Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I thought I'd share some pics of my coop and ask for critique and ideas. I have spent almost zero time around any other coops in real-life, so I've just made things up as I go.

I have an 11-stall barn and converted one of the stalls into a coop. I didn't spend a bunch of time making everything "perfect" and pretty - I'm going for function and over time I'll fancy it up. This is totally reconfigurable, but I'm not interested in unnecessarily spending a lot of money.

Pegboard on left to let some air through. Plywood ceiling. Raised plywood floor.
ImageUploadedByHomesteading Today1413129296.587748.jpg ImageUploadedByHomesteading Today1413129307.792005.jpg ImageUploadedByHomesteading Today1413129319.586603.jpg ImageUploadedByHomesteading Today1413129334.808413.jpg

(Bottom left are my nesting boxes. Hard to see)
ImageUploadedByHomesteading Today1413129348.987629.jpg

Zachariah - my 2yo helper - I won't let anyone cut his hair :)
ImageUploadedByHomesteading Today1413129373.166185.jpg


- do I need more roosts?
- do I need to make a protected run outside coop door so they can come out whenever they want?
- do I need to cut some windows to let more light/air in?
- will they stay warm enough in cold winter without insulated or at least plywood walls?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
512 Posts
Unless you have a lot of birds, you appear to already have more roost space than you need in there. I'm guessing you have 20 birds or less? I'd try to make the roosts span from left to right across the back(?) of the coop, around waist high, and remove the rest. Less clutter on the floor, less head-smackers when you clean the coop.

Chickens are wearing a down coat, so the coop doesn't really need insulation (won't hurt anything to have it either, except maybe your checkbook). What it does need is ventilation without drafts. And more sunlight. DH installed some free, salvaged camper windows for my coop. That helps with both ventilation and sunlight. In hindsight, I wish I had taken steps to keep chicken dust from getting into the rest of the building (electric panel, vet supplies, light fixtures etc. all covered in chicken dust) my coop is built into. You might want to consider doing that.

Sooner or later, you'll probably find that having an enclosed outdoor run makes life easier for you, and nicer for your birds, for one reason or another. Building one before you discover you need one is a good idea.
 
  • Like
Reactions: natedlee

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
It looks great to me. The only thing that I would add is over in the corner it looks like you have a dowel holding a feeder. The chickens might try to roost on it making a mess of the feeder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
It looks great to me. The only thing that I would add is over in the corner it looks like you have a dowel holding a feeder. The chickens might try to roost on it making a mess of the feeder.

Yeah the cheap feeder bottom keeps breaking away from the upper part. I probably need a better feeder solution for the winter. They also roost on the pole I'm using and poop on the feed. Right now I just have the plastic tray on the ground. I lose a lot of feed to the ground though. Definitely something to fix.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Unless you have a lot of birds, you appear to already have more roost space than you need in there. I'm guessing you have 20 birds or less? I'd try to make the roosts span from left to right across the back(?) of the coop, around waist high, and remove the rest. Less clutter on the floor, less head-smackers when you clean the coop.

Chickens are wearing a down coat, so the coop doesn't really need insulation (won't hurt anything to have it either, except maybe your checkbook). What it does need is ventilation without drafts. And more sunlight. DH installed some free, salvaged camper windows for my coop. That helps with both ventilation and sunlight. In hindsight, I wish I had taken steps to keep chicken dust from getting into the rest of the building (electric panel, vet supplies, light fixtures etc. all covered in chicken dust) my coop is built into. You might want to consider doing that.

Sooner or later, you'll probably find that having an enclosed outdoor run makes life easier for you, and nicer for your birds, for one reason or another. Building one before you discover you need one is a good idea.

Thanks this is great. I plan to cut a horizontal window 3/4 of the way up the wall (between horizontal framing) and put hogwire on the inside. Then I'll add a hinged board to lower at night/raise during day, or something like that.

I like the roost idea. I routinely hit my head :) or get pooped on. Haha. And yes, I have 11 birds at this point. I'm adding s turkey soon and maybe some more layers. We'll see. I also throw a large dog cage on the floor when I get new birds for a week or so.

A run will be nice. Probably not necessary now, especially since it's getting colder already.

Thanks for the input!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,831 Posts
if you Google diy pvc chicken feeders I bet you will find one that you all ready have the stuff to make. my first one was a 3 ft piece of 4 inch pvc hung above a dish. filled it from the top and whenthe feed hits the pan under it if close enough it stops running feed down and you have an auto feeder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Raccoons will rip right through the chicken wire, would recommend 1/2" by 1/2" hardware cloth.

Yeah I bought a bundle of hog wire I plan to swap out for the chicken wire. I've heard exactly what you're saying from several people. We have/had a nuisance raccoon. Apparently the previous owners (we bought in Apr) hand-fed a freaking raccoon at the house. Haven't seen it in a long while though. I'm planning to get a LGD also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
if you Google diy pvc chicken feeders I bet you will find one that you all ready have the stuff to make. my first one was a 3 ft piece of 4 inch pvc hung above a dish. filled it from the top and whenthe feed hits the pan under it if close enough it stops running feed down and you have an auto feeder.

YES!! That is exactly what I've seen and thought about making. Thanks for the reminder. Looks indestructible and cheap for DIYers, like I pretend to be. :)

It's amazing how usefully Pinterest can be for homesteading: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/502081058429944498/
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,949 Posts
I'm not big on kids, but Zachariah is adorable. :)

This is chickens, only, right? The glide down room from the roosts would not be enough for turkeys, just in case you decide to get some of them in there sometime. Getting up there is easy enough for them, but they can damage their legs if they have too short a landing zone.

It looks pretty good to me. I would strongly suggest you put plywood up against the walls with steel on them, though, because chicken manure is hard on metal, and if you get any kind of build up against it (even small amounts on the girts) you can start to see corrosion. I know good steel is supposed to have coatings to protect it, but I wouldn't trust it when it's easy enough to throw some plywood in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I'm not big on kids, but Zachariah is adorable. :)

This is chickens, only, right? The glide down room from the roosts would not be enough for turkeys, just in case you decide to get some of them in there sometime. Getting up there is easy enough for them, but they can damage their legs if they have too short a landing zone.

It looks pretty good to me. I would strongly suggest you put plywood up against the walls with steel on them, though, because chicken manure is hard on metal, and if you get any kind of build up against it (even small amounts on the girts) you can start to see corrosion. I know good steel is supposed to have coatings to protect it, but I wouldn't trust it when it's easy enough to throw some plywood in there.

Hey thanks. He's our spoiled #4 with 3 sisters. I'll make him a rancher before too long.

Yeah the chickens are pooping in the wood and siding. I had no idea it was corrosive. I'll have to plan that at some point. They can't really roost on them so it does keep it down though.

I think I'll reconfigure the roosts, as someone else suggested, and make a lower one that should be better for turkeys. I have noticed the chickens can land hard sometimes. But right now I have 9 chickens and 2 Guineas.
 

·
HOW do they DO that?
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
Yeah I bought a bundle of hog wire I plan to swap out for the chicken wire. I've heard exactly what you're saying from several people. We have/had a nuisance raccoon. Apparently the previous owners (we bought in Apr) hand-fed a freaking raccoon at the house. Haven't seen it in a long while though. I'm planning to get a LGD also.
What size wire and mesh is the hog wire you refer to?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,224 Posts
I tries a bunch of different feeders. Settled on one like this

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/4-dollar-chicken-feeder-water

I used an oil drain pan from Wally World. Hang it from the ceiling at a height that the chickens can get the feed. They don't like to perch on it because it moves so no poop in the feed. I fill it up every three or four days, less in the summer.

See the sticky for waterers. Check out www.backyardchickens.com for info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I tries a bunch of different feeders. Settled on one like this

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/4-dollar-chicken-feeder-water

I used an oil drain pan from Wally World. Hang it from the ceiling at a height that the chickens can get the feed. They don't like to perch on it because it moves so no poop in the feed. I fill it up every three or four days, less in the summer.

See the sticky for waterers. Check out www.backyardchickens.com for info.

Nice. I'm considering something similar to this or the pvc setup for my pig feeder as well. Self-feeders tend to be ridiculously expensive for something that seems a good DIY project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
I put my roost at 6ft 4 just so i would not hit my head but they still had somewhere to get up away from anything that might get in there .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
What size wire and mesh is the hog wire you refer to?

It has 2"x4" holes. Not sure if gauge, but it's thick. Just thin enough to roll up (see pic). I guess a weasel could get through that, but I haven't seen any around or heard of them near us. Will this work?

ImageUploadedByHomesteading Today1413417805.894338.jpg
 

·
HOW do they DO that?
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
2x4 wire will keep most larger things out, the smaller species of weasel can get thru a 1" opening.....small raccoon might get thru 2x4, any raccoon could reach thru and grab any chicken within reach. Would work pretty good for a daytime run tho.

I highly recommend 1/2 x 1/2 hardware cloth attached every 8" along the edges with screws and large washers on any coop opening for nighttime security.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
I see one thing that is going to give you a problem. Are the top of those coops open to the rest of the barn? Because birds will eventually start to roost as high as the can get. That will cause all kinds of problems. I once had a hen build a nest in the rafters that I could not get to. The first step for those chicks was a doozy!
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top