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DIY - Building a run extension for a previously purchased coop

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all. My husband purchased a starter coop for me from Urban Coop Company, and I'm getting my first 3 chicks delivered in March. I'm already wanting to upgrade to a larger coop to make more space for them. I was initially going to buy the run extension for it, but now I'm thinking I will just built one myself. The run extension the company offers adds another 8 sq feet, but I wanted to maybe double that and increase the height. Has anyone successfully built an extension for a previously purchased coop? If so, any suggestions or photos of how it turned out?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 7

Hi, I have never added a run to a previously built coop, but I did build my own coop and run. How big is your coop? Each chicken needs at least 2-3 square feet of space to live. But the chicks should not go directly outside without a heat lamp depending on their age. How old are they? Height is not a huge problem, unless you want to walk into the run. The chickens just need enough space to fly, run, flap, etc. That's all. If you build your own run, you can make it exactly how you want it. You can use the material you want, you can bury the fence, add other details, and more. (I recommend using hardware cloth and burying the fence at least 6 inches down) If you do decide to build your own run, good luck! There are many sites that can help you in your project.:frow

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
They will be day old chicks when I get them, and I've done all the chick care research (I'm excited and a nut whe it comes to researching). I plan to keep them indoors in a cardboard box or brooder box at first until they're old enough for the coop. The footprint of the starter coop we have is only about 10 sq ft and 2 feet tall. Adding the run that the company sells would get it up to a 20 sq ft footprint. We plan to free range them when we're home, but we both work full time so are only home during daylight hours 2 days a week. We have to learn about predators in the area and things like their ability or inability to fly over the fence before we make decisions about free ranging when we're not home. We live in an urban setting with a fenced in yard that is only about 1/4 acre.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Here is the coop my husband bought me for Xmas and the one I'd like to build the extension for.

http://urbancoopcompany.com/product/starter/
post #5 of 7
I was going to ask for information on the specific coop. Thanks.

If that were mine I’d take off the end opposite from the coop section and build the run extension there, or since you have to assemble it, just leave that end off. There are so many different ways you could do it it’s hard to settle on one. If it were me I’d probably set four fence posts in the ground to make it really stable and wire it in, remembering to make a door. Set that coop/run so the side you tore out can be framed into one of those run frames. Since most building material come in 4’ or 8’ lengths I’d make the new run extension 8’ x 8’.

That coop/run is only 29” wide. I’d worry about it being stable in a high wind unless you anchor it.

There will almost certainly be times that you will wish to leave them locked in the run and coop instead of out free ranging. In my opinion most of the behavioral problems people have with chickens is because space is tight. Be generous with run space. You are wise to think about that ahead of time.

If you can provide reliable electricity to that coop there should be no need to keep them in the house at all. Many of us brood outside straight from the incubator or post office. You need to keep one area reliably warm and let the rest cool off some so they can find their own comfort zone.

On challenge to brooding outside is that your daily highs and lows can vary a lot so it is really difficult to keep the brooder/coop a constant temperature. You don’t have to. Just keep one area warm enough in the cold and another area cool enough in the heat and they’ll take core of management details.

I use heat lamps, others use ceramic heaters. I’ll give you a link to a popular method that makes a cave out of a heating pad.

Mama heating pad
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #6 of 7

I've seen folks build big walk-in runs and put the whole prefab coop right inside.

 

I can't figure out how the birds get up to the roost or nest?

No ramp, are they supposed to jump with little to no room for wing spread?

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #7 of 7

As I was reading this thread I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. 'This is going to be another one of those poor people who buy some horrible-coop that won't last...'..but no! You bought a good quality coop that should make you very happy! :)

 

Making a run extension should be relatively easy. With twelve 8' 2x4's, you can make a walk-in run. Cut eight of the 2x4's into eight 6' 2x4's and two 2' 2x4's. Make three 2'x6' rectangles and set one aside. Attach the other two of them together with the 8' 2x4's to make a 2'x8'x6' box. Use a 2' 2x4 to strengthen the remaining rectangle in the middle, this will be the door. For the last two 6' and last one 2' 2x4, center and attach them to the run frame to strengthen it. Cover with wire fencing:

 

 

 

 

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply
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