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building my chicken coop

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building my chicken coop

Post by dizzy on Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:44 am

First off, let me say that I'm not a carpenter, nor do I play one on TV. But, I also knew that if I was going to get these coops made, I had no choice but to do it myself. I've made some mistakes along the way, and would change the wood that I used for the floor, but it's too late to do it now.

When I first decided to make these houses, the first thing I needed to do was determine how big I was going to make them. If I used a whole sheet of plywood for the floor, I could have made them 4x8. But, I can get sheets of 1/2" plywood for $5.00 and the sheets are not quite 4' square. I debated about using a couple of sheets for the floor, but decided I wanted a floor w/no seam in it. I can also get sheets of 3/4" plywood for $5.00, and they're a little smaller. I've found they work better for the nesting boxes, and the 1/2" works well for the sides. So the size I came up w/was 67 1/4" by 42 1/4".

I figured since it's only for chickens, I could use 1/4" plywood for the floor. That was a mistake. First off, when I got the wood, it was raining-even though they weren't calling for rain in the forecast. So the wood got wet and I had no place to lay it flat. So, they warped some. And even thought the 1/4" is fine for chickens, I was walking on it at times. I was a bit afraid a couple of times that it would break, but it didn't.

W/the size determined, I cut the plywood to the correct size and painted it. For the last piece, I let it dry, then painted the other side as well. It was much easier to get it painted this way. I also cut 4 pieces of 4x4. They're about 12" long. Those also got painted. When they were dry, they were screwed onto the painted side of the plywood. I toenailed the screws in from the bottom, then flipped it over and screwed down into the posts from the top, then took out the screws from the bottom. So, now I had the floor, and it was up about 12". That way, there's less chance of rats, and it gives the chickens some shade during the day.

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Re: building my chicken coop

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:58 am

Wow that's a great price on the plywood! Sounds like a nice little size coop, how many birds will it hold?
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Re: building my chicken coop

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:19 am

Sounds good, hope it is as rat proof as you think it will be.

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Re: building my chicken coop

Post by dizzy on Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:42 pm

In order for a rat to get in there, it would have to get in while I have the gate opened.  I don't think they'd be able to fit in the fence holes since they're 1"x2".  If I find creatures can get in, I'll put some other fencing along the bottom.

As to the number of birds it will hold, even though I have 3 coops, the majority of them try to cram into the original 4'x4' coop!  I'll find them in the nesting boxes, on the roost I made, on top of it and on top of the nesting boxes!  So these will hold more, but I don't want them to be that crowded.  This year, my plan is for 1 rooster and 6 hens in each house.  And next year, I'll increase the number of hens to either 8 or 9.  I still have 1 bird that I don't know if it's a hen or a roo.  I look at the head and think hen.  I look at the tail and think roo.  Maybe it's a hermaphrodite.

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Re: building my chicken coop

Post by Farmfresh on Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:26 pm

Try putting a piece of colored paper under some of the neck feathers. Pointed feathers mean a cockerel and round feathers mean a pullet.
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Re: building my chicken coop

Post by dizzy on Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:37 pm

I know that, but don't know that I could catch this bird easily. It is not developing a large comb and wattles, so the head looks like a hen, but the tail feathers look more like a rooster. And it isn't holding still long enough for me to check out the neck feathers. It is not crowing or laying eggs, so I can't say for sure yet. I can tell w/all my other birds. This one is different.

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Re: building my chicken coop

Post by dizzy on Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:58 pm

W/the floor built, the next thing that I needed to do was the frame. Some people can build a frame and then attach it to the floor. I'm not one of those people. I can't get the pieces together, and if I do, it's not very square. So instead, I start w/the bottom. I used 2x3s, and cut 5 pieces that were 39 1/4" long. These are for the shortest ends as well as for the nesting box and frame for the window. I put the 2 in place w/just one screw, then put the floor on it's side, and screwed from the bottom. I found that doing that helped get rid of some of the warping. Then, I cut a piece for the 1 long side, but left enough room so I could put a 2x3 upright on either end and attached that the same way. For the other side, I cut it shorter. For cleaning purposes, I didn't want a board in front of the door. That way, I can drag soiled bedding out easier.

W/this all done, the floor was put in place. I have bricks under the legs, and it's fairly level.

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Re: building my chicken coop

Post by mountainmama on Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:48 am

Good for you. That's a big undertaking. Hopefully you'll get lots of use from the new coop.

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Re: building my chicken coop

Post by dizzy on Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:09 am

This isn't just 1, this was 3!

Getting back to the building. W/the floor in place, the next step was to install the uprights. I don't recall now how long they were, but the front side is higher than the back. W/uprights in all 4 corners, I went ahead and attached a board on both the front and the back. Then, I measured to see how far it was from there to the floor. I added a piece at the back where the 2 pieces of wood would meet up, and 1 at the front where I was putting the door.

The next part was a bit more tricky. I had to figure out how high I wanted the nesting boxes off the floor. Then, I took some small pieces of wood, cut them the same size, then put one of my 39 1/4" pieces of wood between the 2. That was then screwed in place on the end by the door. At the other end, I made a frame for the door, and for the window. That left just the roof supports to make.

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Re: building my chicken coop

Post by Rohn on Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:48 am

I'd like to see some pictures of the coops.
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