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Chicken coop designs - pros/cons using earth bags?  RSS feed

 
Jim Grieco
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Hi everyone,

Has anyone actually built (or seen built) a stand alone chicken coop? If so would you mind sharing some info? Also, what could be the cons (if any) on building this way?
We have a future EB home in the works and this would be a great practice run, and we need a coop!

Thanks
Jim
 
chad Christopher
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
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The cons I can find in building with earth bags, is the ability to properly clean the coop. Nice little hidey spots for mites, and the possibility of predators, undermining the structure. Otherwise, if properly designed and vented, to avoid these things, sure. But for the most part, people who create stationary coops, tend to resent it. But as a temporary structure, and experimental space, I dig the idea. I would design it, so eventually it could work as a entirely different structure. Dog house, small root cellar, something.
 
Jim Grieco
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Chad, thank you for your thoughts. Is it just the overall finish of the bags that you are concerned about with mites?
Our coup is meant to be stationary with the opportunities to free range in our orchard.

Jim
 
chad Christopher
Posts: 311
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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The overall finish. If you ever plan on dragging that thing around, it's going to be mighty heavy. Maybe perlite mixed with a little clay to stabilize the mix? Should be much much lighter. If built on a skid system, you may be able to drag it fairly far with a truck or tractor. You never know when or if your plans will change in the future. A hard move, but otherwise doable.

http://www.permies.com/t/37135/labs/ultimate-skiddable-bee-hut
 
Christopher Steen
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I'm all about gaining experience first, but is the return worth the time/effort on a coop? then again, i've seen a tire coop, so ymmv!
You have a good shed/workshop yet? (And if it's dome experience that you are seeking, then, how about a 12-16'er for studio, bathhouse, mec, guesthouse, shed, etc... that'll give you tangible dome experience and allow you to evaluate the dome habitat)
 
Terry Schaefer
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Earthbag Building Experience
Forest City, North Carolina
June 10, 2015 2 pm - 8:30 pm

Learn and experience building with earthbags. Experience will include bag prep, filling and closing bags, laying barbed wire and placing the bags in the construction of a 9 x 12 chicken coop. Group limited to 10 persons, so that each participant will have adequate experience with each element of building the walls. Email to make reservation: Gta04@yahoo.com.
 
Jennifer Meyer
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Location: North Carolina
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Are you referring to building an entire chicken coop, or just the hen house with earth bags? Will your chickens be able to leave the coop to free range occasionally? If your chickens will be cooped indoors 100% of the time in the dark, you will be creating a CAFO from earth bags.

When I was a little girl growing up in southern Wisconsin, my dad built a lovely hen house from hay bales. The hens dug into the bales to nest. It was warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The earthen floor was fairly easy to clean. I think an earth bag hen house would be similar. You could incorporate poles into the design as you approach the ceiling for roosts, and wine bottles for colored light and character. Stucco and paint the inside and out, and it should be impervious to pests.
 
Jim Grieco
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Thanks Jennifer for your feedback. We actually have been building this over the summer. It is a 9' diameter dome and will be the "chicken coop". Yes, they will have an outdoor pen and eventually free range in our orchard. We re not building this because we feel it's the best and easiest way to build. Coop. Hell No! We just wanted to practice some before we start our Earthbag home.
The chicken dome has a dedicated door for the chickens to go out to the pen plus a door for us to enter. It has 5 laying boxes with outside doors for getting eggs. We Lao plan on using a center post with arms for their perch area. The are 3 windows (culvert pipe) that will be glass bottle windows. We are using a skylight at the top for light and (4) 4" elbows as windscoops for ventilation. There are also (3) 2" pipes about a foot of the floor to help with circulation.
Here are a couple of pics
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Jennifer Meyer
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Location: North Carolina
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I'm going to build a hen house dome for practice, too, Jim. Your post confused me, because you are using the terms "coop" and "hen house" interchangeably, but I get you now. I have to provide proof of concept to my husband before he will be sold on the dome house for humans.

Say, that's a nifty-looking dome. Would you mind telling me where you got it?
 
Jim Grieco
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Sorry - when ever I see a DIY chicken house, it's always called a coop.
If you are a Facebooker you are welcome to like our page: Blue Phoenix Earthbag domes
We have all the pics on our chicken dome and when ready this page will show our progress with our home.
Currently our home design is a multi-dome setup with an indoor garden (not a dome).
Are you near any completed domes? Nothing beats seeing a dome with your own eyes. Might be just what your hubby needs

Are you referring to the skylight? Got that at Home Depot. Need to order online and they send to your store of choice. This one is 14" diameter and cost $30.
*its part of that whole tube skylight kit.
 
Barn Gulian
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I really hope I will start my chicken coop project this month. I found a handy free chicken coop plans by Dave Malcolm https://www.howtoplans.org/chicken-coop-plans/ this guy knows his stuff.

I have picked this one:



Can't wait to start!
 
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https://permies.com/t/70674/digital-market/digital-market/Complete-Wild-Edibles-Package-Sergei
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