1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Chicken coop Prodject for labar day weekend....Help and in-put + parts list

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by smokinj, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Need plans and parts list!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    554
    Loc:
    Rochester, Mass
    4 walls
    1 bottom
    1 roof
    a popdoor
    a couple of nest boxes
    a night light (to train the dumb birds to go in at night)
    a window
    a couple of roosts (2x4 on the flat)
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    You got any pic's of yours? I will start milling the lumbar before labar day and try and finish it then. I need just 2x4 or 2x2 as-well?
  4. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    6 - 4x4 (corners and middle support)

    4 - 2x8 (band boards)

    1 - 2x6 (ridge beam)

    ? - 2x4 (rafters, rafter perling, side perling, nest box frames, roosts, etc)

    Siding (we used T11)

    Flooring (we used solid core doors)

    Roofing (we used steel pro-rib)

    I'll get you a pic this weekend.
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Sounds like a brick crap house....lol Love to see the pic's I am shooting for 3-5 hens tops.

    Kinda long the lines of this...Small and portable. Be able to move it on top of the garden in the winter.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370533906687
  6. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    It is a beast. The lumber put the truck on the bump stops and then some. Don't remember the dims, but it was at least 8x12.

    Kinda long the lines of this...Small and portable. Be able to move it on top of the garden in the winter.
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana

    Thats the main thing.....I will be using hardwoods as well.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,227
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    1 unit 1" by 6" by 4' solid pine
    1 unit 1" by 6" by 4' v-match pine

    1 square singles (three bundles)

    Wire, conduit, light receptacle, electrical outlet, the boxes for preceding, a timer with manual stops (allows the use of a florescent lamp the digital ones don't always work).

    A three gallon electrical (thermostatically controlled) water fountain (metal if possible)

    A multiple pound feeder.

    This is called hobby wood (mill ends) by Hancock lumber I got mine for $50 a unit which is close to 920 square feet of facing.

    15 2" by 4" by 8'

    2 4" by 4" by 12'

    Don't forget the window area will need to be faced with hardware cloth with no larger than a 1/2" mesh, chicken wire should not be used except to keep chickens out of an area.

    All doors need solid hinges and solid lockable latches.

    Make certain the build your run solid and preferably covered.

    That should allow you to make a 4' by 8' coop that sits about three feet off of the ground and have plenty left over for another coop, a pile of tomato stakes, many 4' raised planter beds and assorted other stuff.

    Frame the coop to resemble a ranch.

    It is critical that the coop have a lot of ventilation and at the same time prevent the birds from being in a draft.
  9. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana

    Are you heating it in the winter? Any insulation needed?
  10. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,504
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    Ours were always pretty much sheds but we poured about 1 - 2 inches of concrete on the floor over the plywood or boards. The floors of boards either got thin tarpaper ( the stuff you used to use under wall shingles before tyvek) or just plain newspaper between the boards and concrete.

    Chicken sh!t will rot floor boards pretty quick without it.

    It means you can't build a cheap bendy floor, but you'll probably do that anyway.


    Plus you can wash the floor out pretty quick and easy.



    My brother just keeps replacing his top layer of 1/2 inch plywood floor when it gets nasty.
    I don't think that's cheaper in the long run, but he'd rather do that.
    It'll get torn up shovelling and scraping the manure out if you're not careful.


    chickens are birds, they only need heat as chicks, they need a cool dry place out of the wind.
    Without a lot of ventilation in the Summer they can suffer.
    Water can be a problem in Winter. They need it around just like a dog does.
  11. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Floor will be one inch Black walnut painted with a gloss white. Cheap to me but should be a strudy floor, and easier to power wash. Looks like it will be 8x4x5 three foot off the ground. Shingle roof and more black walnut for siding. Wind is a big issue at my place thinking of Styrofoam boards?
  12. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    554
    Loc:
    Rochester, Mass
    They will eat styrafoam, caulk or anything else that they can peck at. I had a nicely insulated coop at one time... not any more, oh well, they seem to keep warm enough in the winter. My box is 4x6x4tall about 3' off the ground a large swinging door on the back to clean out the coop. 3 nest boxes on the sunny side of the coop. all framed with 2x4s and 3/4" sheething. Roof is shed style 2x4s at 20" o.c. with corrogated plastic roofing. I will try and grab some pictures tonight.

    I have 6 birds currently but had 10 last fall.

    I would recommend checking out http://www.backyardchickens.com/ and their forum for lots of ideas on coop building and general chicken knowledge.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Yea I am on that site now. I was thinking of a corrugated cardboard sandwich siding black walnut and a painted 1/4 osb on the inside?
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,227
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    smokinjay,

    If you keep the chickens dry and in a draft free coop they can stand a lot of cold. I have two coops, one is double walled the other isn't the double wall was overkill.

    Neither are insulated.

    Chickens really hate it when the temperature climbs above 70 °F after they have fully feathered out (about 7 weeks of age) in fact the birds can easily over heat and die.

    Yes by all means spend a lot of time in the section of BYC that deals with coops and run construction. Pay particular attention to the folks that build fort Knox coop and runs then visit the Predators and Pest section there you'll find out why you pay attention to those folks.
  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana

    Yea think I have a pretty good grasp. (For Now lol) I still thinking of double wall with 1/4 inch card board I would think it would help keep it a little cooler? What You think if it to much easy enough to scrap that idea?
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,227
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Over kill in my estimation.

    To provide an example my "raised" ranch coop has a ridge vent that runs the length of the roof that has an equal area to the combined soffit vents on both sides. This provides a lot of airflow and it places the air flow above the heads of the roosting birds (keeps them out of the draft). The coop doesn't get any water in it except what is in their inside waterer. This coop doesn't have a heated waterer (I may change that this fall). There are two doors one for the birds and one along with end boards that I can pull out in order to empty the coops litter for the compost pile or the garden (depends upon the timing).

    If you use a deep litter system the litter will actually act as both insulation and provide a spot for the birds to burrow in to stay cool (it will when it is working well produce a bit of heat, this takes time and really deep litter).
  17. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Hows your floor done and what you using for litter?
  18. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,227
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Litter is pine shavings and the floor is pine in the ranch coop and tile in the other one (because it sits on the ground and the tile prevents entry by rodents).

    Keep the litter dry and it doesn't matter what the flooring is.

    You can even get the girls to help keep things well aerated and dry by tossing their scratch on the litter, they will then scratch the daylights out of it looking for the scratch.

    I currently have 6 hens in the 4 x 8 coop and it worked fine last winter except the waterer needed to be tended to more than a heated larger one would. One gallon unheated plastic waterers tend to freeze and crack. But the birds were quite happy. If things get really cold you can provide a something that reduces the area the birds are in it makes a huddle area. The birds produce quite a bit of heat and will huddle to stay warm. Their feed consumption also goes up in the cold weather.

    The larger coop has a 5 gallon metal waterer that sits on a thermostatically controlled heating base, it has never frozen. It would if the temperature got really really cold.
  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Sounds good. I have 15 pullets coming within 3 weeks. Plan on a 4x4x8. with a 8x8x4 run. Dont know how many will live or make it over the winter? any ideas if I am in the ball park on size?
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,227
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Your coop for 15 birds should be larger, I wouldn't go below 5 square feet per bird (the tables say 4 square feet but that depends upon the size of the birds and the amount of access time to the run) you should be looking at at least 10 square feet per bird of run space), it is better to have too much room in both the coop and the run than not enough. When there isn't enough room there will be a lot of feather picking, possibly a bit of cannibalism, and there is no place to escape to if there is a coop bully. If you are also planing on having roosters make it no more than one. Better to wear out the Roo than the hens.

    Three nest boxes should suffice and don't be surprised if they fight over the same nest box when it comes time to lay. Even with several open nest boxews it isn't uncommon to find several birds in the same box at the same time and the rest yelling at them to hurry up so they can use the nest. Be certain that the nest boxes are well lined (deep I use pine shavings for that as well).

    ETA: I turn the aged litter into vegetables in the garden, be certain it is well aged before doing so.
  21. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana

    15 was a mimium order...The run will be 8x8x8 and also the the area under the coop 4x8x2-1/2. Really wanted 7 and want the coop movable. I have a friend with a large coop that will take any I want to get rid of. Figure I would give them a couple months then break down the flock if need be. Not looking to get a rooster if I dont need one...
  22. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,504
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    If you're after max egg production you'll want a light and timer to make them think the days are longer.
    Otherwise they'll spend the Winter partying at your expense. :)

    You might want a couple galvanized garbage barrels to keep grain in.
    It attracts mice and rats.

    We used broom handles for roosts.
    Some breeds need them, some will sit on the floor at night.


    ------------
    I swear chicken manure beats all the others for gardening.

    My dad raised broilers at one time and the local farmers would come clean out his coops and take it to spread on their fields when it was slaughter time.
    I do remember once or twice shoveling them out ourselves when no one could come.
    300,000 , iirc. there were a few barns.

    The ammonia could be a bit overwhelming in July. Even with all the windows open. :)



    If I could sell the eggs to pay for the grain I'd have chickens just for the manure for the garden.
  23. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,227
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    No rooster needed to get eggs. It is just that a rooster helps with other things and since I didn't know your plans I just wanted to warn you about not having too few hens and then seeing the damage a Roo can cause.
  24. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,568
    Loc:
    Blue Ridge Mountains NC
    :mad: 4X4X8 is the size I have for 6 full sized and 6 bantams. I had a small short coop that I had to crouch and bend to access. Terrible. My new coop I can walk inside. Love it. I bought a used dog pen and put that up with the coop, though they free range in the yard most of the time. My hens did prefer the old coop for laying because it's darker. They don't lay in any of the nest boxes in the new coop. They either lay on top of a spare bale of shavings, or in a rabbit cage I also have in the dog pen for a mama bantam with little chicks. It's comical to watch my big hens try to squeeze in there.

    What kind of pullets?

    You may need to provide heat for those pullets for a couple of weeks when the weather cools down at night.

    I personally would go with the double walled idea. Mine were really hot this summer, and I worry about them when it gets below 20 in winter. Though my friend in Vermont worries not at all and hers lose toes and comb to frostbite.

    As already mentioned, the best way to deal with bedding is just to keep piling it on instead of cleaning it out a lot. It doesn't get smelly because it composts and it actually provides extra heat in the winter. I keep a bale of shavings in teh coop and just toss some around when I am in there. I first cleaned my out like every week. Now only about 4 times a year. What gets smelly is the food if they have the opportunity to make a mess. Get some diatomacious earth and sprinkle it around regularly to take care of mites.

    Have fun! They are addicting.

    These pictures are very similar to my coop.

    Attached Files:

  25. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    I will post pic when I get started next weekend. You Know your birds!

Share This Page