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A run under my coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JohnPeel, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. JohnPeel

    JohnPeel Chillin' With My Peeps

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/spare-wood-and-spare-space-i-think-i-will-build-a-coop

    Here is a link to my first page with BYC. I haven't any chickens as yet, and have never had any. The link shows my progress in creating a coop.

    I have done this based on information I have gathered from BYC and other websites. I hope to house 6 rescue chickens, and although we have a couple of acres for that they could roam, I don't like the idea of letting them out without me being there, because we have foxes, badgers, stoats and hawks around the property.

    The coop is 8 feet by 4 feet and is 3 feet off the ground. What I want to know is, is the space underneath my coop big enough for the chickens to come down there ladder to during the day when I am not around. Also, should I just leave it dirt on the floor or should I use something else.

    I will of course be enclosing the base in 1/2" Welded Wire. Thanks

    In case you don't want to look at the progress of my coop, here is a picture of the last stage of progress that shows the size of the underneath.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. cknkids

    cknkids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2012
    Camarillo, CA
    I am also new to chickens. My daughter brought home the 2nd grade life science project last June. We now have 4, 5 month old pullets and are waiting for our first egg. You have 32 square feet under your coop, a little more then 5 sq ft per chicken it you have 6. If you let them out every day that should be enough. If they aren't going to get out 10 sq ft is recommended. I'd say enclose the base see if it's enough but think about planning on expanding off one side if you find you need it.
     
  3. JohnPeel

    JohnPeel Chillin' With My Peeps

    I plan on havig a chicken tractor that will be able to attache to any of the sides of the coop base. This should give me the extra space. Thanks for the imput.
     
  4. Avianman

    Avianman Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2012
    Im a big fan of free range, but I understand the concerns, especially with so many diurnal predators. Whether the run will be big enough depends on the size of the chicken (a Jersey Giant needs much more room than a tiny Serama) regardless what the easy calculations might suggest. More is always better, of course, but for just a few chickens I think you are doing fine!
     
  5. PeepsAreForMe

    PeepsAreForMe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Pemberton Borough, NJ
    Beautiful coop! If you can, I would make the run bigger than just underneath it. My husband is pretty tired of doing things twice because I realized what I really needed after he did it! You will start off thinking oh they are so happy underneath there. And then there is no more grass, just dirt, and you will wish they had more room to roam when enclosed. Trust me, I speak from experience!!

    My coop is 3 feet off the ground too, and I cannot reach to the other end to clean it - it is 5'x5'. Just make sure you can reach! Not sure how much trouble it would be to lower yours if you cannot. Good luck with your rescues!!! That is so nice.
     
  6. JohnPeel

    JohnPeel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you, I will make sure I have access to the underneath from all sides. Great tip.
     
  7. PeepsAreForMe

    PeepsAreForMe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Pemberton Borough, NJ
    I meant reaching into the coop itself to clean - but you would need to clean underneath as well.
     
  8. RedStarLady1207

    RedStarLady1207 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 4, 2012
    Maryland, USA
    3 feet is plenty of height for the run. I would enclose that part for when you can't be there so they can come out of the coop and still be safe from predators. You will have to bury some of the hardware cloth or lay a couple of feet outwards and let grass grow over it. That decision as to which to do is usually decided by how hard it is to dig your ground! I have total clay so my hardware cloth extends outwards away from the edge so diggers have to a long way to go to get under and up into the run. I'd put an access door on the under-run area so you can get in there and reach it with a rake.

    Later, you could add a larger run if you don't want to 'supervise' the free-range playtime. Once that area under the coop turns to all dirt you can mulch it thickly to prevent mud and toss some straw so they can dig about. Should keep them busy (and safe). Nice coop - I wish I had it!
     
  9. jedgeworth

    jedgeworth Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2012
    Alabama
    Yes. That would give them a chance to get out of the coop while you are not there. To me a coop is really just a place for them to eat, lay eggs, and sleep. They need to be out and on the ground as musch as possible. Like others have you may decided later to come back and build them a bigger run.
     
  10. JohnPeel

    JohnPeel Chillin' With My Peeps

    I will dig the hardware cloth in around the base to. As you can see by the pictures, there are many fruit trees in the garden, so I would love for them to out and about to keep the bugs down. I can see myself just taking the chance and just letting them out all day. Maybe :}

    The wire arrives tomorrow, and if its a nice day I will finish cladding the roof with Feather Edge Boards.
     

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