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Old 04-16-2009, 10:39 PM   #1
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Need ideas for chicken coop expansion.


My chicken coop is 5*8 and is on wheels so that I can move it every few days.

But the ground is too wet to move it right now. I am trying to brainstorm some ideas for giving the ladies a little extra room - think: side porch. Currently, I move the hens, one-by-one, into a small pen made of 2x2 inch wire mesh. Aside from the obvious problems of chicken wrangling, Hazel occasionally lets herself out of their pen.

Any thoughts? Here are my needs:
- I need the chickens confined - so it needs some sort of roof - yes, they can fly over three feet.
- I need it to be detachable from the main building so I can move the coop around.
- and I want to be able store it easily.
- I'd like it to be b/w 30-50 ft2

- I've been thinking about those folding dog kennels.
- I'd like to find something that is retractable - because I really like to say 'retractable'
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:25 AM   #2
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Need ideas for chicken coop expansion.


Has Hazel applied for the permit yet? The inspector won't need professional blueprints. Just some chicken scratch on notebook paper will do.

How about building one that's an exact replica of your house?
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #3
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Need ideas for chicken coop expansion.


Here are a couple of ideas and a site with a bunch of pictures: http://www.backyardchickens.com/coopdesigns.html

A few things to keep in mind:

..... The wire pen section built to a 6' height is a bit unappreciated by the chickens as they don't use any of that upper air area, and the roof ends up too high to do them much good.

..... A flip-top top (roof), an easy open egg-door behind the nests, and a drop down (or swing-away like a door) side wall ... along with a slide-out floor, greatly facilitate egg collection and cleaning. In the right-hand picture below, imagine how handy and convenient it would have been to have had that side hinged to fold upward onto the roof (thereby folding up with the roof... out of the way) instead of having it drop down like it does. You have no place to stand with the side wall hanging down there.

.... A wider roosting shed with an open grass area under it provides more shade area beneath when it's too hot for the chickens to go up inside to get out of the sun. And it needs to be only about 18 - 22 inches above the ground so the sun won't be always shining under there.

.... Drop-down wheels (on a rotating cam setup) close to the center, rather than all the way at one end, make the whole coop MUCH easier to wheel around. One person can do it easily because they are lifting no weight to speak of since it's balanced at the center where the wheels are.
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Last edited by Willie T; 04-18-2009 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:27 PM   #4
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Need ideas for chicken coop expansion.


No ideas, but I gotta say that is one FINE looking coop. Shames the one I built in the back yard during the 70's and most others I have seen. Though I have to admit to having limited chicken coop credentials.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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Need ideas for chicken coop expansion.


Thank you. I am very proud of my henhouse. Bought the plans online for 40$. It took @ 24 hours of very lazy, inexperienced labor. I think I could probably do it now in less than 10 (minus the paint drying). I am not quite willing to 'fess up to my materials cost - let's just say the ladies have to lay some more eggs. (I bought clear cedar for the frame, as I was planning to leave it unpainted. After it was half up, DH decided he wanted to paint it white - though it might have been the better design decision.)

The ladies seemed perfectly happy all through the Maryland winter (lowest noted temp 6 F). And right now I'm averaging 4 eggs a day.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:19 PM   #6
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Need ideas for chicken coop expansion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
Thank you. I am very proud of my henhouse. Bought the plans online for 40$. It took @ 24 hours of very lazy, inexperienced labor. I think I could probably do it now in less than 10 (minus the paint drying). I am not quite willing to 'fess up to my materials cost - let's just say the ladies have to lay some more eggs. (I bought clear cedar for the frame, as I was planning to leave it unpainted. After it was half up, DH decided he wanted to paint it white - though it might have been the better design decision.)

The ladies seemed perfectly happy all through the Maryland winter (lowest noted temp 6 F). And right now I'm averaging 4 eggs a day.
No doubt about it, that is a coop to be proud of. And noticed. I tend to agree that the contrast of two paint colors really makes it stand out in a special way that plain wood might not have done. Love the green roof. Copied and emailed the picture to my daughter in Eugene, OR who has a few ladies also. No men chickens allowed in town. She ask if that was my next project (meaning for her)
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:09 AM   #7
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Need ideas for chicken coop expansion.




This is the first iteration. I'm going to have to make some hinged-drop-down-sides, because my hens can squeeze out under the edge if it's more than 2 inches.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:37 AM   #8
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Need ideas for chicken coop expansion.


I see a site which has some tips about build a chicken coop there, http://build-chicken-coops.co.cc
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