My coop is 4x6 with 2 exterior nest boxes on the back side. The roost runs the short length over a droppings pit on the right hand side farthest from the run. The attached run is 4x8, plus they will have free-range every afternoon when someone is home to "supervise" and keep watch for the Bald Eagles we have in the area. A couple years ago I had my first chickens ever - 6 Red Cross hens - in there with no problems, and they were hardly ever out in the yard because it wasn't fenced in. We are right on the river, so we have fox, coyote, fishers, etc... Because of zoning, I had to rehome my girls after only about 1.5 yrs. Now, I've relocated the coop so that it is inside my garden area (and the zoning board can kiss my *****), and the plan is to let the girls roam in there in the afternoons. I'll be putting fencing around the raised veggie beds to keep them from destroying the veggies, and I'm thinking I might need to raise the height of the perimeter fence a bit, too? Right now, it's only about 30" at best. I'm not worried about ground-dwelling predators getting them in the garden, or the coop - I built it to withstand pretty much everything once that pop-door is latched shut for the night, but I am worried that the more adventurous chickens might head over the fence into the backyard, from which I'm certain they'll never find their way back to the coop because it drops down about 10ft just beyond the picket fence to the left. (Speaking of picket fence, I'm going to cover that with chicken wire to make sure no chicken heads get stuck).
I just ordered six chicks from my local feed store for April 15th: 2 buff orps, 2 silver-laced wyandottes, 1 Red Cross, and 1 Barred Rock. Is 4ft of roost going to be enough for these girls? My only experience has been with the Red Cross. Also, I'm not sure if these chicks are already sexed, or if they are straight run. (Yes, I know, I didn't think to ask until after the fact, lol). If they are straight run, you think I'd be okay getting a few more to up the chances of ending up with 6 hens? We aren't allowed to have roosters here in the city limits, so I'd have to cull those either way. Fingers crossed, they are not straight run, and I only get girls like last time!! I have to call and find out so I can stop stressing about it.
I did just get my new Sunbeam heating pad in today, and a new indoor/outdoor thermometer that does temp and humidity, so we are cruising right along to being ready for the little darlings. I still have to scrub out the coop and bleach it down, which I'm hoping to do this weekend if the weather cooperates with nicer temps.
Egads, I'm rambling. Forgive me. I'm just so excited to try this again, especially with breeds that are more docile and friendly. The Red Cross were approachable enough, but very pecky - especially to toes and such, and you couldn't pick them up even though we handled them from the time they were babies. My daughters and I are looking forward to a more affectionate group this time.
Thanks for your help