A few Coop design questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by happylittlehens, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. happylittlehens

    happylittlehens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2013
    We have a large 1 room shed on our property that we are going to split into 2 rooms. A 6' x 8' coop on one side and the feed shed on the other. I plan on building a roosting ladder (or 2). How many perches should I need for 10-12 chickens? Will they share the same perch at the same time if I make it wide enough?

    Also, this shed does not have windows. We plan on adding a window before winter, but for now can I just cut a hole out for the window and cover it with mesh and obviously plastic or something if the weather turns?

    My last question for now... I know that the chickens need about 4 sq/ft each inside the coop. Does this "rule" also apply for the outside run or do they need more than that outside? Until we get some fences and gates put up I don't have the ability to let them free roam just yet. So I need an idea of how much space I need for the run. Thank you so much for any advice! I'm new to all of this!
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Hi there. The main section of my main coop (because I have THREE coops...lol) is 6 x 8, like yours. Based on me designing mine incorrectly, I would run your roosts across the 6 foot span if possible, and you'll need to run two for 10-12 birds. You can stagger them, like two rungs on a ladder. I ran my roosts along the 8 ft. span, and that made space really tight for flying/hopping down (my roosts and dropping boards take up about 2.5 feet, which only leaves 3.5 feet depth...not so good).

    You will want at least 10 sq. feet per bird in the RUN...more if you can. The more space they have to run around outside, the better! You can always do temporay fencing...just a few metal posts and chicken wire until you can get something more permanent in place.

    A cut out window is fine! As you mentioned, cover it with strong wire of some kind. You can use plexiglass or even clear vinyl (sold at fabric stores to cover picnic tables and such) to cover your windows in winter time. Good luck with your chickens!
  3. happylittlehens

    happylittlehens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2013
    Thank you so much for the advice! I like the idea of running the roost the entire length of the 6' wall. That will take up less floor space than the ladders also. What material do you use for the roosts? I was going to use wooden dowels on the ladder, but I'm not sure a 6' dowel would be very sturdy.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Probably the easiest thing to do is to put a 2x4 across. I used tree limbs. Some people have pretty strong opinions on this, but I find it does not matter if the narrow side or wide side is up. They will use them either way. I suggest sanding the sharp corners, partly for comfort of the feet but my real concern here is to remove splinters.

    I suggest making them removable just for convenience sake. It's come in handy for me a few times. I'll show what I did.

  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Read up on ventilation.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I agree! You will want to cut out some ventilation openings as well (cover these in hardware cloth). You'll want these up high, and if possible, NOT on the wall(s) of the prevailing winter wind(s). Or instead of wire, check out yard sales, thrift stores that carry building supplies, habitat restores, etc. to find old floor/wall registers that are closeable. Just cut your vent openings the size of the vents you find and screw then in place. It's nice to have closeable ventilation if you're in an area that sometimes gets severe overnight weather events in winter. If you're not though, just opt for wire over the openings.

    * Oh...and I would opt for 2x4s or 2x3s for that span...nice and sturdy. I do have thick (minimum 3 inch diameter) branches for perch variety in some of my runs (as well as 2x4s). But I prefer 2x4s or similar lumber cuts because they're easy to scrape if they get poop on them...branches are NOT. I don't care for round roosts because chickens tend to rest on their feet rather than grip a perch like a parrot or wild bird...
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  7. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    We just completed (and converted) an 8 x 12 shed. We have two sections - one for our two bantams and one for the seven standards. Ventilation was our main concern. I see tha you are in Utah. It may be that you definitely need good ventilation up high (due to a cooler climate) and have received some excellent advice from previous posters. Our weather dictates more ventilation due to heat. We installed four fairly large windows in our shed (that were purchased off of Craigslist for next to nothing). Instead of screens, they're outfitted with hardware cloth. Also, we constructed a hardware cloth wall (with matching hardware cloth door) just inside the double shed doors. This allows us to keep the front doors open (rendering the structure a three-sided coop) during periods of excessive heat, yet keep predators out. -ventilation is critical. -better to have too much that can be closed than not enough, IMO.
  8. happylittlehens

    happylittlehens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2013
    Thank you all so much for the great advice. We had planned some ventilation holes near the roof as well. My main reason for having the window is for light and also added ventilation during the warmer months.

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