Am I About to Over Crowd?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by newbie32, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2013
    Low Desert, CA
    I currently have 8 chickens in an 8ft long, 4 foot wide, 4 foot high coop. They seem to have plenty of room. Actually they only use half of it at the very most. However, they have not started to sleep on the roost yet so maybe they will use more later?

    Anyways-I am getting 5 more chicks on Wednesday. I assumed I would have plenty of room for them-after quarantine time. Now I am worried I need to add.

    The run is 6 ft high by 8 ft deep by 8 feet wide.

    Do I need a bigger coop? Do I need a bigger run? I allow them free range for several hours a day.
     
  2. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Westfield, Indiana
    Many will say that the coop/run size can be somewhat smaller than the 4sf/bird for the coop and 10sf/bird for the run when the birds free range daily. You could cover your run if it is not already covered and add a roost bar in there. A roof over the run is ideal for shade. You can add panels to block wind. That way it can serve as coop area since you are in a warm region. Below you can see the three sided area that I added. I add and remove wall panels depending on the season. Add a ramp if your roost bar is up high. They will use roost bars if they are easy to access. Hope this helps!

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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    New Brunswick,Canada
    The only true answer is wait and see.
    Different breeds are more tolerant than others also if they are all raised in the same flock the pecking order is more stable.
    You will know if you have problems when you go out to the coop and see blood around and your chickens are starting to peck and cannibalize one another.
     
  4. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2013
    Low Desert, CA
    I do have it covered with a roost bar. Good I am glad that helps. I was already thinking about doing something to block some of the wind from the run. I thought tarp would be great but we get severe desert storms here and it just shreds the tarps on the wire-I went threw 3 tarps before learning my lesson. So do you have any other suggestions I could do (I am not good at DIY projects) that would be simple and not get destroyed?

    Thanks for providing me with a good, sound I idea that I can manage![​IMG].

    BTW I like your setup you got going on with your coop and run!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  5. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No I will not allow it to ever get to the point of cannibalism.
     
  6. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    13 Chickens means 130 sq. ft run. You've got 64 sq ft. run, so you need to double the size of your run per BYC standards. Think about it like this, your in a public bathroom stall, with 2 other people, all day, every day, how comfortable are you going to be?

    The coop is small, but depending on what size and breed of bird you keep, they may be okay.
     
  7. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    This is a quick peek at my set up. I have kept as many as 15 birds in a 4x8 coop with no accessible run through the winter with no problems.

    I have been around the sun 63 times.

    It is not my first "Rodeo!"

    Heat???
    Nobody "I know" heats a chicken coop.
    Healthy "cold hearty" chickens die from heat not cold.
    I live in Canada last year was subject to -40º (C or F take your pick) no light or heat in coop NO PROBLEMS. You have to feed heavier during cold snaps with extra corn I find.
    Chickens have been raised on this continent for over a hundred years without heat.
    If you feel you must supply heat to your chickens I suggest keeping your chickens in the house that way you can huddle with your birds when the hydro goes out.

    Acclimatize
    Chickens will die from cold if not given the chance to acclimatize. Hydro is more apt to go out in an ice storm or blizzard when subject to below 0º temperatures in my opinion.

    How would you supply heat then to your un-acclimatized birds ???

    Diary of last winter cold snap check out the link:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/738994/chickens-arctic-conditions-prolonged-period

    Watering
    For along time I used heater tape around a bucket with chicken watering nipples. It worked excellent. However me being me I neglected to change the water as often as I should.

    Last year I switched to white rubber contains the wife found somewhere. The freeze solid every night but the ice just pops out of them in the morning and I replenish them with fresh warm water. They have black ones at the feed store that are similar but large than mine.

    The chickens congregate around them like people having their morning coffee. The only draw back is my yard is pepper with small ice bergs the size of the buckets.

    April looks after that however..

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    My Coop is a salvaged 4x8 metal shed here are a few tips and a quick look at my set up.
    My floor are planks with a layer of tin for rodent proofing. On top of the tin I have a piece of vinyl flooring cut one foot longer than the length and width of my coop (roughly). Six inches squares are cut out of the 4 corners of the vinyl flooring. This allows the friction fitted flooring to travel up the walls six inches around the perimeter of my 4x8 salvaged metal coop. Shovel out the heavy stuff into a wheel barrow. Pop out the vinyl flooring hose it off pop it back in.
    Easy Peasy!

    Bedding
    I have used all types of litter for coops.

    I have not tried sand (sand gets good reviews on this site).

    Of all the things I tried to date wood pellets have been the best. (I tried wood pellets as a last resort when pine shavings were not available.) They are super absorbent and swell up and eventually turn to saw dust. The droppings just seem to vanish and turn to dust when it comes in contact with wood pellets .

    Replace my litter and clean my coop every October after I harvest my garden.


    Works for me in my deep litter method.

    I do add to pellets from time to time.

    I have anywhere from 10 to 15 birds housed in my 4x8 coop.

    Through the winter months the pellets froze harder than concrete with -40º temperatures. The poop froze before it could be absorbed by the pellets and there was like a crusty layer of poop in certain areas where they collectively took aim (no smell, messy feet or flies @ -40º). Come April things started to look after themselves.

    POOP BOARDS are the "BEST" addition yet. Handles well over ½ of the poop in my set up keeps ammonia smell in check 3½" below roost excellent for catching eggs laid through the night (roost are in cups for easier removal and cleaning). I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop board.it makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.

    Easy peasy!.


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    I house an assortment of birds in this baby barn (¼ inch veneer plywood between birds and elements) no heat no light no problems.
     
  8. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2013
    Low Desert, CA
    See I live in the desert so we don't need to worry about ice. The coop is open faced-meaning it is 3 sided with the open end towards the run. So adding the coop and run together should be approximately 96 sq ft. Plus 2 of my birds are polish-they don't get big. I have roosting bar in the run. So as suggested by a previous reply-I can add a wall to the run and that would essentially make one big playground until I let them out.

    They are usually outside free ranging from 10 or 11am until dusk.

    I think I will play it by ear and wait and see. If I need an add-on I will just extend the run off to the side by about 6 ft. That would be 6ft long and 4 ft wide=24 sq ft extra.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013

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