Author Topic: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?  (Read 9334 times)

WhatMomWears

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Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« on: March 04, 2013, 04:47:19 PM »
http://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops

Neither my husband nor I am carpenters but we need a bigger coop...trying to avoid hiring a handyman to build it for us. Everyone on the backyard chicken site seems to know what the heck they were doing.

c

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 05:25:00 PM »
Those coops are nicer than my apartment!

Do you know the Ana White site? I have learnt a lot from looking at all her plans and she has some chicken specific stuff too. She breaks down every cut and detail, so even if you don't use her plans you can figure out how to do your own.

http://ana-white.com/plancatalog?keys=chicken&term_node_tid_depth=All&collections=All&findplansbyroom=All&findplansbyskilllevel=All&estimated_lumber_cost=All&style=All
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Debbie M

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 09:21:37 PM »
I know very little about this subject; everything I know I learned at the local "funky chicken coop" tour.  They seem like they might have some good information on their resources page, though:
http://austincooptour.org/resources

Richard3

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 09:32:13 PM »
I built a duck house once which is pretty similar. As with any building project having plans makes life much much easier.

If you can saw and hammer you can build something chickens will live in quite happily.

anastrophe

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 07:19:33 AM »
Those are some pretty swanky chicken coops. I don't have any build suggestions but my parents keep poultry and they've had a few different kinds over the years...one was literally just a bunch of scrap plywood and some corrugated aluminum...I didn't notice that the chickens really cared as long as there was a perch to flutter on and it stayed dry. Neighbors care a lot more about design than chickens do.

strider3700

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2013, 12:55:22 PM »
I'm getting ready to build a coop for our backyard.  It'll be 4x4 so sized for chickens.   My wife has decided that it should be pretty so it'll be more then just some plywood thrown together.  Having said that I'm not likely to go as insanely overbuilt as some of the coops on that first site.    Many of those are pro builders showing off their skills making mini houses.  You could match it if you take your time and have the right tools and are willing to make a few mistakes.   

Coops in general need to be dry  well ventilated and draft free. beyond that everything is a bonus. 

yolfer

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2013, 01:03:52 PM »
I built a coop and a raccoon got in and ate all my chickens. So don't take any construction advice from me! But do take the following advice: make it twice as pest-proof as you think you'll need.

kisserofsinners

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2013, 06:35:06 PM »
All i remember is you want to make sure your enclosure has fencing that is cemented down at least 6 inches into the ground.

The above coops are nice, but as mentioned they don't protect against preditors. I've alway liked the larger room sized cages, but i imagine that is a luxury that is only allowed in California. :) If you go large cage route, make sure you level the ground really well first. It helps later with cleaning. Not something most people thing about, but as the kid who had to clean it it was clear no one thought of me during constrction. ;o)
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Meadow Lark

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2013, 10:09:34 PM »
We bought a used dog run (6'x10') for $100.  Then bought 4 straw bales ($6 a piece) and turned them like this:
I-------\
I          \
I-------  \
Okay, not a good visual, but basically a rectangle with one side tilted so the chickens can walk in.  Then just a piece of old plywood on top.
Place a few branches through the holes in the chain link so they can be perches.
Quick and easy.  Also, there are often free used doghouses on Craigslist.  As long as you can open the top, it's good.

Heather

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 07:44:36 AM »
My favorite trick was this:
I made a high perch, long enough for all (only 4) chickens to sit on.
I put a long board beneath it, slanted left to right, on a 45% angle, ending about 1.5' above the ground on one side.
I tacked on a slippery piece of tin to that board and placed a bucket below the bottom end of the board.
Now, well over half of the chicken poop produced by those birds ended up either in the bucket, or on the tin, where I could easily dislodge it to fall into the bucket. 



yolfer

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 12:11:36 PM »
My favorite trick was this:
I made a high perch, long enough for all (only 4) chickens to sit on.
I put a long board beneath it, slanted left to right, on a 45% angle, ending about 1.5' above the ground on one side.
I tacked on a slippery piece of tin to that board and placed a bucket below the bottom end of the board.
Now, well over half of the chicken poop produced by those birds ended up either in the bucket, or on the tin, where I could easily dislodge it to fall into the bucket.

Genius of the year award!  I wish I'd thought of that 100 lbs of guano ago. Thank you Heather! Totally going into the next coop design.

Meadow Lark

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2013, 03:10:30 PM »
I like it Heather!  I'll be copying that next time I think.  Also, I put a tarp over the dog run, connected 3 corners, then the 4th corner I made a rain chain with a 50 cent length of metal chain loops.  It ended in the Walmart 4' diameter kids pool I originally raised the baby chicks in.  Everytime it rained I had a "water catchment" system.

Bakari

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 12:37:38 PM »
No, but I added an egg box to an existing one, and built several runs.

Chickens really don't care about the amenities, they just want a bar to roost on, and need something secure that racoons can't get into.
Either a solid wood box, or a wood frame covered in chicken wire, with a bar suspended a few feet off the ground, and a latchable door, and you got a chicken coop.
The fancy designs are meant to appeal to humans, not chickens.  Ours have slept in a 5ft tall, 3ft wide, 1 ft deep wood and chicken wire box for about 3 years.  In the day time they run around in the run.

We put a little solar powered motor on a timer that opens the door at sun up, and closes it an sun down, so all we have to do is keep feeder and water topped off every few days and collect the eggs.





How many do you have that you need a bigger coop?  Do you make them stay in it all day?  Most predators only come out at night, and the day area only needs to be secure enough to keep them from running amok.
When we had 6, all 6 would croud together on the top bar, even though there were 3 perfectly good roosts (and all 6 only used one of the two egg boxes).
Now that there are only 3 left, they still all crowd together, crunched up into a corner on the same roost.
Unless they are all packed wing-to-wing, don't assume they will even use more space if you gave it to them, chickens are not like people in that way
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 06:13:50 PM by Bakari »
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Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 09:40:45 PM »
Whatever they are going to be roosting over, if it's not dirt or concrete, cover it with a scrap of vinyl flooring.

We paid someone to build our coop based off The Garden Coop plans, so I can't offer this as the most Mustachian solution, but its been a very good, predator-proof coop for us, and it looks good. http://www.thegardencoop.com/

I was at Costco the other day and saw a $180 (?) carport frame that I thought could be wrapped in chicken wire and make a nice little coop for a pretty low cost per square foot. So that's an idea, too. :)

Meadow Lark

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2013, 05:08:18 PM »
Just so you know about the carport, I bought one to cover with plastic to make a greenhouse.  First good windy day, the metal supports twisted and it became a huge heap of junk.

WhatMomWears

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2013, 09:38:42 PM »

How many do you have that you need a bigger coop?  Do you make them stay in it all day?  Most predators only come out at night, and the day area only needs to be secure enough to keep them from running amok.


We currently have 4 adult hens in a coop big enough for probably 7, maybe 8. I have 5 chicks in my brooder so if they're all girls (not with my luck) we will need a bigger coop. We've had chickens for going on 6 years now so definitely know the basics. We built our first coop but I want this second one to be...um...better. A LOT better. Our plan is to put the much larger coop in the run that we have them in now (runs the length of our house) and use the old coop and the totally enclosed pen that it's in as the way station for the fledglings (when they are fledglings) until they're old enough to go out with the big girls. It's the larger coop that I'm welcoming suggestions on - I'd like it to be prettier and way more functional than the one we have now.

WhatMomWears

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2013, 01:57:59 PM »
Got a quote from our handyman. $2100! So we will definitely be building it ourselves.

MrChanticleer

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2013, 03:15:53 PM »
We paid someone to build our coop based off The Garden Coop plans, so I can't offer this as the most Mustachian solution, but its been a very good, predator-proof coop for us, and it looks good. http://www.thegardencoop.com/

I am planning on building this exact coop this spring to replace the tiny one I have now. (Expanding from 2 hens to 6-8). How easy is it to clean and maintain? Do the hens seem to have enough space?

ChristopherPhilip

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2013, 07:42:06 PM »
I got carried away!  I was actually featured in the local paper as there is a bit of a trend for backyard coops.  The cost was about $250 in materials, lots of salvage.  The bottom drops out of each side for easy cleaning.  I had 7 chickens, then dropped down to 5.  7 Was a bit tight.





Arbor33

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2013, 07:54:51 AM »
I got carried away!

That you did sir, but that's some fine handy work! Any pics of the inside?

ChristopherPhilip

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2013, 04:11:40 PM »
Not on hand, it's not as fancy as the outside though!

Heather

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2013, 11:29:12 AM »
It's beautiful Christopherphillip!
What is the outside? OSB with strips of pine?
Heather.

royhayes954

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2013, 12:13:59 PM »
I've never built one myself, but I plan to start soon.
Few sites that I've found very useful from my research:
backyardchickens.com
chickencoopgurus.com

Hope this helps.

sgerbs

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2013, 02:05:47 PM »
My neighbor got some chickens last year and we built a coop/shed.  The front part is the coop with a run on the side. The back half is a shed for storing stuff.  It turned out really nice - looks mainly like a shed, but it was way bigger than it needed to be.  It is 8 feet tall inside, and has a gambrel roof.  A bit much, but it meets both of his needs.  If I ever get around to building a coop, I will definitely go a bit smaller.

donott1088

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2017, 03:15:36 AM »
I also had similar problem. I never built a chicken coop and I'm also not a carpenter. I bought a beautiful chicken coop some days ago from ROYAL CHICKEN COOP. You can also check this, surely you   like it. And you will have best and beautiful coops for your chicken.

bognish

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2017, 01:05:40 PM »
I have a hand me down coop and built a fully enclosed, covered and predator safe small run for the chooks. I let them free range in part of the yard when the weather is nice and no snow on the ground, but I don't have to lock them up at sun rise & sunset. I don't think the chickens have ever slept in the coop on their own. They seem to prefer a high roost in the run. I forced them inside for the night last winter we we had a week of strong winds and lows below 10F, but they seemed pissed about it. So I will agree with previous comments that a fancy or roomy coop is more for you and the neighbors.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2017, 10:35:56 PM »
I have. I got a second hand large dog kennel online for $3, and stuck a couple of plastic containers in it for nest boxes, and a rail thing for a roost. Then I bought a portable covered greenhouse for $100, the kind that you build yourself? I covered it with chicken wire, using zip ties and pegged it to the ground with tent pegs. It has a zip door that I hold down with bricks, and a plastic roof. Attached it to the kennel with staples. So now I have a large covered, walk in run and a large coop that opens into it. Should add that the sides of the coop open for cleaning, someone hinged them for a dog, and also that I live in NZ so predators aren't a massive issue. Anyhoo, I'm sure you could also use a greenhouse as a starting point!

letired

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2017, 09:49:39 AM »
I helped my friends build theirs plus enclosed run (foxes AND racoons AND opossums AND rats AND two dogs with high prey drive). My only comment is to use hardware cloth, not chicken wire. They wrapped the entire run, including the bottom with hardware cloth and have not had anything get in.

Bakari

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Re: Anyone ever build a chicken coop?
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2017, 11:26:42 AM »



Built around an old tree house, on a steep hillside.  190 square feet of run, 64 square ft of coop.








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