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Advice about a chicken coop please.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Greetings all. This is my first post here - I couldn't find a forum for new members, so here I am looking for advice please - I hope that is ok.
I've long wanted to keep chickens, both for the eggs and also for the children to keep as pets. The issue is however I live in a town house with a relatively small garden, which my wife likes to keep as grass for the children and has a trampoline parked in one corner which takes up around 1/3rd of the garden.
But we do have an area of dead space down the side of my house which I recon might be just about big enough for a chicken coop, and a bit of a run. The area in question has never been used for anything apart from stacking up old crap and in my mind it's a total waste of space so it would be good to put it to good use.
I would say that the area in question is about 20 foot long and 4 foot wide.
It is walled in on 3 sides to a height of around 10 foot and has a gate which can be closed up making it completely shut off - I will try and post a picture when I get chance to take one in the daylight.
At the moment the ground is covered in pea shingle, but I think there's concrete or slabs underneath.
So I have some questions please;

Firstly; is this area big enough to keep 2 chickens in?? Obviously I would build some kind of chicken house or buy one to fit. The rest of the area would be used as a run. If needs be I would put some kind of chicken wire roof on there to keep the chickens in and the foxes out!

Second; is it ok to keep chickens in this kind of environment, e.g. walled in on 3 sides and with a concrete or slabbed floor and with a closed door?? I would shovel out the pea shingle if needs be, as I can't see this being to good on the chickens feet, and it would be a b*stard to clean down. Maybe I'd chuck a bale of hay in there to line the floor.

Thirdly; (and based on the above being ok) How would I go about cleaning down the floor?? I usually scrub down the rest of the yard with a little jays fluid every now and then. I know that this is ok around some animals, but a don't know if this may be harmful to chickens. Just trying to get an idea of how maintenance intensive it would be.

Fourthly, I reserve the right to ask more questions in due course - I'm a total novice here and any advice is greatly appreciated. For the moment I'm just trying to get an idea of what is and isn't possible given the space I have available, but questions on food, type of coop, type of chicken, in fact everything to do with keeping chickens is soon to follow.

Many thanks in advance for your advice.

Paul.




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post #2 of 4

Welcome!  The space sound good, and pictures would help here.  Having  roof and three solid walls, with the fourth side hardware cloth, would work, and deep bedding with shavings, leaves chips, and stuff would work over the gravel.  Two birds is too few, as they are social critters, so three or four would be a better number.  Pictures!  Mary

post #3 of 4

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 Welcome. I am also new here and have learned a lot in the short time I have been here. My coop is 8' x 4' and it is suitable for the 4 chickens I have. What I would suggest is check out the breeds of the birds for a smaller sized chicken breed that suits what your looking for. I know in the space I have, The rooster I have is twice as big as one of my hens. He eats a lot more then the hens and requires a lot more space for just everything he does.

 

    So if I was to keep them contained, which I do not, I would want 4 small hens to occupy that size coop.  Your space will have more room for a run, so I would think that 4 would be a good number.

 

-Puma-

 

.

post #4 of 4
Hi Paul,
Welcome!! I just started backyard chickens in Florida this past spring. The picture below is my first coop that I made. A homemade bar top table that already had a wood base raised about 8" above the ground. It's only approximately 4' long, 18" wide and 3' tall. I started with 3 chicks that grew in here, but I let them roam my fenced in yard and free range from sun up until sun down where they learn to go back to roost. One night I forgot to put them up and they were asleep on top of their coop, and a cat got one. So now there's two and it works for them, but only as a hen house to sleep in.

SO... since then, I just HAD to replace the one poor chicken, and you can't raise a chick by itself bc as mentioned they are very social creatures so I came home with 2 more chicks. So this brings me to my next point--- You then have the risk of DO I REALLY HAVE CHICKS THAT ARE INDEED HENS?? Depending on where you get them from, they may not be able to 100% guarantee that your chicks will grow to be a pullet, there's always a chance you could end up nurturing that chick for 6 months patiently waiting and holding your breath for an egg-- only to hear a loud obnoxious crow that you and your neighbors won't like one little bit! One of my newbies I am crossing fingers for. I cannot have a rooster whatsoever-- as with you.

So I have 2 full grown layers that sleep in the small homemade coop, and 2 chicks temporarily in an old doggie cage which I reinforced with chicken wire. Next weekend hopefully I will be getting my hubby to build me my new large coop towards the back of the yard next to my shed... Bc guess what??-- I have new chicks coming in at the end of the month and I need my little coop empty!! If you hadn't guessed by my post, there is a little thing called "chicken math" and the more you learn, the more you want. Fluffy breeds, pretty patterns, extra large brown eggs, blue pastel eggs etc! You gotta leave room for chicken math. 😆

Did you decide what breed(s) you want? Which breeds are you considering?? With two laying chickens, I get 9 eggs a week. I would love to be able to give more to friends and neighbors, but 2 laying chickens is barely enough for my family. 2 adults and 4 kids. So this is also why I wanted more, I wanted blue pastel eggs and just more eggs altogether so I can spread the wealth.

Stay-at-home Mom • 4 kids/stepkids
2 Easter Eggers • 1 Buff Brahma • 1 Buff Orpington
1 French Bulldog • 1 Pointer Mix
Mama_dirt_shell on Instagram 📷💕
Reply
Stay-at-home Mom • 4 kids/stepkids
2 Easter Eggers • 1 Buff Brahma • 1 Buff Orpington
1 French Bulldog • 1 Pointer Mix
Mama_dirt_shell on Instagram 📷💕
Reply
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