A question on coop space with an enclosed/secure run.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dennisi01, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Dennisi01

    Dennisi01 In the Brooder

    10
    15
    26
    Jul 23, 2018
    Easton, PA
    Hello,

    We've built a 6x3.5 coop for what was going to be 4 chickens.. well we received 7 in the mail and the kids want to keep all of them.. I know the typical rule of thumb is 4 sq feet of coop per chicken, and 10 feet of run. Well, I just finished the run, which is 112 sq feet (8x14), with the coop enclosed/part of the run (raised coop so underneath is part of the run. The run is fully enclosed with hardware cloth/treated 4x4s on the ground + hardware cloth ground skirts flaring out about 8 inches. Also, I'm in suburbia, with the white picket fence, and the coop/run backing up to a privacy fence. I feel that the only thing that could get into this coop would be a bear. With that being said, I leave the coop door open at all times, so the chooks can come and go as they please. With free and open access at all times, could my coop accommodate the 7 chickens without a problem, provided there is enough roost space? How many could I accommodate without running into issues, assuming I have 1 or no roosters?

    thanks!
     
    ShanasCastle likes this.
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    6,063
    8,231
    707
    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    I think you will be OK even though not the ideal coop size. I have housed more chickens than the FEDERATION suggests in my small coop . They only go there to sleep or lay eggs. I have multi level roosts. My chickens have a very large run area.
    The 4 square foot rule really applies heavy duty when chickens are in lockdown like in severe weather for extended days. My chickens have indoor housing in a loft in garage for winter, so their coop is vacant all winter.
    Bottom line suggestion,,,,,,,,,,,,,, keep all those chickens:thumbsup and often times it does occur that you loose a chic/chicken or 2 to natural happenings. :(
    WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and :welcome
     
  3. Dennisi01

    Dennisi01 In the Brooder

    10
    15
    26
    Jul 23, 2018
    Easton, PA
    Thank you! I'll add more roosting since there's only a 42" 2x4 set up for it now. With 24x7 open access to the run, do i still need to keep food and water in the coop?
     
    ShanasCastle likes this.
  4. PouleChick

    PouleChick Crowing

    1,087
    2,058
    277
    Apr 6, 2016
    SW France
    I wouldn't keep food in the coop - they don't eat or drink at night - better to have it in the run and gives extra space in the coop.
     
  5. Michael Stegall

    Michael Stegall In the Brooder

    10
    9
    19
    Aug 12, 2018
    NW Georgia
    If they have constant access to the coop and it directly ties into the run I would keep the food in the coop in a hanging feeder to keep bugs from getting into it. Also that way you don't have to worry about throwing out food every day you just fill the feeder and your done. I would keep their water out in the run though to prevent them from getting their coop floor wet and causing problems. Good luck
     
    cavemanrich likes this.
  6. Kayla's Lunch

    Kayla's Lunch Songster

    215
    295
    136
    Jun 9, 2018
    Maryland
    How are your roosts arranged? I have a 4' x 12' coop. We had put in one roost going the 12'. It was 2' high off the ground. However, there was a cross beam pretty high up and some of the chicks were going up there, but not all could get that high and it wasn't long enough for all of them. We fiddled around and got more high roosting places, but need to figure out how to make it all nice and easy for everyone.
     
    cavemanrich likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    47,888
    25,926
    1,082
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Remember that the kids need to know that sometimes you have to get rid a of a bird.

    With a predator proof run, your set up might work fine...but what is your climate?
    Run will need to be weather proof too.

    Welcome to BYC!
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, then it's always there!
    upload_2018-8-16_10-37-2.png
     
    townchicks and cavemanrich like this.
  8. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    6,063
    8,231
    707
    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    My coop is small, and I only keep a small flock of pets. I have my setup as pictured below. Some chickens go for the high roost, and some for the lower roost. This way none crowd themselves and get onto other chickens nerves. :gig
    I like using natural branches, just because I like the way they look. :)
    My chickens did not compliment me or complain ether. [​IMG]
    0311151441-00.jpg
    You can see 4 different levels of roost area. Plus floor. The highest was only accessible to my OEGB. Banties, since the larger chickens could not fit there. The rest just parked where they felt comfortable. Again, they only slept there or laid eggs. rest of day was outside.
    Here is my opinion on where to keep food and water. This works for me and has advantages that are good for my situation.
    I keep water outside , and have no worry that it will spill inside coop and make things less than IDEAL. Chickens do not go for night time snacks and drinks..
    I also keep feed and other food for them outside. It is in area that is protected from rain . At roost time, I remove feed/food and place into a metal garbage container with secure lid to prevent night time visitors from eating.
    Opossums,raccoons,skunks,mice, or rats, or anything else.
    Having feed inside a coop all the time posses some dilemma. Mice can get into most coops. Most feeders are not spill proof, although many do a good job of not spilling/wasting feed. Bugs can find feed regardless if it is outside, or inside coop. Only advantage of feed inside coop is weather protection. It must also be kept inside if chickens are confined to coop during extended stay like weather related or other.
     
  9. Kayla's Lunch

    Kayla's Lunch Songster

    215
    295
    136
    Jun 9, 2018
    Maryland
    Thanks for the picture!
     
    cavemanrich likes this.
  10. Dennisi01

    Dennisi01 In the Brooder

    10
    15
    26
    Jul 23, 2018
    Easton, PA
    Thanks all! I just updated my location info. I'm in Eastern, PA, so we have all 4 seasons. The run is completely enclosed with 1/2" hardware cloth, with 8" flares outward and the base (need a piece in front of the door and I plan on cutting the grass super short and mushing the flared HW cloth down so the grass grows through and eventually envelops the material) ringed with (and built upon) 4x4s. I suppose a mouse could get in if he dug under the HW cloth flare and the 4x4, but he'd have to be pretty determined (and maybe eaten by the chickens?). I do not see how a racoon/possum/fox could get in, so i should be in pretty good shape there.

    I use a 5 gallon and 2 gallon bucket and horizontal chicken nipples for water, and a 5 gallon bucket with PVC elbows for feed. Since I've began using this feed bucket I have yet to see 1 speck of chicken food on the ground.

    As you can see the run/coop is completely roofed over, so really only blowing rain/snow will get in.*edit* Also, the coop is in complete shade up until ~3pm in the summer, FWIW.

    I do need to add more roosting in the coop, since I only have the 1 42" 2x4 in there now. So much for my grand plan of using the pull out tray for all the roost poop!

    Let me know if I'm missing anything, I've spent a ton of time on this damned setup so I want to make sure it's right. Hopefully we'll be able to keep chickens for a good long time. If we ever move i'll probably have to tear this thing down, so I'm hoping that's a LONG way off!

    Another question (for those of you who have read this wall of text). What do you think about woodchips? Right now it's grass but i'm sure within a few weeks that'll all be scratched away.

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: