Yay! Our design for our first coop!!! But, is it ok?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by happymom99, May 1, 2011.

  1. happymom99

    happymom99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    WooHoo!!! After a lot of research and thought, my husband and I have come up with a design for our first coop!!! [​IMG] Here it is!


    [​IMG]
    Neither of us have ever had chickens. We really just wanted something that my husband could build that would keep the chickens safe and comfortable and be super easy for me to maintain. Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned on this board and from the “Dummy” books so if you have any suggestions or tips for us or see any red flags in what we’ve come up with, I sure would appreciate it if you’d share your thoughts with me.
    This is based on the free Purina coop plan here:

    http://poultry.purinamills.com/stellent/groups/public/documents/web_content/ecmd0007989.pdf

    We made it a little bit bigger, moved the nest box, changed the roosts and added windows for additional ventilation.

    There are a couple of things that I am concerned about.

    How far off the ground does our droppings board need to be to still allow the chickens to go under it and use that floor space? This poop board is 14” off the ground. Will the girls still walk around under there?

    How high can they hop up onto the roosts? At what point do they need a ladder to get up to them?

    You can’t tell it on these plans here, but the way the original plans ventilated was with an inch and a half opening along the top of the coop. Based on suggestions here we learned that was not enough so we added two windows. Is this going to be enough ventilation?

    We are getting 5 chickens and they will pretty much only sleep and lay eggs in here. They will also have a 55 sq foot run that they can access on their own from the coop. We are in Southern California so they can be outside year-round and they will be able to free range over their own fenced off area of about 500 sq feet. In time we may get two more chickens.

    Thank you so much for checking this out. [​IMG]

    Excitedly,
    CJ
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  2. WatWasIThinking!!!

    WatWasIThinking!!! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like it is going to be very nice.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    One 60" roost and one or two nest boxes would be enough for 5 chickens, or even 7. (Rule of thumb = 1 box for 4 chickens -- but typically they do not use them all.) You will probably want the windows closed or only slightly cracked in winter to keep drafts off them; I'd arrange it so I could prop them open just a little if I needed to. Ideal ventilation is higher than roosts, to let out rising warm humid ammoniated air. The windows are good, though, for warm weather and for them to see out of. They should walk under a 14" board unless they are really large. They should not need a ladder to get to the roost.

    Enjoy your chickens!
     
  4. ginger c.

    ginger c. Chillin' With My Peeps

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    looks aweome we may steal some of your ideas![​IMG]
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Hi CJ - one suggestion I would have for your plans is to really look at your summer ventilation. Not sure what the temps/humidity are in your area of S. California...I picture hot, but maybe not so much?? Anyhow, just keep in mind about how hot it might be inside the coop for night time roosting so it doesn't become night time roasting...lol. I just think in areas like San Diego, etc., you'd want as much ventilation as possible...so if you could make your window openings larger??? Or the vent. openings around the top deeper than 1.5 inches (you can always staple hardware cloth around wider vent. openings)...anything to increase airflow for warm/hot summers...
     
  6. happymom99

    happymom99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for the info. I am so worried about the ventilation. I am wondering if maybe we should make it a little bit taller so we can add more ventilation to the top. I feel like it is challenging, since it isn't very tall, getting the ventilation high enough so that it is above the heads of the chickens that are on that top roost.
     
  7. happymom99

    happymom99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ginger c. :

    looks aweome we may steal some of your ideas![​IMG]

    Steal away! I am so thankful for all of the help I've gotten from all of the friendly and knowledgeable people on this forum. I would love it if I could actually help someone else. When we build it I am going to post pics so that might help too. [​IMG]
     
  8. happymom99

    happymom99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I am very worried about summer ventilation. It does get a little bit hot in the summer. It is generally in the low 80's all summer and then we 10 or so days a year where it is gets into the 90's. If you compare our weather to San Diego, we are a bit hotter in the summer and a bit cooler in the winter than there. They are slightly more temperate than we are because we are about 8 miles in from the coast. I know, 8 miles doesn't sound like much but it does make a big difference in the weather.

    I am definitely going to make the windows bigger. The suggestion to make the openings around the top deeper than 1.5 inches is great. My only concern is having it be drafty for the girls that are on that top roost at night. I think their heads might be right in line with a draft that way. Is that right? I am wondering if maybe we raise the height of the coop about six inches, then we can make those openings deeper and they'd still be above the girls' heads.

    Thank you for the great suggestions! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  9. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks nice! I would put both roosts at the same height, they will all want on the higher one, if you are still putting in 2 roosts. Add most of your extra ventilation in the front, just under the highest part of the roof. Rule of thumb, 1 sq. ft. ventilation per chicken. Make your roof white or very light colored, and as large as possible to draw the heat up. Use a piece of sheet vinyl flooring on the floor and poop board, it make cleaning soooo much easier!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  10. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure what part of Ca your in, but our chickens have had a 2 sided open air coop for eons. They did get a bit wet if the rain blew in, so our new house is a real house.

    On the new house, the East/West walls are solid (popdoors and eggboxes though), but the north south ends are pretty much open. In the winter, we did use a shower curtain hung on the inside to block any rain from the lower 2/3s of the end.

    We have a foot over hang so that kept the upper part fairly dry.

    So far so good, the chickens like it and tend to turn so the wind (more than just a draft in there...lol) is at their face.

    It rarely freezes here. Heat is more the issue. The coop is raised, so they can go under, but they free range so there are lots of cool spots for them to hang out. You might want to add more ventilation, cause it can get really hot in there.

    Our nestboxes are on the east side, so in the shade most of the day. (big tree there too)
     

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