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Posted: 8/28/2014 10:09:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/14/2014 10:33:57 PM EST by Rat_Patrol]
Just going to log our adventure of building a chicken coop for our girls. My 7 year old son is helping me build it. Going off tradition, this will be large enough to also serve as chicken food storage. It is 6x8, tallest wall at 8ft high. Will be insulated all the way around for the MN winters. Right now we have 5 birds, could possibly go up to a dozen if we start selling eggs. Chickens for meat production will be raised in a different coop (to be built later). Working on getting a self-sustaining meat/egg flock going.

Will get pics up later today.
Link Posted: 8/28/2014 10:09:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/1/2014 4:41:22 PM EST by Rat_Patrol]
Well, since we just started last night, didn't get a lot done yet. Raining today, so probably won't get more done until Friday.

My son painting the floor:



Running the entire operation on generator power!


Got the two main wall built. Window framed in for the SE facing window:



My son painting a re-claimed door that will be used for this project:





That is all for now.


UPDATE:
Going to keep this reply going with structure pics.

**Oh, before all the haters (that probably have only watched This Old House and never got off their a$$ and actually done anything themselves) start spitting Cheetos at their screen, I know it isn't framed "properly". I started building small sheds like this years ago because it saves lumber. It may only be a board here, one there, but I can save about $75 in lumber and I have never had a problem with strength. Habits from my days of super poor, I guess. Still try to save where I can.**


Insulated the floor:



Kiddo helping again! Screwing down the top section of floor OSB:




Started about an hour before lunch, this is as far as we got before the Mrs called us for dinner:





Starting to get OSB up. The board on the roof is just a bracing board that will come off.




That is all for now. Taking a water break. Hoping to have the roof framed before I call it a day.
Link Posted: 8/28/2014 10:10:28 AM EST
reserve for pics.
Link Posted: 8/28/2014 1:13:02 PM EST
Updated for pics ^^^^^^
Link Posted: 8/28/2014 6:27:39 PM EST
Watching as I need to build one for next spring. Going to try my hand at raising a few birds for eggs.
Link Posted: 8/28/2014 7:51:21 PM EST
May I suggest a good door.







Three layer of ply, through bolted with larger washers to another 2x4.

Link Posted: 8/28/2014 8:22:35 PM EST
Dam and I thought two neihborhood dogs getting a pair of barred rock hens out of mine was bad....

Dude you have a bear in your freaking chicken coop!!
Link Posted: 8/28/2014 9:24:16 PM EST

So glad we don't have bears around here.
Link Posted: 8/28/2014 9:59:26 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:


So glad we don't have bears around here.
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You sure about that?

OST
Link Posted: 8/28/2014 10:02:19 PM EST
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Originally Posted By MNGearhead:



You sure about that?

OST
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Originally Posted By MNGearhead:
Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:


So glad we don't have bears around here.



You sure about that?

OST
Well, one was actually shot about 7 miles from here a few years ago!
Link Posted: 8/28/2014 10:20:37 PM EST
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Nice upgrade on the door. If I might suggest something, you may want to add some removeable bear spikes around the doors and windows. Those critters keep coming around once they know what's inside.
Link Posted: 8/29/2014 4:58:59 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/29/2014 5:23:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/29/2014 5:28:10 AM EST by OneLegPaddy]
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Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
Well, one was actually shot about 7 miles from here a few years ago!
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Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
Originally Posted By MNGearhead:
Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:


So glad we don't have bears around here.



You sure about that?

OST
Well, one was actually shot about 7 miles from here a few years ago!


We have Black Bear commuting down the Palisades Parkway into Fort Lee, NJ. (just across the G. Washington Br. from Manhattan) I almost killed mamma and 2 cubs with my truck several years back.

OP - Its looking like you're going to have a killer - coop. Good luck. Enjoy the little guy as much as possible....it goes SO fast!
Link Posted: 8/31/2014 1:33:34 PM EST
well, been raining since we did what we did. yesterday all we got done was leveling the platform. storming out now.


Link Posted: 8/31/2014 9:54:00 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
well, been raining since we did what we did. yesterday all we got done was leveling the platform. storming out now.



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Curious, what's the story on that JD [I think] mower next to your sawhorses?


Link Posted: 8/31/2014 11:04:56 PM EST
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Originally Posted By EXPY37:



Curious, what's the story on that JD [I think] mower next to your sawhorses?


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Originally Posted By EXPY37:
Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
well, been raining since we did what we did. yesterday all we got done was leveling the platform. storming out now.






Curious, what's the story on that JD [I think] mower next to your sawhorses?


Ahh, that is our old mower. John Deere STX-38. Got it from my uncle when we first got our place. He got it used about 12 years prior. It was beat to shit when he got it! I ran it about 3-4 years. This spring, the transmission blew out. The 12hp engine runs great, but the rest is shot. It has been commissioned to the weeds until I figure out something neat to do with the engine. I move it around from time to time to mow where it was.
Link Posted: 8/31/2014 11:09:38 PM EST
Find a small PTO generator and make a portable generator.
Link Posted: 8/31/2014 11:17:09 PM EST
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Originally Posted By SandHillsHillbilly:
Find a small PTO generator and make a portable generator.
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with a vertical shaft engine? That limits my choices so badly it seems. Might be better off selling it and buying a horizontal that would be more useful
Link Posted: 8/31/2014 11:31:53 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
with a vertical shaft engine? That limits my choices so badly it seems. Might be better off selling it and buying a horizontal that would be more useful
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Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
Originally Posted By SandHillsHillbilly:
Find a small PTO generator and make a portable generator.
with a vertical shaft engine? That limits my choices so badly it seems. Might be better off selling it and buying a horizontal that would be more useful


No make a stand to mount the motor on and support the generator. Direct couple the generator to the motor.
Link Posted: 9/1/2014 4:44:13 PM EST
More pics up with the others!!!
Link Posted: 9/1/2014 8:15:40 PM EST
This is how I leave it tonight. All major framing done.

In case you missed it, I added some more pics in the box above with the rest.



Link Posted: 9/2/2014 1:40:48 PM EST


Another great thread, `Rat!
Link Posted: 9/2/2014 3:24:50 PM EST
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Originally Posted By FreeBear:


Another great thread, `Rat!
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Thanks!
Link Posted: 9/2/2014 8:37:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/2/2014 8:56:15 PM EST by Rat_Patrol]
Had about an hour and a half to work on it tonight after supper.

Finished the OSB, and got the house wrap up. Well, I actually ran out of house wrap, so I had to take out a roll of plastic film to finish getting it rain tight. Have 2 days of stormy weather, so I had to get it as good as I could. The plastic is NOT uv stable, so I need to make sure I get the siding up within the next couple weeks. Next step is the metal roof then window and door.

Excuse the night mode. Per my normal habits, I got it done JUST as I could not see anymore!




Link Posted: 9/2/2014 9:17:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/2/2014 9:19:27 PM EST by Surf]
Looking good.

What are you doing for nesting boxes?

What are you doing for winter water and heat. We used a old school 100 watt light inside a chimney block with a patio block on top and bottom. Steel watering can goes above it. Real cold we run a 100 watt light bulb for heat.
Link Posted: 9/2/2014 10:25:28 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Surf:
Looking good.

What are you doing for nesting boxes?

What are you doing for winter water and heat. We used a old school 100 watt light inside a chimney block with a patio block on top and bottom. Steel watering can goes above it. Real cold we run a 100 watt light bulb for heat.
View Quote
Nesting boxes: I will be making units on a shelf of sorts just high enough off the floor to fit 5 gallon pails of oyster shells under.

Heat: Heat lamp connected to thermocube (thermostat) plugin. The coop will be insulated R-13 all the way around.

Water: I am going to be trying chicken nipples. Actually, the girls use them now, but I have never had them in the winter. If needed, I will be using a small submersible tank heater to keep the water above freezing.
Link Posted: 9/6/2014 5:11:59 PM EST
Did a bit more this afternoon. Roof on, door and window in.

Link Posted: 9/6/2014 9:32:06 PM EST
Skeeters were surprisingly bad after supper, so I only got some 1x4 trim up before I got driven inside for the evening.

Planning on getting up most if not all the siding up tomorrow, unless the Mrs has other idea for me
Link Posted: 9/7/2014 6:41:20 PM EST
Ended up working in th e garden most of today, so only had time to put up 2 sides of siding.


Link Posted: 9/7/2014 6:56:34 PM EST
Looks good rat.
Link Posted: 9/11/2014 9:47:35 PM EST
Insulated tonight. R13 all the way around.
Sorry, no pic tonight.
Link Posted: 9/12/2014 5:07:59 AM EST
One issue you may have is with the in-swing door.

On a small room/house you use up a lot of valuable floor space for the door to operate. An out-swing door may be a better choice.

An easy fix before the siding is completed.
Link Posted: 9/12/2014 9:19:21 AM EST
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Originally Posted By wagonwheel1:
One issue you may have is with the in-swing door.

On a small room/house you use up a lot of valuable floor space for the door to operate. An out-swing door may be a better choice.

An easy fix before the siding is completed.
View Quote
I hear you, but it has already been worked in the design and I won't loose room. You will see
Link Posted: 9/12/2014 11:04:14 AM EST
OK, on my laptop so I can give a better update.

We were sitting here wondering why our 21 week old chickens show NO sign of laying yet, when chickens we have gotten from the same breeder were typically laying by now. We were also talking about if we were going to go artificial light to get more eggs (we are, at least for a while) going into winter, and my son had the idea that since it is so dark in the horse trailer they are in now that they need more light.









Why didn't I think of that????

Since that revelation, I am working on getting the inside ready and the chickens in before I finish the outside siding. Insulated last night, hope to do the interior plywood today, and have the girls in by the end of the weekend if all goes well.
Link Posted: 9/14/2014 8:52:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/14/2014 8:55:15 PM EST by Rat_Patrol]
Worked to get the coop usable today. Not done, but usable.

Pics!





55 gallon barrel of feed fits perfectly behind the door (by design). I found a 55 gallon barrels holds 6 bags of feed perfectly.





Shelving for bedding. It is above the nest boxes.





Buckets from left to right: feed, oyster shells, water.
Underside of water bucket has 2 chicken water nipples. The ONLY way to water your chickens!
Notice flaps at approx 45* angles over buckets to prevent chickens from sitting on them.





Making themselves at home!

Link Posted: 9/14/2014 8:56:20 PM EST
Looks good!

You might end up with them roosting on your shelf up there at night. They like the highest spot in the coop
Link Posted: 9/14/2014 10:39:05 PM EST
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Originally Posted By loon_138:
Looks good!

You might end up with them roosting on your shelf up there at night. They like the highest spot in the coop
View Quote
Yeah, probably. Already caught a couple of them up there!
Link Posted: 9/15/2014 5:46:38 AM EST
Nice build!

What did you do for ventilation?
Link Posted: 9/15/2014 10:56:58 AM EST
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Originally Posted By kallnojoy:
Nice build!

What did you do for ventilation?
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The window is a double hung, and goes from a foot off the floor to 6 inches from the ceiling. I leave it open both top and bottom. So far, it is working fine. I did buy vents to put in as well, but I don't think I will need them. Once I get the screen door on and can leave the wood door open, ventilation should be good.
Link Posted: 9/15/2014 11:56:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/15/2014 11:58:12 AM EST by HELOBRAVO]
You are going to have problems without ventilation. The window doesn't count as it doesn't help with air exchange close to the floor.
If your birds have respiratory issues remember this.
You would be surprised the amount of cold that an acclimated chicken can easily withstand with only a windbreak to get behind. You may want to consider some vents close to the floor especially since there will be plenty of room for them to get off the floor.
The solid floor will eventually be a problem even if you change litter frequently.
Raising chickens isn't always simple. There's a learning curve.
We raise about 200 in chicken tractors. I believe that even if we were way up north, I'd still use tractors and just wrap them in the winter.
Good luck.

ETA: Just read post above this one. The window and screen door will not be sufficient. The screen door will have to be closed at night. Just put your vents in now. They will help slow the rotting of the floor.

Link Posted: 9/15/2014 12:43:54 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HELOBRAVO:
You are going to have problems without ventilation. The window doesn't count as it doesn't help with air exchange close to the floor.
If your birds have respiratory issues remember this.
You would be surprised the amount of cold that an acclimated chicken can easily withstand with only a windbreak to get behind. You may want to consider some vents close to the floor especially since there will be plenty of room for them to get off the floor.
The solid floor will eventually be a problem even if you change litter frequently.
Raising chickens isn't always simple. There's a learning curve.
We raise about 200 in chicken tractors. I believe that even if we were way up north, I'd still use tractors and just wrap them in the winter.
Good luck.

ETA: Just read post above this one. The window and screen door will not be sufficient. The screen door will have to be closed at night. Just put your vents in now. They will help slow the rotting of the floor.

View Quote
Forgot to mention the big chicken opening that is floor level that will be open on all but the coldest days/nights of winter (-20 and such). That with the top of the window open will not be sufficient?
Link Posted: 9/15/2014 9:00:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
Forgot to mention the big chicken opening that is floor level that will be open on all but the coldest days/nights of winter (-20 and such). That with the top of the window open will not be sufficient?
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
Originally Posted By HELOBRAVO:
You are going to have problems without ventilation. The window doesn't count as it doesn't help with air exchange close to the floor.
If your birds have respiratory issues remember this.
You would be surprised the amount of cold that an acclimated chicken can easily withstand with only a windbreak to get behind. You may want to consider some vents close to the floor especially since there will be plenty of room for them to get off the floor.
The solid floor will eventually be a problem even if you change litter frequently.
Raising chickens isn't always simple. There's a learning curve.
We raise about 200 in chicken tractors. I believe that even if we were way up north, I'd still use tractors and just wrap them in the winter.
Good luck.

ETA: Just read post above this one. The window and screen door will not be sufficient. The screen door will have to be closed at night. Just put your vents in now. They will help slow the rotting of the floor.

Forgot to mention the big chicken opening that is floor level that will be open on all but the coldest days/nights of winter (-20 and such). That with the top of the window open will not be sufficient?


I guess to follow up the others here, I don't think you can have too much ventilation. Here is mine in northern MN,



Completely uninsulated, no heat/lamps/etc, and the "windows" you see on the front are just covered in hardware cloth. Ventilation for the coop, and the birds sit just fine toward the rear of the coop on their perch.
Link Posted: 9/15/2014 11:54:36 PM EST
Interesting. I have never had problems with the amount of ventilation I used here in any other chicken coops I have built (2), but I always have no more than 6-8 birds in coops this size.
Link Posted: 9/16/2014 12:18:44 AM EST
Looks good Rat!
Link Posted: 9/16/2014 6:46:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2014 6:49:39 AM EST by TaylorWSO]
I would add vents to the roof or at the top, I learned that ventilation is more important than insulation, especially when they start laying/crapping in there. You're not trying to make it warm in there, as you won't have that many chickens to heat it, they also don't heat up interiors like we do, they just heat up their feather mass..

If that was your plan, you should have made the building smaller, with eternal ports for the eggs.

I would also re hang the door, and add a sheet of pvc (get it at lowes 4x8 sheet bathroon panelling)to the floor. That OSB wont last long if it gets wet/moldy/mildew. They PVC is great when cleaning out the coop in the spring.


ETA do they have a place to roost about the nesting boxes? I forgot that on mine and they started roosting in the nest, which became a mess.
Link Posted: 9/16/2014 6:50:50 AM EST
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Originally Posted By EXPY37:
Looks good Rat!
View Quote


Yes is sure does.
Link Posted: 9/16/2014 8:35:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2014 8:38:53 AM EST by Rat_Patrol]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:
I would add vents to the roof or at the top, I learned that ventilation is more important than insulation, especially when they start laying/crapping in there. You're not trying to make it warm in there, as you won't have that many chickens to heat it, they also don't heat up interiors like we do, they just heat up their feather mass..

If that was your plan, you should have made the building smaller, with eternal ports for the eggs.

I would also re hang the door, and add a sheet of pvc (get it at lowes 4x8 sheet bathroon panelling)to the floor. That OSB wont last long if it gets wet/moldy/mildew. They PVC is great when cleaning out the coop in the spring.


ETA do they have a place to roost about the nesting boxes? I forgot that on mine and they started roosting in the nest, which became a mess.
View Quote
Going to add another vent on the bottom and top as soon as I can get to town to get some different ones than what I have.

The strategy behind insulating is to capture and retain solar energy. I have the coop positioned to maximize morning sun in the window/door to warm up the inside, and it works VERY well. When I went out Sunday morning to work on it, as it was 45* outside, I walk in and it was almost HOT in there after 2 hours of sunlight. Definitely too hot for how I was dressed! I didn't have that kind of effect before I insulated.

The floor is painted with an exterior house paint (same stuff as the door, actually) for waterproofing. I expect it will have to be redone every year or two. Had a bad experience with the bathroom paneling and snowy boots . Was going to put down treaded 3/4 ply like I have done in the past, but I priced it up . Dang that stuff has gone up! I plan on putting down that deck renew stuff, but we are not going to town right now (bugging in) and I needed the girls in there. Working with what we have on hand!

As far as roosting, my girls are weird in that they LOVE metal. Don't know why, but they love roosting on the feed barrel (which gets covered in shit). I have a 2x4 hung so they can roost on that as well.


ETA: Reason I wanted it so "big" is that from past experience, I REALLY like having all the chicken stuff IN the coop. Not just what they are using NOW, but storage. Kind of like a mini barn.
Link Posted: 10/5/2014 7:16:55 PM EST
Things have been busy, so didn't have much time lately.

This afternoon, I did the trim/siding on the window side, put up fencing and poultry net. Gave the girls a 25' square area to run around in.






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