Advice on meat bird coop and run, please?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by res, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    So this time around, we are building a coop.

    In OKC, I converted a 3' x 10' section of the garden shed into a coop (it was under the workbench), and while it worked well, there were a few things I would have changed about it. I do NOT want to pay for a pre-made shed + delivery here in MD, so we are building from the ground up.

    I do still have my Egg Cart'n tractor, and I LOVE it - not a thing I would change. It works perfectly, and is a breeze to move around. But... the 5 hens in it are pretty much max capacity. And I want more (imagine that!) ::) Actually, I want meat birds!

    So DH built his tractor shed last weekend, and I want to build a lean-to off the south side for a run. The lean-to will measure 12' wide x 18' long and will have a roof, north side will be the metal sidewall to the tractor shed, and the remaining 3 sides will be open, and covered with fencing.

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    That leaves me with a 12'x12' area to build the coop in. That area is between the gate on the right of the picture, and the first pole of the tractor shed in the left of the picture. The coop will be flush with the run, so the pop door will let the chickens directly out. It will be pole-barn construction, with posts sunk into concrete in the ground. I do not want to deal with traditional framed construction. Blech!

    So anyway.... Long story to get to my question...

    1.) How many birds can I house in a 12x18 run?

    2.) How big of a coop do I need if the birds are only in it at night? Feed and water will be in the run, except in blizzard/hurricane conditions, then I will need it to be inside, and will need to plan room for it.

    3.) Can I use grid plastic for the floor vs. traditional solid floor? Poo would fall thru and could be collected for the garden. In winter I thought I could lay a bed of straw over the grid to insulate it a bit...
     

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