Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Poop On The Coop

Coop Building 101

Here is the link to info on the book where we found our coop design:
http://www.amazon.com/Backyard-Chickens-Guide-Coops-Tractors/dp/1440316961/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348888351&sr=1-5&keywords=chicken+coop

There were many coop designs in this book.  We also kept in mind the climate these coops were made for as the coop owners were from all over the country.  What works in Florida, will not work in Pennsylvania, obviously.  Other sources for coop designs are online and looks like many plans are available for sale.  Look at LOTS of coop designs and see what you like and don't like about them and start narrowing down from there.  Some people turn old sheds or dog houses into coops and other people erect a brand new structure like we did. 

After much consideration, we decided we liked the covered run idea of this coop and Kenny started to roll with it.  He enjoys building things and is very mechanical.  I do not recommend this project to anyone who doesn't have patiences for long hours of manual labor!!!  You can buy very nice pre- made coops, if you are willing to spend a little more than we did.  Look at the Amish stores that sell sheds, Tractor Supply Co., local farm and feed stores, etc. 

The Cut List

This book appeared that it had it all together.  Upon closer inspection, Kenny quickly realized that it had failed miserably in the Cut List department.  Sure it listed materials.  There was no handy list telling you exactly what you need at Lowe's and he soon found that some of the measurements listed couldn't be trusted.  When you are buying supplies on your Lowe's card and hoped to purchase all at once to qualify for the 12 months no interest, it was a fail because we had to make multiple trips after the first trip.  All in all, we figure the complete cost of our project was about $1000 and I can't even estimate the man hours involved.  It was very labor intensive!

Alterations

The coop design we chose did not have a built out nest box.  That was one thing we both decided was handy.  So Kenny altered the design to incorporate the bumped out nest box with access lid.  He also made some minor changes to the 2 roost bars from the original design.  Another major thing....knowing our winters get cold, he decided to insulate our coop.  Each wall is lined with foam insulation and sandwiched between sheets of T-111, which is weather resistant.  Hoping this helps the birds stay warmer in the winter.  All the breeds we selected are hardy cold weather varieties and suitable to our climate. 

How Many Birds?

The most important issue with figuring out what coop you want is to decide how many birds you want to house.  You need afew s.f. per bird and I don't remember off hand the specific number....but it can easily be found on the internet.  You also need 1 nest box per so many birds.  We have 2 nest boxes which will easily accomodate our 5 hens (we planned on 6 hens, but Lila snuck in there!).  We figure we could house 8 birds comfortably so if we want to add to the flock, we have room for 2 more.

Questions/Comments? 

Please feel free to leave a question or comment below!  It will A)  let me know someone is actually reading this and B) this was a very quick summary.  Kenny handled the dirty work, so if there is something technical about the project you'd like to know, I will find out the answers from him for you!

Photos!

Enough with the talk....let's see some pictures!


 
 
Hope you enjoyed our 'Tour de Coop'! 
 
We are still only getting 1 egg a day, consistantly.  11 days in a row.  Hope the rest of the girls start laying soon!
 
Patiently waiting....
Malissa