Absolute beginner!!! Help :)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sofi, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Sofi

    Sofi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 12, 2012
    Raleigh/Garner, NC
    Hi, everybody!


    I've been wanting to have chickens for a long time. Finally, last week, my husband gave me this coop for my birthday!!!! I am so happy and excited to embark on my chicken adventure!


    I've never done this before and I have a myriad of questions.

    Here's a pic of my coop:
    [​IMG]

    The size is 120.5" X 41" X 48". We assembled it on our deck, but it's going in our big back yard. I ordered an electric fence from Premier since we have lots of raccoons and foxes around here.


    My (first) questions are:


    1- How many birds can I house here? Coop has 3 slots inside the nesting box. They will have additional room to range once I get my electric netting (should be here next week). I'd like to have 3/4 birds, but I don't want to crowd them.


    2- Do I need to cover the top window during the winter or do they need it for ventilation? I live in Raleigh, NC. Winters can get cold but they're fairly mild. It might get to the teens occasionally but that's about it.


    3- Any ideas on how to build a door for my coop?




    Thanks a lot in advance!!
     
  2. QuailRaiser

    QuailRaiser Chillin' With My Peeps

    3 to 4 birds is perfect as long as you let them out to forage and range. the hole can stay open, most chickens can endure to -10 C (I don't use farenhight, sorry). as for a door, you could cut one into the inside(house) of the coop, and use hinges and a lock, with a ramp for the chickens to get down
     
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  3. Sofi

    Sofi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very helpful, thanks!!
     
  4. jonsccm

    jonsccm Chillin' With My Peeps

    think about 4 sq feet of covered space per chicken. Bantams not as much. It looks like the house is 4' X 4' 16 sq feet that's 4 standard size, you could get away with maybe 5 / 6 small bantams.
    Keep in mind all chickens thrive much better the more space you give them. So if possible let them out during the day. And research for docile breeds. Some breeds do not do well in smaller spaces.
    Do you know what breed you are looking for?
     
  5. Sofi

    Sofi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I am looking into Ameraucanas or Easter Eggers, Plymouth Rock and Golden Comet. I have a toddler and I want friendly chickens that are also good layers :)
     
  6. MyLittleRedCoop

    MyLittleRedCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I think you got some good ideas for breeds and quantity to fit in your coop! mypetchicken.com has a great breed selector tool that you can use to determine which breeds will be your best fit. You don't have to order from them, but they have a lot of good info for when determining what you want.

    For the door, when we had out first coop, I used a plexi-glas door that had a "pulley" system so I could open and close it from outside the coop. I used trim from a do-it-yourself store that had about a 1/4 inch lip on the backside, that the door could slide into. This was screwed onto the outside of the coop, on either side of the door. I used a picture hanging metal clip and epoxied that to the door (plexi-glas breaks easily - didn't want to drill a hole in it) then used cup hooks to guide the rope though to the outside, and a small hook outside to hold it in place. Worked great. Here are a couple pictures...

    [​IMG]

    You can see the outer pulley mechanism just to the left of the bigger door. The rope just fit through the corner of the door opening. I'll try to find a better picture of the door from the front...
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. MyLittleRedCoop

    MyLittleRedCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I knew I had better pictures somewhere! Here is a better look at the door. Even a thin door will help keep your chickens warmer and dry when it rains or snows. ;)


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Scott H

    Scott H Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 29, 2012
    Twin Lakes, ID
    My Coop
    Sofi, you don't say where you are or what climate you have but that makes a big difference on what breed of chicken you should get.
    Cold climates should not do large combed birds and they should have lots of feathers. We chose Wyandottes for our cold winters. They bear confinement well, have rose combs so they won't frostbite easily and their feathers make them very cold hardy.
    I would take climate into consideration. Do some research in the Breeds section.
     
  9. Sofi

    Sofi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    JVeith THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I think I'll do the same thing... Very nice coop BTW!!

    Going to Lowes right now :)
     
  10. theabee

    theabee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2013
    Firstly, CONGRATS! YAY! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] and happy belated birthday! [​IMG]
    Okay, your questions...
    1) Basically, the size in feet is 10ft x 3ft x 4ft. I'm assuming that's length x width x height? So 30 sg ft of floor space? Is that a measurement of the whole thing, or just the run? It would be more helpful to have square feet of floor space for the coop, and then for the run. You should have (per chicken) ABOUT 4 square feet of floor space in the coop (the inclosed, sheltered part) and 10 square feet in the run (the part covered with wire). SO I would recommend three chickens. Just a side note, you mention there is 3 nest boxes. You probably only need 1 or 2. If there is a way to take 1 or 2 out, that could free up some floor space.
    summary:
    coop- 4 sq ft per chicken
    run- 10 sq ft per chicken
    (see this post on space recommendations- http://naturalchickenkeeping.blogspot.com/2013/04/how-much-coop-and-run-space-do-i-need.html)

    2) Maybe someone with more experience than me could offer further advice. But I would put maybe a door or a flap of water proof cloth over the whole vent, maybe cut in half, so that if it's really cold you can cover all of it, or if it's a little cold you can cover half. But it's really good to have that ventilation, even and especially in the winter.
    (see this post on ventilation- https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...-go-out-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop)

    3) Are you talking about a door right where that ramp is? Google images! What if you connected the ramp to the coop with hinges on the bottom? This way, you would open the door like lowering a drawbridge and the door would become the ramp. If the ramp doesn't fit, you could saw it or use another piece of wood. Or you could do this:
    [​IMG]

    or a sliding door from the top like this:
    [​IMG]



    Some other ideas:
    Post more pictures of the inside and outside of your coop and run! ;) [​IMG]
    Explore BYC! There is lots of great advice and ideas on here.

    Note: I don't actually have chickens. [​IMG] But I'm planning to. So, don't take my advice only. Combine it with other advice. But I have been researching chickens for about an hour a day... for two months... I'm getting day-old chicks in the spring. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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