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Has anyone built a chicken coop?

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  • Has anyone built a chicken coop?

    Any recommendations? Do I need plans? If so - where can I find a good set?

    How long would you reckon it would take 2 relatively handy women, with lots of appropriate tools, but probably drinking a few glasses of wine at the same time, chuckling about the ludicrous idea of building a chicken coop and getting chickens, while hubby is out of the country, to build?

  • #2
    Are you in grizzly country?

    t least four grizzly bears were euthanized in the Flathead this summer after growing accustomed to feasting at chicken coops, according to Wenum.

    "They're the thorn in my side," Wenum said of the growing urban chicken trend. "You get these hobby farmers with a handful of chickens and a goat or two, but they won't put the capital investment into building a good chicken coop. They put up some plywood and chicken wire, and all they've done is make it easy for a bear to get into them."

    Wenum said he has no accounting for where all the chickens are in the Flathead, except what the bears tell him. He'll get a call about a grizzly hitting a coop on one road one night, and the next day will bring another call from the next road over.

    "When they get onto chickens," he said, "they quickly learn where all the chickens are."

    Read more: http://missoulian.com/news/local/art...#ixzz1ZyIQqSCU
    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in.

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    • #3
      I built one by myself a few years ago. Took a couple of days. Don't scrimp on the predator proofing - they'll come from above, under the fence, and through the hen doors. I successfully keep a flock but had some serious trial and error after we moved from the city (raccoons, possum, and rats) to the country (eagles, hawks, coyotes, raccoons, and the neighbor's shitty dogs).

      Here's my account of the city coop I built. We kept up to 6 hens in there.
      http://urbanhennery.com/2006/09/let-the-fun-begin/

      My current coop is an old shed that we fixed up (new floor, new roof) and then fenced a 5' high yard with netting above.
      http://urbanhennery.com/2008/03/from...hack-tabulous/

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      • #4
        UrbanHennery, I enjoyed reading those.
        BackyardChickens.com is a pretty good resource for chicken keeping.

        Comment


        • #5
          Bury the perimeter at least 6 inches deep.

          But YES, you can do it. We built ours as kids with some pieces of plywood board, maybe a 2x4 cut in pieces, chicken wire, and 2 hinges so that we could flip open the roof of the henhouse.

          Also, make sure you have a place to put the manure - STINKY!

          And chickens will eat horse feed.
          It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati

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          • #6
            I've built a few of my own out buildings. I get my ideas from these guys and then I will adapt the plans to suit me.

            University of Tennessee Poultry

            North Dakota Poultry

            The cool part of these plans is they offer plans dating back to 1933, I like seeing how they did it back then...

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            • #7
              I have a "chicken tractor" under construction at the moment. It is a movable chicken house, A framed, with the coop "upstairs", and the grazing area underneath (ground level). This cuts down on your chicken feed requirement. Leave the chicken tractor in one spot for a few days, then pick it up and move it to a new location, leaving fertilized ground, scratched up. Laying boxes at one end of the coop, perch down the center, grain and water bowls in coop. Mine will have insulation in the walls/roof, and metal roofing and a heat lamp, since chickens can freeze in winter here. Coop can be moved into the barn and plugged in for winter. Access to coop through end opposite to nesting boxes. Ramp from coop to ground level which can be raised to lock chickens in coop for moving. Wire around grazing area (2' high).

              Does this help? I am also building on my own, hubby is not interested in chickens.
              www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

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              • #8
                Our chicken coop is built out of pallets and T1-11 that we got for free in a clearance deal from the lumberyard. Our roof is scrap metal roofing that we also got for free as leftovers from a project at a friend's house. We paid for the screws on our coop and nothing else. And there was plenty of beer involved: it was the only way to get DH going on the project!

                If you can nail (or screw with a drill) two boards together you can build a chicken coop. Easy easy. The only thing I would recommend is putting hardware cloth or wire on the floor before you build *OR* use quickcrete to make a floor when you're done. Keeps varmits out. Make the door something that you can shut-ours is just a piece of wood on a hinge that can be lifted or dropped and latched to close them in at night. We also did one strip of clear roofing so they get a little solar heat and natural light, works great.

                They don't need insulation-that's mouse habitat.
                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                • #9
                  Agree with burying perimeter

                  We built a chicken coop 4 years ago. We buried the chicken wire six inches and poured gravel on top of it then dirt (skunks, and other diggers). We also put a hot wire about 6 inches from the ground all the way around(coyotes/foxes) and netting over top (hawks). So far we have not lost any chickens to predators (other than our lab who got inside.

                  I don't know where you live, but we must run electric during a lot of the year or hens will not lay eggs.

                  Finally, think a lot about how you will clean coop. If I were doing it over, I would hinge two doors so that they meet in the front and I could open both up for cleaning and airing out.

                  Good luck
                  PKN

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                  • #10
                    I built a shed. 8x8x8. Regular pitched roof with shingles. No insulation.

                    Put down pt 6x6 posts, and built on that, so air could circulate under. Over the posts, I laid 2x2 pt wood and over that a sheet of 1"plywood for a floor, that I painted with enamel paint to keep it waterproof.
                    Basically, one can follow the way the wood sheds are made that you see for sale, but done much cheaper. Up here, we use pine shiplap siding since its readily available and less expensive than most other siding.

                    I have a human size door (made out of shiplap siding, a z to hold it together), and hinges to put it on the front, which I can get in and out easily to clean. Off the side is a small chicken door that goes into the run, which I also can get into with another door/gate.

                    I used plastic fencing to keep them from flying out, but also to keep predators from going up and over to get in.

                    I videotape the sheds, then go home and build. If I have a model, I can build anything! well, sort of. I am pretty handy carpentry wise, have a lot of tools, and love to build. My dad was a builder, so maybe thru osmosis, I got some of it. It really is doable though.
                    The trick is to have the tools, and a model. I do better with visually seeing the finished product than to follow plans. But, thats me.
                    save lives...spay/neuter/geld

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                    • #11
                      HIJACK!

                      Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                      *OR* use quickcrete to make a floor when you're done.
                      My coop is a converted metal shed the former owners used for poultry.
                      They floored it with patio pavers - the 8X16" ones - over dirt.
                      While that worked fine for the first year I had hens, I now have a rat problem.
                      If I poured quikcrete down the holes the little bastids have gnawed would that keep them out?

                      I was hoping the chickens would hunt the rats, but I seem to have a Disneyesque thing going on in there.
                      The day I find the teeny dressform is the day I learn to use a .22
                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                      • #12
                        We built our coop this year. Several months in, no problems. We free range our birds and they head back to the coop at night. And article we saw on a website about a coop in Great Britain gave us the idea for ours, especially since we wanted a mobile coop. We now have the Porsche 912 "Coop":

                        http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...9dcec45&type=1

                        Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                          My coop is a converted metal shed the former owners used for poultry.
                          They floored it with patio pavers - the 8X16" ones - over dirt.
                          While that worked fine for the first year I had hens, I now have a rat problem.
                          If I poured quikcrete down the holes the little bastids have gnawed would that keep them out?

                          I was hoping the chickens would hunt the rats, but I seem to have a Disneyesque thing going on in there.
                          The day I find the teeny dressform is the day I learn to use a .22


                          I would do a layer of it over the entire floor-we put in a rigged up drain system and then a layer of quickcrete. We were having skunks digging in under the coop walls and it stopped them cold. Or maybe a layer of hardware cloth? pouring it down the holes would slow them down but they might redig.
                          “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I advertised on Craigslist for someone to build me one, sent them photos of one of the popular styles you see advertised, and they built me one exactly like the photo for less than half the price! The guy enjoyed it so much and had so many positive comments from other customers (he's a carpenter) that he now has built a couple dozen others and sold them.
                            Click here before you buy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We bought a used 10x10 storage shed and added a dog door.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                WOW - thanks everyone for your responses.

                                Eponacelt - I love your porsche coop! Urbanhenry - I love yours also.

                                We are in the middle of nowhere. I was going to go with the idea of letting them run free during the day and then totally locking them up at night, however, I also like the idea of the movable coop because then if I went away overnight or something I could just leave them in that also.

                                Thanks again!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Th Porsche coop was actually pretty easy to build. We took an old Porsche body that was ready for the scrap yard (meaning, the floors and lower crossmembers were totally rusted away), cut out the floors, and bolted in strong wire mesh. The biggest issue is making sure you have the tools to work with metal.

                                  Fortunately, while my passion is horses, Mr. eponacelt's passion is cars. So we had a) an old Porsche body that he'd sold most of the parts off of and b) all the tools necessary to work with the metal. If you're interested in more details, let me know!

                                  We free range our chickies, letting them out in the morning and closing up the coop when they roost up at dark. If I need to go away, we can just leave them in the coop for the day.
                                  Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

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