Another Stall to COOP Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jhammett, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. jhammett

    jhammett Out Of The Brooder

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    My wife an I just moved onto 5 acres there is a metal building Barn with three stalls in it. I am thiniking that I can convert one stall into a chicken coop with laying boxes for the chickens and let them runn free on the whole of the 5 acres during the day. IS this logical or should i also build a fenced in run for them. I have 60 eggs incubating currently in my classroom that will hatch around the 25th of this month. and am planning anothe 60 to follow. My sons have decided that selling yard eggs and gardening will be their job while in school i have three boys ages 9,12,and 13. I grew up on a produce farm so can help with that part but am new to chickens. ALso what do I need to do in the stall it is 12'X12' and has a natural floor used to have horses in it evidence is still there.
     
  2. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You will probably want to cut an access door from your stall out to a predator secured run (with a roof or cover). This way they can have outside access all the time with the ability to go inside from the elements. You can always let them out on your property when you are around to watch them. A dog or coyote would have easy pickins out in the open. You will also want to screen in your stall unless you want them to access to the entire barn. 60 to 120 chickens will need plenty of space! You will soon have more eggs than you will know what to do with! :)
     
  3. jhammett

    jhammett Out Of The Brooder

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    HOw much Closed in run space would you reecomend. I was thinking that I could use the existing stall doon and just close it and cut a small entrance in the bottome at ground level so they can get in but winter draft would stay out. The door faces east and most wind here in Kansas is North South so thats a good thing
     
  4. jhammett

    jhammett Out Of The Brooder

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    Also how many nesting boxes do i need. Is it a one to one chicken to box ratio.....
     
  5. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would build your run as big as you can for the amount of chickens that you have in mind. My run is about 10' x 20' with roof over top for shade and help keep out snow. This is for a few dozen chickens. A dozen 4x4s, some 2x4s, some fencing, and bead board will set you right up. The run will give you a piece of mind when you are not watching the chickens or if you are gone. I woud find an old long table and make a few rows of nesting boxes on top of that (you will want about a dozen or so). I have 7 nest boxes and some will have 5 or 6 eggs or others may have just 1 or 2. The nice thing about the table is that you can hang your feeder or waterer underneath to keep them clean.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    :frow Welcome to the forum! :weee Glad you joined us! :frow

    There is a rule of thumb on this forum that you need 1 nest box for every 4 hens, but that is geared toward pretty small flocks. The more laying hens you have the fewer nests you need on a per chicken basis. I don’t know how many laying hens you expect to wind up with, but you might be fine with more of a 1 nest to 7 or 8 hen ration.

    Do you need an outside run? That is really hard to answer. A lot of people out in the country don’t. If you confine them you have to feed them. On your five acres they will probably find a whole lot of their own food and really cut you feed bills.

    The other side to that is that if you let then forage for their own food, you run a risk of losing them to predators. Some people get their flocks wiped out almost immediately if they try free ranging. Some people go years in between predator attacks or may lose one chicken every few years. Nobody can tell you how bad it will be for you, but you certainly run a risk.

    I went three years and only lost two, I think to foxes. With the reduction in my feed bill, I could easily stand that. If I only had a few for pets, that kind of loss would be devastating. We have different goals and different risk tolerances.

    Then somebody dropped two dogs out in the country for the good life. I lost 8 chickens in one go before I could manage that problem. Then a couple of months later, somebody dropped another dog put in the country. That one cost me 5 chickens. I wound up getting electric netting to stop those dog attacks.

    When those dogs attacked I happened to not be at home. When I got back, I locked the surviving chickens in the run until I could deal with the dogs. That’s the big reason you might want to build a fairly secure run. It gives you some flexibility in dealing with some problems.
     
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  7. jhammett

    jhammett Out Of The Brooder

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    so if i am building nesting boxes along the walls of the Barn Stall that I am converting to a coop how high off the floor should i put the boxes?
     
  8. jhammett

    jhammett Out Of The Brooder

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    What is BEAD BOARD
     
  9. jhammett

    jhammett Out Of The Brooder

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    how tall should the walls of the run be. I am building it this week end
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Whatever height makes you happy. The chickens really don’t care, people do. Some people are perfectly happy with nests on the floor. Some people, especially people with bad backs, have them up high enough so they don’t have to bend over to gather the eggs. Or anything in between.

    I think you’ll find the only thing more varied in what we use as nests is what we use for coops. Your only limit is your imagination. Here are a couple of threads that show some of what we do. There are plenty of other threads like these on the forum.

    Nesting Boxes
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=41108

    Opa’s Rollaway Nest Box
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=287684
     

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