground level coop with perimeter predator protection is much more manageable. Is there a minimum width dimension for the structure to provide shelter in winter? It seems like too shallow won't protect the birds as well as the deeper width. Length has got to be a factor here too. Sadly I don't have a Woods coop, so no actual experience. Mary
     
  4. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mary:

    One of the hallmark features of the Woods coop, in addition to the opening monitor window to let in air and light to the far back, is the wide open, wire covered end that allows for / provides all that wonderful ventilation. To keep that from being drafty at the back where the birds roost, there is a width to depth ratio that should be followed. The width to depth ratio is what creates the draft free pocket of dead air at the back. This ratio works at larger scales and it is assumed it will also work scaled down. That depth to width ratio is 1.6. So a Woods coop that is 4' wide (width of a sheet of plywood flooring) should be 4' x 1.6 or roughly 6' 6". That would give you roughly 24 SF of space, or realistically enough space for up 4 to 6 birds. Or if you used the same silly space claims as the commercial pre-fab builders do, 15 to 20. (NOT!!!!)

    The idea here is to offer a highly functional, easy to build alternative to those little commercial built, pre-fab coops that we so often see folks get tricked into buying.

    Those dimensions were tossed out as they should allow a builder to lay the two sides out on single sheets of plywood, at the correct overall shape, with enough scrap and drop left over to finish out the monitor window front and perhaps enough to even do a couple nest boxes, all from 4 sheets of 3/8" or 1/2" plywood. (floor, two sides, back wall and nest boxes). Roof would be metal, poly or shingles on a 5th sheet of plywood or on scrap boards. Or the entire thing could be made from lumber salvaged from pallets.

    When I get the time, I will try to sketch this up showing the side profile to scale. That will make it easier to see what it should look like. I'm a visual learner myself, which is why pictures always help me see what others are talking about.

    The idea of attaching a run could be seen as optional, as would be elevating a 4' x 6' 6" coop off the ground on legs. My suggestion for 2" legs was to get it up off the ground, yet keep it from getting too high up in the air (6' peak at the monitor). This is just the part beneath the coop. If you built the run, it would also have a 6' peak you could enter from the side. Most of the dinky pre-fab coops don't allow you to enter at all. You reach in at best. (could this also be scaled down to 2' wide?....the "super mini" for 2 to 3 birds?)

    I also think you could do this without the monitor roof, and make it a simple shed style with wide open end. That would make it similar to, but improved over the Purina coop or what some are calling the Wichita coop (with run).
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Concept might work that much smaller.......interesting.

    But it would still have the problems any small floor space, low head room coop has.
    Roost access for birds, nest to roost height ratio, space for feed/water, and easy reach keeper access.

    Would love to see a drawing.
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I love the Woods coop design and do get the dimension ratios. My question is about the actual depth of the coop as it gets smaller in size. The birds need more shelter as ambient temps get more extreme, so location matters too. Will the smaller sized coop offer enough draft free space? And height for roosts? That's my question. Mary
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    @Howard E any further ponderings on this concept?
     
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not yet, but I have a feeling one might be in my future.

    Yesterday I was looking at the coop my daughter's 4 birds are being housed in. The birds are still alive but we can do better for them. The Woods house described above would be far better than what they have now, so it may get to be the test project.

    Will try to get a sketch pulled together in the next few days.
     
  9. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't try it. The man who designed the coop (Woods himself) doesn't recommend going smaller than, what, 6X9'? Also, in the book, he goes into the wrong way, (And why it's wrong) to build a Wood's style coop. Don't mess around with the design from what was tested, and proven, over 100yrs ago. If you can' fit a 6X9' coop in your yard, don't build a Woods.
     
  10. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do any of you have plans for this woods coop? Or know where I can get them?
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016

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