Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:51 pm
I was wondering what some of you that keep chickens use/have as a coop or house. I have two roosters and eight hens I need to build a coop/house for. I will attach to it a very large poultry run or fenced-in area. Pictures or plans are appreciated.
Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:25 pm
CB- I have had approx. 30 chickens for 2yrs now in a temporary coop. I have a half built coop I hope to move them into this yr. I'm glad I waited as the last 2yrs have taught some things about chickens. I now have a good idea as what I feel will work for me.
1st off- chickens are on the bottom of the food chain-with that in mind the house and run must be fortified. I have decided the run will be built with 4x4's around the parimeter and a tin roof. Other roof systems will fail soon enough and the tin will keep most moisture off the run to help keep the mud down. Design one side of the run so as to open up enough to get a tractor or something in to help get rid of the poop, unless you like loads of manual labor
. Select a heavy gauge wire for the run.
The coop needs ventilation for summer but closed up for winter. Make a spot isloated inside the coop to rear the new broods. Every yr or 2 you will need to start chickes and they must be kept seperate from the rest for about 6mos. Nests are easiest if you get the sheet metal types that just scew directly on the the wall and can be cleaned easy.
Have electric available for lighting for winter heat and to keep them laying throughout winter. I'll stop here. Pm me if you like and I'll give yo my# if you want to talk. Bill
Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:13 pm
Try here Bud, these plans might not be what you want but may get you headed in the right direction. Some of the plans are rather dated, but if it works...and it's free...why not!!! You can buy hard-copies of these, but if you have Adobe you can view em for free.
Last edited by Russell F on Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:16 pm
My daughter used an 8 X 10 shed kit from Lowes for her coop.
Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:46 pm
Here's a picture of our chicken coop:
On the back side is a large opening lined with 1/4" hardware cloth. It can be shut up in foul (
) weather. There is also a trap door to gather eggs without entering the coop. I can get you pictures of that side if you like.
Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:50 pm
There is a good book "ABC of Poultry Raising" by J.H. Florea that I like. My "farm" had a old coop that was in pretty good shape that I cleaned up and repaired. Its pretty much exactly what you think a good coop should look like. My nest boxes were made out of OSB board instead of the metal ones to save me some money and they seem to work good. I put roosts in two corners of the coop, one above the other so there not sitting over top one another. There about 3 inches wide. I use pine shavings on the floor and sprinke lime over them occasionally and rake it. You do this and add some fresh shavings every once in a while and you should only have to muck your coop a few times a year. They say its better to have a good base of litter built up then keep cleaning it out. You will want to clean and dissenfect coop when you bring in a new batch of chickens though. I have electric out there for my water heater and a light but do not keep the light on all the time. Laying does slow down during winter and during the molt. I built a run outside for them and they picked that clean and dig a bunch of holes in the dirt. One flies out every now and then but they dont go too far. I havent had any problems with predators in the 2 years Ive had them. I think my hyper lab helps keep rodents away. They say you should have 3 1/2 square feet per bird. You dont want to crowd them. My coop is one of the nicest I have seen and the birds seem happy. I know there just chickens but I take care of any animal the way I would want to be treated. You take care of them and they will take care of you. I put a fan blowing out in the window in the summer and keep window partly closed during winter. You can feed a chicken almost anything but I dont give mine any table scraps. Only all natural feed and grain sometimes make grass clippings mash or hay mash for greens. I also built a coop in my "goat barn" that I have some rabbits in. This is not your conventional coop but seems to be working for the 30 bantams I have in there. The chickens I have laying now are black sex links or black stars and barred rocks. I have been very happy with them both. My bantams are mixed. Amarecaunas, silkies, all feather legged varieties. I get my chicks from a hatchery in ohio that will ship anywhere and have been extremely happy with them. They have a full color catalog and good prices. Meyers Hatchery in Polk, Ohio. A friendly family owned hatchery that will answer any question you have. This spring Im gonna get a few ducks
Sorry about rambling on but I really like my chickens
Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:14 pm
Jake, thanks for the info. I have ten Partridge Rocks; two roosters and eight hens. One of the hens is older than the others and she started laying on Saturday. Three eggs so far.
I am familiar with Meyer Hatchery. I have them listed in My Favorites on my computer.
I have purchased a incubator and plan on incubating chicken and guinea eggs. I think it will be a nice project/hobby for me and the kids.
Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:12 am
Here's where I keep my chickens.
Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:24 am
Good one John. I keep mine at KFC with extras in the fridge.
Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:19 pm
you forgot to turn it on
Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:57 am
Hey C.B. Check this out http://www.codyandemily.com/index_files/eggcam.html
..... It's a live web-cam shot of eggs in an incubator. One of the chicks has 3 legs and is falling all over in a comical way. Don't know what will happen after the hatch is done, so view it as soon as you can ..........
(although I have "dial-up", it works best with "high speed" internet!)
Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:52 pm
I have an elevated 10 by 10 tool shed kit elevated 18 inches from the ground, to prevent vermin living under or clawing under doors, to house six hens and a bantam rooster. 84 square feet are for them and the remaining 16 square feet is caged to allow me to get inside from rain and snow and a place to store food. The kit comes with double doors and that is where the division begins, one door is for cleaning, the other door is for me. I opted for a full size building because I wanted to stand erect and have easy access to the space. A scavenged window supplies light when the door is closed, but on good days the door is left open. I over built the floor, adding 2 by 6 joists and 3/4 plywood, both treated because I want it to last. Cheap linoleum is laid over the floor before a deep layer, 8-12 inches of shavings are put in.
I read of the deep layer method that the chicken farmers happened onto during the second world war when labor shortages made them change their litter less and was found to have no bad effect at all. They keep it pretty well turned most of the time because I sprinkle whole corn here and there. It doesn't stink or reek of ammonia.
The outside fencing is seven feet tall and covered overhead. The first three feet is 1 by 2 inch wire, the heavy stuff to prevent dogs or coyotes from tearing through. I didn't bury this stuff, but bent the bottom foot of it outwards to lay on top of the ground and the grass has grown so solidly through it to make it impossible to lift up. Then its 1 inch chicken wire from top to bottom to prevent little animals. The top is 2 inch chicken wire to prevent hawks.
I used sheds because I am not a good designer, but if I had to do it again, now that I know what it takes, it would be with normal house building material that are sturdier and better quality than what is in the kits. Chickens are far more heavier and active than I imagined and had to rebuild roosts and laying boxes a couple of times before getting it right.
The winter, normally long and cold, in maine keeps the chickens indoors all day for weeks on end, which is why there is plenty of space per chicken.
Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:12 pm
I am planning a chicken coup on skids. I am not sure about the lenght but I am thinking 8 feet wide and 12->16 feet long and 6 ft high on the short side and 7->8 on the long side (shed roof). If it is sturdy and on skids I can face the widows to the south during the winter and to the north in summer. I am planning to put in a stove pipe chimney painted black which can be plug during the winter and used for ventilation during the summer (chimney effect; black gets hot hot air goies out the chimney and cooler air rushes in to take its place through some vents). I am planning to have one wall to be removable so that the liter can be pushed out of the coup. Also if on skids the run can be changed to a new area and old area plowed under. I am planning on Dominiques (likes to roam) and Jersey Giants (big).
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