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Ideas for 15- 20 chicken coop

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Looking for images or ideas for a coop suitable for 15-20 chickens.They will be free ranging on 1/2 acre or so of chicken garden set up for them to forage around on any ideas/suggestions??

post #2 of 9

I would say what you go with should depend upon what your winters are like.  If they free range all day almost every day and you intend to stay on top of keeping it clean (clean it every day or two), you can get by with a much, much smaller coop than if they are going to spend many winter days out of the snow and extreme cold, inside its confines.  The classic line is that you should have 4 sq ft of floor space per chicken, but that number doesn't account for individual variables in a chickens environment.  I keep 7-12 chickens in a coop that is only big enough for 8 based on the traditional formula - but my girls literally only lay and sleep in their coop.  All day every day with the day light they are running around a 1/6 acre backyard.

My biggest and best advice would be to build it big enough for the largest number of chickens you can imagine wanting but small enough to be easy to clean and accurately meet the chickens' needs.

Hens: 7 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Australorps, 1 Easter Egger
Rooster: 1 Australorp

Honeybees: More than I can possibly count, but never enough
Reply
Hens: 7 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Australorps, 1 Easter Egger
Rooster: 1 Australorp

Honeybees: More than I can possibly count, but never enough
Reply
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks i live in Indiana so we have some fairly cold/windy winters..I plan to allow them to free range even then although im not sure how willing the girls will be...The list so far is Barred Rocks,Red Stars,EE,Silkies,and Australorps..With the exception of the Silkies i think..they are all very winter hardy breeds. I was thinking of an 8x8ft coop with a sloping roof than comes to 6' Was also planning on making a drop pit under the roost to ease cleaning woes. I remember the first coop i built as a young kid had nothg of that kind and was always very messy even if i cleaned it weekly. So I think im on the right track. Any advice or more imput is greatly appricated!!!

post #4 of 9

farmguy what part of Indiana are you located? I'm in Kentucky just across the Ohio River from Madison. We have 14 Buff Brahmas in a 4'x12' coop that has a leanto shed roof 6' on the back side and 7' on the front. I've built four 4' roost poles across one end and they only use three of them. Depending on how cold it is there may be 6 girls crowed on one roost. The attatched covered run is 12'x20'. When we are home they have the run of almost 1/2 acre chicken pasture.

 

I know this does not work for everyone but our girls spend most all day outside the coop so the smaller coop is not a problem. Also the Brahmas are much more docile than the other breeds we have had.

 

Maybe this gives you some idea to work with.

 

Forgot to say we do use a poop board under the roosts and things stay much cleaner. We only need to clean the board every two days in the winter. The floor is covered in pine shavings,we start with a layer about 4" thick and add shavings as needed.


Edited by dirtsaver - 1/3/13 at 5:20pm

Fowl Play Farm....Home for wayward chickens.
14 Buff Brahmas, 2 Brittany pups and the two of us on an acre of Kentucky Bluegrass!

Reply

Fowl Play Farm....Home for wayward chickens.
14 Buff Brahmas, 2 Brittany pups and the two of us on an acre of Kentucky Bluegrass!

Reply
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Im right around Indianapolis area. Yes your input def. has helped Dirtsaver, I think what im planning doing described above will be more than enough for my girls. Most of the breeds we are getting this spring are docile IMO. Do you give your ladies free range during the winter months? If so do they take advantage?

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmguy2007 View Post

Im right around Indianapolis area. Yes your input def. has helped Dirtsaver, I think what im planning doing described above will be more than enough for my girls. Most of the breeds we are getting this spring are docile IMO. Do you give your ladies free range during the winter months? If so do they take advantage?

Oh yeah farmguy. I know you had the 12"+ snow last week and we only had 5-6" but our girls were out the next day roaming the paths we shoveled to the barn and coop. Some of them even ventured off the paths a little way so we shoveled a few more spots for them. The Brahmas of course have feathered feet but that does not bother them a bit,they just truck right along in the rain,snow and cold! They do a good job of laying too.....of the 14 we have,one is our rooster,two are the older girls coming off the molt and one is a cripple so only 10 are really layers and we get 4-9 eggs every day. 

Fowl Play Farm....Home for wayward chickens.
14 Buff Brahmas, 2 Brittany pups and the two of us on an acre of Kentucky Bluegrass!

Reply

Fowl Play Farm....Home for wayward chickens.
14 Buff Brahmas, 2 Brittany pups and the two of us on an acre of Kentucky Bluegrass!

Reply
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yea it has been a snowy slushy winter so far!! I like the winter but im ready for spring to get our chicks! We ordered from Meyer, very excited to see what comes of them, where did or do you get your stock from? Thats funny your girls where out running around in the snow!!LOL

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmguy2007 View Post

Yea it has been a snowy slushy winter so far!! I like the winter but im ready for spring to get our chicks! We ordered from Meyer, very excited to see what comes of them, where did or do you get your stock from? Thats funny your girls where out running around in the snow!!LOL

We have bought chicks from Tractor Supply and Orschlens but now we order from Mt. Healthy hatchery which is just outside Cincy Ohio. We have had very good luck from them and in the two years we've got chicks from them we have never lost a chick. Their prices and shipping is very reasonable for our area. We pay $8 for shipping 15-20 chicks and you'll be in the same zone. They do require a 15 chick minimum but you can order mixed breeds in one order. They did charge a little extra for marking the rooster we ordered.

Fowl Play Farm....Home for wayward chickens.
14 Buff Brahmas, 2 Brittany pups and the two of us on an acre of Kentucky Bluegrass!

Reply

Fowl Play Farm....Home for wayward chickens.
14 Buff Brahmas, 2 Brittany pups and the two of us on an acre of Kentucky Bluegrass!

Reply
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Nice sounds good! Im hoping the same results from my Meyer order this March!! Thanks again Dirtsaver for your imput

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