£35 Coop

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dinosaw
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£35 Coop

Post by dinosaw » Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:37 pm

I built this for the bantams on Saturday morning out of one sheet of marine ply and two battens, oh and 3 hinges from Wilkos. The second batten hasn't actually been used yet and will provide the legs and perches when the chicks have grown a bit. It is flat roofed as it isn't likely to get wet inside the run but to be fair all you would need to do is taper the sides and use half a sheet of onduline on the lid if you wanted it to go outside. Has two nest boxes and space for two perches and would accommodate 8 bantams though originally built it with 5 in mind, opens with a hinge at the back for cleaning. It would be ok for 3-4 large fowl. It is mkIII of a design I have been producing for a few years, they are nice and warm with minimal gaps for red mite to hide in and they do work well for the chickens even if they are absolutely pig ugly to look at, well what would you expect at the price?.

Too much time on my hands + too much caffeine = too many posts on the poultry forum.
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rick
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Re: £35 Coop

Post by rick » Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:00 pm

It awesome - from 1 sheet of ply!? I think you've just solved the affordable housing crisis :)
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chrismahon
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Re: £35 Coop

Post by chrismahon » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:38 am

Sorry Dinosaw, I couldn't stand to look at that in the garden. As you said it could only be used under a secure covered run.

By co-incidennce I've recently finished an 8 bantam coop. If I get time on my return from England I'll try and post the pictures. The materials for it cost well over £200 and it took a month to build.
valeriebutterley
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Re: £35 Coop

Post by valeriebutterley » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:03 am

I've been thinking of getting a carpentry course for some time. The simplicity is great, but it needs a woman's touch!. I was actually going to ask what thickness of ply?
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Marigold
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Re: £35 Coop

Post by Marigold » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:14 am

Well I think it's brilliant. A bit like those 'brutalist' concrete buildings that are now becoming listed as examples of mid-20 century architecture, but on the other hand, it could well be in the running for the Turner Prize. A good example of a suitable-for-purpose, low-cost starter home for chicken housing associations to offer at affordable rents.
Seriously, this is good, Dinosaw. it's great to see something you've made yourself, to a high standard, and I expect it gave you pleasure to design for your 'babies.' Too many coop designs try to be pretty-pretty at the expense of simplicity and practicality.
How do you get in to clean it?
valeriebutterley
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Re: £35 Coop

Post by valeriebutterley » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:42 am

I agree, Marigold,
simple, brutalist? architechture is what chicks need, I can think of many ways of prettying it up (needs a woman's touch) I think it is stunning in it's simplicity, and I would love to have a go, and why I asked what thickness marine ply comes in.
It really decided me to have a go, and with an ex very badly broken arm, that will never again properly work that cube is really inspiring.
For me most things are about weight and what I can manage to carry unaided, I might even appeal to AUBIOSE to kindly package their bedding in a half bale now I'm on a roll!!!!!
My two main chicken houses were made by a man who no longer makes them, practical, heavy, and very chicken friendly which brings me on to - does anyone have an unused or good condition Dave Tillet hut they want to dispose of?
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dinosaw
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Re: £35 Coop

Post by dinosaw » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:19 am

Thought this might divide opinion :lol:

Obviously everyone will have different ideas on how important looks are and what makes a good practical coop. I think Marigold is correct about the tendency to favour looks over practicality as one look at ebay will show. I have inherited a lovely looking coop made from shiplap which cost the previous owners a small fortune, it is well built but the design is terrible, as well as bad perch placement all that shiplap plus loads of joints have made it a nightmare for red mite compared to say my Green Frog which has a minimum of parts to it. That is the beauty of using ply over wood, less parts, less joints and it can be relatively easily dismantled for transport, which I found when I gave my last one away when I moved, I just marked the pieces and apparently it was put back together with no problem.

For cleaning it has a couple of hinges at the back at the bottom with hooks at the top so the back drops and you can sweep out, I intend to move it to the centre of the run once I put the legs on so will have the space to do it. If I was a bit more pushed for space then I would put the hinges at the front on the side and have it swing open like a door which is how my last one worked.

It is 12mm WBP Valerie, costs £29 for a 2.4m x 1.2m sheet so you could experiment without breaking the bank.
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dinosaw
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Re: £35 Coop

Post by dinosaw » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:35 pm

Just wanted to add a bit on the subject at the risk of droning on. This has got me thinking about practicality versus aesthetics and it is notable that most people favour aesthetics, you see very few ply made houses on the market simply because people don't want to buy them because of how they look, they want a little Gypsy caravan instead, regardless of whether that is what the birds require. Plastic coops have had the same problem, they are excellent and yet they were decried for being ugly with a load of unfounded rubbish aimed in their direction, too hot in summer, too cold in winter, won't last very long, all false. My Green Frog is now 4-5 years old lay on an allotment in pieces in all weathers for over a year and yet it went back together good as new and is now housing my LF chicks, no sign of deterioration. I was looking at one of my books, Poultry House Construction and the first page contains this

"There are many designs and types of housing available today, but few are made with the birds in mind, or daily/weekly management. Most poultry housing manufacturers don't keep hens or geese but come into the market via garden sheds and stables"

Also

"External plyboard and good quality sheathing board are the best products for making small poultry houses provided the plyboard is kept off the ground. I have seen houses made from external ply which are 40 years old. The other key factor is that plyboard is easy to clean and does not harbour mite unlike T &G and ship-lap."

I do wonder how many people who have a lot of trouble eradicating red mite also have 'pretty' and over complex houses.

So there, I've just entrenched my position on the matter :D

Also would just like to reiterate for anyone keen on building in ply that they are perfectly suitable for outdoor use, you just need a sloped overlapping roof instead of a flat flush one.
valeriebutterley
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Re: £35 Coop

Post by valeriebutterley » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:33 pm

I still like the idea of a coop that I have made myself. Must find myself a carpentry course.
I think your idea of simplicity is great, just needs a touch of femininity - but from your photo I know I could copy it. Will the copyright police be after me?.

Dave Tillet designed and built his houses with first chicks, and then owners in mind. Good looking, sturdy, lift up roofs, take out sides, one pair of wheels, and strong legs, in fact everything a chick hut needs, pleasing to look at and and very practical.
I tried to buy a third one from him to find he had retired.
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dinosaw
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Re: £35 Coop

Post by dinosaw » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:55 pm

I will be sending my satellites over Surrey to monitor what you are up to Valerie so watch out! ;).I am actually delighted you think you could copy it, my main intention was to get people thinking hmmm that's cheap and it looks easy, I might have a go at that. If you can modify it to suit your style/needs then even better. You really don't need any special carpentry skills to build something like that (I certainly don't!), just be able to use a saw and a drill/driver, it's all just cut and screwed. I think if it was painted in two different colours, say one on the main body and then a lighter shade as a contrast on the roofs and pophole it would look a lot nicer. The roof on this one also lifts btw.
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