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Tell me about your favorite coops!  RSS feed

 
Libbie Hawker
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Location: Friday Harbor, WA
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Hi, everybody! We just tore down an ugly fence on our property and are going to re-use the wood to build a coop for our future chickens. We were happy to see that although the fence was hideous (and blocking the southern sun), it was made of nice cedar wood and most of the planks and posts are in great shape.

I've been looking through various plans for coops, but there are so many different styles. I'm a bit overwhelmed. So I thought I'd come to the Permies and see what has or has not been working well for you all. Ideally, I'd like to build one large coop with a big run, and one smaller coop to house 2-3 birds with a small run in case I need to quarantine anybody. (That's the zookeeper in me...always thinking about quarantine and holding.)

So any pictures of your coops, links to designs you've used, or other information on designing and building coops would be excellent!

Thanks!
 
Todd Parr
Posts: 964
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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For a small coop, I love my chicken tractor.  I built it from plans I got here: chicken tractor  It works great for a mom and her little ones, or a few hens.
 
Charli Wilson
Posts: 298
Location: Derbyshire, UK
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I love that my coop is raised (its on legs), I don't have to lean over the clean the inside as it is at waist level and no critters can live underneath (tis only a small coop, for 6 chickens).

I also like the solid roof by the coop 'human door'- keeps me out of the rain when cleaning.

I like the things that I can maintain from outside of the run- so waterer, feeder and nestbox can be reached whilst the chickens are all secured in the run. If I have to top the feeders up before work or whatever then this makes it a million times faster than trying to persuade the chickens to go back inside after they've dashed for their freedom in the garden.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I personally recommend the paddock shift system.  I have currently one small mobile coop in a paddock system, and one larger stationary two-sided (duplex) coop which I hope to redesign with paddocks. I also have a small stationary coop for quarantine type activities including setting, and a semi-mobile "Chick Hut" for raising chicks. (last two coops are not currently in use)

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James Freyr
Posts: 240
Location: Middle Tennessee
14
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Here are a few pics of my chicken coop, that's me in one of them handing out watermelon treats . Let it be known I did not design this coop. This design came from some very nice people on backyardchickens.com. In fact, I just went to the website and right there on the home page is a picture of the original. The very nice people, who you can contact thru that website if you so choose to build one, took the time to create a professional building plan/schematic on sketchup and a materials list for the coop. I mailed them $5 and they emailed me the coop plans and material list, and they were a joy to correspond with.

I built that coop in the spring of 2014. It has held up very well and my wife and I are very pleased with it. One change I made is alter two longest 2x6's on the ground cutting a radius on both ends making them skids so I could drag the coop around. I also screwed 1.5 inch wide, approximately 1/4inch thick strips of nylon on the bottom of those skids for lower friction and to have nylon in contact with the wet earth instead of the wood. I still used pressure treated lumber for those skids. I used regular pine for everything else. You can kinda see the 3 roosting bars I have inside the hen house in one picture, which seems to comfortably accommodate my current 13 laying hens. You can also see three ladies in one nesting box, with a few grey tail feathers being the evidence of the third

Things I like about this design: It's heavy. I don't have to worry about high gusts of wind knocking it over during storms. If winds are high enough to pick up that coop and move it, I have much bigger problems on my hands. I have guesstimated it weighs 800lbs, it may weigh more. It has a steel roof. I can stand up inside the run. The windows open and close. I can back up my lawnmower with wagon to the door and rake out the used bedding. It's easy for me to keep clean.

The downside about this design: It's heavy. I thought I could move it about with my garden tractor when I built it, no go. I have to use my pickup truck. I don't have a 4x4 truck, and I've gotten stuck in soft earth, and have had to call a buddy to drag me out.

Things I would do different if building it again: I would have 3 nesting boxes.  I would also consider nice fat wheels instead of skids so it rolls without sinking into my soft clay soil when it's wet.

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James Freyr
Posts: 240
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Third picture didn't upload. here it is.
DSC_0376.JPG
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Libbie Hawker
Posts: 102
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
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chicken food preservation hugelkultur
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I personally recommend the paddock shift system.  I have currently one small mobile coop in a paddock system, and one larger stationary two-sided (duplex) coop which I hope to redesign with paddocks. I also have a small stationary coop for quarantine type activities including setting, and a semi-mobile "Chick Hut" for raising chicks. (last two coops are not currently in use)



Wow..this sounds like a really excellent system. I'll have to read up on it more and see if I can make it work with our strangely shaped foraging areas.
 
Travis Johnson
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I live in Maine where it gets cold so I have a permanent chicken/duck coop. We like it as the ducks and chickens naturally let themselves in at night as they free-range during the day in the summer months, we just have to go close the door to keep out any predators (not that we have ever had any though). Ours is insulated and heated for the winter months, has a double-door system all on springs so that we can keep their grain separate from the coop, yet if the kids get eggs, with springs to shut the doors, the chickens have no way of getting out. We have lights in there naturally, geothermal heat, and even a shelf for our empty egg cartons. It is nothing special looking, but has served us well.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Wow, that sounds deluxe, Travis!
 
Rick English
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Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
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Did you get to read, raising chickens 2.0 by Paul Wheaton:
https://richsoil.com/raising-chickens.jsp

Lots of pics on this thread:
Chicken Coop/Tractor/Paddock/runs Picture Round up!!

I kinda like this idea:
Finally, a mobile chicken coop one person can (easily) move.
 
Libbie Hawker
Posts: 102
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
6
chicken food preservation hugelkultur
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Travis Johnson wrote:I live in Maine where it gets cold so I have a permanent chicken/duck coop. We like it as the ducks and chickens naturally let themselves in at night as they free-range during the day in the summer months, we just have to go close the door to keep out any predators (not that we have ever had any though). Ours is insulated and heated for the winter months, has a double-door system all on springs so that we can keep their grain separate from the coop, yet if the kids get eggs, with springs to shut the doors, the chickens have no way of getting out. We have lights in there naturally, geothermal heat, and even a shelf for our empty egg cartons. It is nothing special looking, but has served us well.


wow, this sounds incredible! Sounds like the type of thing I'd like to build. Did you happen to use any particular plans I might be able to access? Or did you make it up as you went?

Our property basically sits on top of a huge chunk of granite, so I doubt I'd be able to implement geothermal heat in this location, but I could certainly build a little "solarium" greenhouse next to the coop and connect it to let heat flow in with the chickens. Hmmmm... (musing...)
 
Libbie Hawker
Posts: 102
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
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chicken food preservation hugelkultur
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Rick English wrote:Did you get to read, raising chickens 2.0 by Paul Wheaton:
https://richsoil.com/raising-chickens.jsp

Lots of pics on this thread:
Chicken Coop/Tractor/Paddock/runs Picture Round up!!

I kinda like this idea:
Finally, a mobile chicken coop one person can (easily) move.


I will check these out! Thank you!
 
Sarah Milcetic
Posts: 19
Location: Shepherdstown, WV
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Travis Johnson wrote:if the kids get eggs, with springs to shut the doors, the chickens have no way of getting out.


Brilliant! I am definitely adding springs to our coops' doors.
 
Sarah Milcetic
Posts: 19
Location: Shepherdstown, WV
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I have two coops that are the same design. I really love it! Like another poster mentioned, one of my favorite things is that it's elevated. There is a run about 3.5 or 4 feet high under the coop, the nesting boxes can be accessed from outside and it also has a garden box over part of the run, which is handy for keeping food and water cleaner.

I am planning to build a large covered run and coop/greenhouse. All the coops will open into the run for predator protection while we are away and then the run will have 5 doors. One for daily access and four will each lead to a different paddock so we can rotate them weekly.

There's a photo and link to our coop on this thread (the first post) https://permies.com/mobile/t/62171/critters/automatic-opener-work-coop-ramp

Edited to add: I got the coop/greenhouse idea from the book "Free Range Chicken Gardens" there are not plans per se but I'm hoping to make up plans and semi-wing it.

https://www.amazon.com/Free-Range-Chicken-Gardens-Beautiful-Chicken-Friendly/dp/1604692375
 
Libbie Hawker
Posts: 102
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
6
chicken food preservation hugelkultur
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Sarah Milcetic wrote:I have two coops that are the same design. I really love it! Like another poster mentioned, one of my favorite things is that it's elevated. There is a run about 3.5 or 4 feet high under the coop, the nesting boxes can be accessed from outside and it also has a garden box over part of the run, which is handy for keeping food and water cleaner.

I am planning to build a large covered run and coop/greenhouse. All the coops will open into the run for predator protection while we are away and then the run will have 5 doors. One for daily access and four will each lead to a different paddock so we can rotate them weekly.

There's a photo and link to our coop on this thread (the first post) https://permies.com/mobile/t/62171/critters/automatic-opener-work-coop-ramp

Edited to add: I got the coop/greenhouse idea from the book "Free Range Chicken Gardens" there are not plans per se but I'm hoping to make up plans and semi-wing it.

https://www.amazon.com/Free-Range-Chicken-Gardens-Beautiful-Chicken-Friendly/dp/1604692375


This is awesome...thank you! I'd love to be able to rotate them into different paddocks for days when I don't want to deal with moving electric net around.
 
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