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Author Topic: Need Help with Chicken Coop Plans.  (Read 11163 times)
winenutguy
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« on: October 12, 2008, 12:45:43 PM »

Hello all.  In addition to bees my wife and I are going to start raising chickens next spring.  We have an area already fenced off but we need some chicken coop plans.  We are planning on having 8-10 Black Australorps.   We have seen pictures of several nice coops but no real building plans.  Does anyone have any or know of a book or website that we could go to?  We are looking to do something on the nicer side to complement our yard.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Best wishes, Winenutguy
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mtman1849
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 12:48:32 PM »

I don't know if you have a tractor supply store out there but they sell a really nice book with a lot of chicken coop plans in it I don't remember the price
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 03:31:51 PM »

I believe there is a forum at backyardchickens.com  . not sure of the link but it is something like that.
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winenutguy
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 08:59:53 PM »

Hello All;
I've been to the site. Lot's of pictures and comments but I can't seem to find real plans.  I'm the kind of guy that needs it broken down in detail or I'm lost.  Not much of a handy man type of guy.  Any suggestions on where I can find real plans would be greatly appreciated.  Best wishes, Winenutguy
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poka-bee
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2008, 09:29:09 PM »

You might try the library, they would have different books so you can choose.  Some people also use those wooden garden sheds you can get at Home Depot & FMyer, just add perches, nestboxes & a little door.  Kinda spendy but look cute! J
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winenutguy
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2008, 09:37:40 PM »

Hi Poka Bee;
I tried our local library.  No luck.  I ty them again though.  The pre-build sheds are two much dough for us to justify.  We'll keep looking around.  Best wishes, Winenutguy
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danno
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 08:42:26 AM »

The stories guide to raising chicken is a really good book.  Heres a link
http://www.newfarm.org/books/reviews/2005/feb05/chicken.shtml
As for a coop they really aren't fussy.  Mine is 12 X 12 and 6.5ft high.  It has one window, 36 ft of roost that can be removed for cleaning and 10 nest boxes.  I have about 75 birds.  Hanging feeder and waterer on chains that can be raised so they have to reach abit stops them from spooning food all over the place.  The low ceiling holds heat down.   
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 07:38:38 AM by danno » Logged
thomashton
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008, 05:20:48 PM »

This is the $4 chapter from that book recommended above. It is helpful, but it is best to get the full book with the chicken raising info you'll need. I have a copy of this. Pretty helpful.
http://www.amazon.com/Building-Chicken-Coops-Bulletin-224/dp/1580172733/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223932581&sr=8-1

I also use this book by the same author which has quite a bit of info copy and pasted from her other books, but more info on other animals as well.
http://www.amazon.com/Building-Chicken-Coops-Bulletin-224/dp/1580172733/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223932581&sr=8-1

Finally, I don't have this book but have heard people like it. Might want to give it a look.
http://www.amazon.com/How-Build-Animal-Housing-Stanchions/dp/1580175279/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223932730&sr=1-2
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winenutguy
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 05:59:43 PM »

Thank you all for the help and suggestions.  I will look into these resources ASAP.  Thanks again!  Winenutguy
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 09:50:38 PM »

Hi Poka Bee;
I tried our local library.  No luck.  I ty them again though.  The pre-build sheds are two much dough for us to justify.  We'll keep looking around.  Best wishes, Winenutguy

I guess I shoulda shown you what I was planning on doing building my new hen house when you were down.  Maybe next time around.


for nest boxes plan on 14-16 inch cube for chickens the size of an Australorp to Jersey Giants.  The nest boxes on sale from most hatchery catalogs are 12 inch cubes and a bit small for the larger chickens.  Believe when I say if the nest box is too small the chicikens will lay on the ground instead of the box.
You need a small feed room or lean to, at least 12 inches of linear space per chicken on the roosts(more is better), and 4 sq feet per bird in the hen house besides the chicken yard.  The nests should have slanted bottoms sloping towards the direction you'll be collecting the eggs from.  The ceiling shouldn't be more than 6 inches above your head.  Too much head room and the chickens will start roosting in the rafters, which means they'll start flying over the fence.  An 8X8 shed should work for your needs (that's 64 sq feet).
The chicken entrance can be placed under the nest boxes if layout is a problem.  Also put in a double row of nest boxes with perch in front.  6 nest boxes will do up to 30 chickens.  They like to lay in the same nests as the other chickens but you need enough so several can lay at once.  It's not unusual for me to go out and find 6 or more eggs in the same nest box.
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winenutguy
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2008, 10:16:52 PM »

Thank you Brian!  Best wishes, Marcus
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JoelinGA
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2008, 12:29:46 PM »

Brain,

Working on a coop here too. We're planning on getting Rhode Island Reds, would you recommend that larger size next box for them as well? I saw others that were the 12 x 12 size, so was planning on building mine based of of those measurements.

Thanks!
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danno
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2008, 12:56:39 PM »

When I started years ago i got Buff Orpingtons.  They are on the large size so I built my nest boxes on the large size about 11 X 12 deep and about 13 high.  The hens never used all the boxes. They picked there favorites and sometimes I would go in and have 2 hens stuffed in one box both laying. Now I raise Isa browns a medium size bird and at times find 3 birds in a box.  They have a doz to choose from but the whole flock of 50+ birds just use 1/2 doz or so.  The rest are clean and empty
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Shawn
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2008, 01:41:15 PM »

I watched a show on TV that was showing how to make the best chicken coop. The hen house and yard was all sectioned off so you could keep the roosters from the hens, if so desired, and the different species seperate. The house was designed so you could walk into a little alleyway and then go into what ever section you wanted. We too, well my sister in law, are looking into getting some chickens going. I have told them this idea so this way she can keep some hens seperate just for eggs and the others in a different pen for raising new ones and then a different area for the fatting up chickens for eating.
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winenutguy
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2008, 05:07:06 PM »

Thank you all for your replys.  We hope to start construction in a couple of weeks.  By the way, does anyone know of any special needs or have any tips for Black Australorps.  This is the breed we have decided on.  I thought I would ask just in case.  Thanks to everyone again for the replys and suggestions.  Winenutguy
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2008, 05:13:04 PM »

Right now until I get my coop built I am using some deep bee boxes. Mediums would probably work. These are Rhode Island Reds and sometimes I see two hens at a time in the box  rolleyes
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BenC
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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2008, 08:25:42 PM »

We are looking to do something on the nicer side to complement our yard.


The easiest way (in my opinion) would be to modify a pre-built shed.  2nd would be to build your own and use T111 siding, viola! a snappy looking hen haus.  If you are in a bind 1/2bu peach crates, milk crates, even cardboard tomato boxes can work as nesting boxes.  here are a few plans/guidelines from VPI&SU:

http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/poultry/factsheets/designs.html
http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/poultry/factsheets/10.html

It's been many years since I had anything to do with chickens but spring '09 I'm re-stocking the coop.
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reinbeau
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2008, 08:35:43 PM »

Retrofitting an existing shed is a good way, but I have to say, building the 10x10' coop we built cost much less than buying a shed and then modifying it.  Hubby does know how to frame things, so that was easy for him, we just installed the nest boxes the other day, so it's finally getting finished.  It is hard to find specific plans to follow, most of the coops on backyardchickens.com are for smaller flocks of people who live in more urban areas.  Really all you need is a square building with a solid roof, a chicken door, and roosts - eventually (when they're big enough to start laying) you need nest boxes.  Plus make sure you plan for ventilation.  Chicken poo gives off quite a bit of ammonia, and believe me, if you don't have good airflow it stinks!.  We have four windows in the coop I can open as needed.  Just make sure nothing is going to blow on the birds when it's cold out.  They need ventilation, but not drafts on them!

Here is a link to our thread on BYC.  I'm going to be updating it soon with run and nest box pictures soon.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2008, 09:34:57 PM »

Brain,

Working on a coop here too. We're planning on getting Rhode Island Reds, would you recommend that larger size next box for them as well? I saw others that were the 12 x 12 size, so was planning on building mine based of of those measurements.

Thanks!


14-16 inch square boxes should be used for all the Large Breeds: Jersey Giants, Brahmas, Orpingtons, Large Cochin's, Turkens, Australorps, Langshan, and the like.  Medium and small breeds will make good use of 12X12 boxes. Most of the Mediterranean breeds are mediums size.
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reinbeau
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« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2008, 10:55:34 AM »

We just built our nest boxes, they're 15x15x12" deep.  We were told that was plenty large enough for the heavy breeds we have.  I hope they're right!
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