Adding a 2nd coop to an existing flock...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Slinglings, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Slinglings

    Slinglings Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
    6
    103
    Aug 30, 2012
    Seattle 98125
    My coop is too small, I know that, and I plan to build a larger one as soon as I can get my kids to let go of their swing set, probably summer 2014. The hens only sleep in their coop, and are free whenever it is light out, so I don't think they are suffering really.

    In the meantime..
    I found a free cedar dog house that is in good condition, that is actually bigger than my coop is now. Can I just add a second coop to the yard and let them decide if they want to sleep in one or the other? The 8 hens tend to split off into two groups, either 4/4 or 3/5, so would they just figure out where they want to be..or would they just keep using the old coop?

    Could this be a permanent solution? Other than having two coops to clean, is there any problem with this? Would they go back to the other coop to lay eggs or would I need to add nest boxes?


    eta, here it is:
    http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/zip/3571147306.html

    I need larger nest boxes anyway, my JG will be laying soon and would appreciate a larger nest than we have now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  2. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,170
    102
    181
    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I built a second coop like the first one when I added to my flock, so that all the square footage numbers would work out. The new chickens went from dog crate into the new coop, stayed locked in for a week, then spend a month in the separate run area. All the chickens could see each other, but not physically interact. Then I opened a portal between the runs so that they could mix and mingle.

    The new chickens moved into the old coop with the others, even though the portal is open all the time. After several months, I started using the new coop to store bedding and such. None of them goes in there any more. I guess that they all want to stay together.

    So I have ten chickens in a 4 x 8 coop, a 16 x 20 run, and a storage coop.

    Chris
     
  3. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

    578
    89
    151
    Aug 2, 2012
    Brenham TX
    wow this is amazing, you would think the new chickens would have stayed in the new coop since it is where they "learned" home was after you locked them for a week. I am going thru the same process this spring when I get my new chicks. My problem is that if they do what yours did, my old coop is 8x4 and already has 9 hens, so it will be too small for all of them (planning to add 10 more).My new coop (under construction right now) will be 10x12 so there will be plenty of space for everybody. I hope they are smart enough that if they want to be together they will move to the big coop. I guess the lesson of the day is that you can never predict what our little darlings will do.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by