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A little guidance as I get started?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by medicmandan, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. medicmandan

    medicmandan In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2008
    Salt Lake City
    I'm browsing around looking for coop ideas. I have an area in my backyard that once was a garden. It's a long rectangle bordered by railroad ties. What I want to do is put a coop at one end and turn the rest into a run. I can't really free range the chickens in my backyard. The area gets good shade in the afternoon and is protected by some large trees.

    The area is 5' 10" wide by 22' 6" long. It's dug down fairly deep inside. I would guess about 12" from the top of the railroad ties.

    If I go with a coop about 6' x 6' (overhanging the ties) that should give me plenty of room for 6 to 8 hens if I'm reading things right? That will give me about 100 square feet of run. Will that be sufficient for the number of hens I'm looking at?

    I'm looking at having a door at the end of the run and another full size door for access to the coop for cleaning. Nesting boxes will sit out from the coop with a door for easy outside access. I'm considering doing corrugated metal roofing to cover the run but haven't read anything regarding covering runs.

    Am I on the right track with my plans? Anything I haven't considered that I need to? At the moment I'm planning on doing Rhode Island Red Bantams if that alters anything.
  2. shareneh

    shareneh In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2008
    North Dakota
    I think you are great to plan this out before jumping in. 22 ft by 5'10" is a nice size for about seven chickens. (I think keeping an uneven number is best because of the pecking order.)

    I think that if you put a roof on the run then that will give your chickens the option of having high roosts outside. That would be awsome.

    You can plan to make little hiding places so they have somewhere to go to be alone if they need to.

    If I was to put a roof on anything for chickens I think I would stay away from tin because it transfers noise so easily. wood and shingles is what I would do.
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Quote:Here's what the EPA says about railroad ties, creosote, and domestic animals, "Creosote is a possible human carcinogen and has no registered residential uses . . . . Do not use in the interiors of farm buildings where there may be direct contact with domestic animals or livestock which may bite or lick the wood."

    I think it would be a good idea to lay out your pen and coop in such a way that the chickens do not come into contact with the railroad ties. At least, not for any extended period of time.

  4. medicmandan

    medicmandan In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2008
    Salt Lake City
    That wasn't something I thought about. I'll have to rethink this idea. Maybe use some pressure treated wood to cover the railroad ties. The ties would still be there but there wouldn't really be any contact with the hens.
  5. pkeeler

    pkeeler Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    Do you really have railroad ties? If they are landscape timbers, then they would not be treated with creosote. They are simply pressure treated lumber cut 4x4.

    6x6 is plenty of room for 6-8 bantams.

    (I think keeping an uneven number is best because of the pecking order.)

    That is interesting, how does the odd number help? I would have simply assumed that a chicken gets pecked by some and pecks others. That the bottom chicken doesn't get to peck anyone and the top doesn't get pecked. But the overall number or whether it is divisible by two wouldn't matter. I hate to change the thread, but I've not seen that before and would love to learn more.​
  6. medicmandan

    medicmandan In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2008
    Salt Lake City
    I'll have to look a little closer tonight. We just moved in so most of my time is being spent inside trying to find everything and get unpacked. Outside projects have unfortunately taken a backseat to being able to park in the garage.

    They look like the railroad ties my dad used for landscaping when I was a kid. I'll look them over and see if I can see the tar we used to get stuck to our feet and track through the house.
  7. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    We have an 8x8 coop and I WISH we had went bigger! I was one who swore I would ONLY have a dozen hens! Now I want a dozen more! PLUS I want a bantam coop too [​IMG] Good luck with your building project.
  8. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Could the RR ties be left on the outside of the run to help discourage predators?

    Could you roof part of the run with "roof" and let part be covered (ceiling) with hardware cloth (1/2")?

    Sounds like you are forming a good plan! Good luck!
  9. medicmandan

    medicmandan In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2008
    Salt Lake City
    I'm hoping to have some preliminary designs done soon. My dad is really good with building things so he can hopefully point out any structural issues.

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