any ideals on additiona of a run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Tlco, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Tlco

    Tlco Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 5, 2016
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    I have a very small coop for the baby chicks for now but soon I know they will need a run or "yard" to move around and enjoy the grass ect. I was thinking of putting a 4x4x6 dog pen around it with a covered roof keeping the coop for nesting, sleeping. Will this be big enough for 4-5 chickens(no roo)? I have tried to add a pic of the coop but for some reason site won't let me post the pic. will try again shortly. Do to restrictions they must stay confined. ..all suggestions helpful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  2. Tlco

    Tlco Out Of The Brooder

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    Tried again to post pic....still no luck. Don't understand have posted pics on other fourms.
     
  3. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    No. For 5 full size chickens you will need a run at least 50 square feet. 4x4 is only 16 sqft. By the time they are a month old, they would need more room than the dog pen.
     
  4. CountryBoy16

    CountryBoy16 Out Of The Brooder

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    I think the 4x4x6 dog pen would work to house them for the first 10 months or so then you should put them in something at least 10x6
     
  5. Tlco

    Tlco Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    Finally let me post pic of coop..it's small. my plan is to put a 4x4x6 dog pen around it with a roof for 3 hens when the chicks are bigger. I might just butt them together giving them more room in the pen with the coop on outside. Think it will be big enough for the 3 hen. Ideals plz
     
  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You want to go as big as you can for the run. The chickens will be happier and healthier and you'll enjoy them more too. 10 sq. feet per bird is the "minimum" people usually quote, but bigger is better. I have a tiny prefab coop like yours but to compensate I went big with the run. You can buy a chain link dog kennel from a home improvement store that's about 10x10, they're not too expensive, and that'll give them some room to move around at least (though if you're putting the coop inside the run you'll need to subtract the space the coop is taking up).
     
  7. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're going to need more room than the kennel you cited. Fencing really isn't too expensive compared to other things, so I would invest in a roll of welded wire fence, some t-posts, and netting for the top. Using the dimension of the existing coop, start the fence there and go as far as you can before squaring it off and coming back to the other corner of the coop. A fifty foot roll should get you plenty of run space for your birds, and the fence, posts, and netting can be had for less than $100. Good luck.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    It can get frustrating trying to post photos. Sometimes that comes from the device you are using, some browsers work better than others. At least you figured it out.

    What are the dimensions of your coop, the coop section itself and the run section? Just saying small doesn’t help a lot.

    I was surprised when I checked on your temperatures and snow. Your cold doesn’t show a lot of problems for chickens, they should be able to handle your extremes OK, but I was surprised at how much snow you get. I thought south of Dallas you’d get a lot less. Why snow is important is that chickens don’t like change. When they wake up to a strange white world they usually take a couple of days to build up the courage to get out in it. I’ve had chickens that were outside when snow fell during the day and they never bothered to go in, the snow itself didn’t bother them. It is the change to waking up to a white world that confines them to the coop. You might want to put plastic or something around that coop/run you have now to keep snow and wind out to give them more room in the winter. They don’t like a cold wind hitting them either.

    Heat in summer is going to be your real enemy, not cold. They need as much shade as you can manage. A covered run will help, but a lot of sun comes in form the side. You might want to cover the south or especially west side of what you wind up with to block that hot afternoon sun.

    I’m not a believer in magic numbers for chickens, 4 square feet in the coop plus 10 square feet in the run for example. There are plenty of people on this forum that provide less and do OK. There are also people that provide that much room and don’t have enough. There are so many different factors involved like flock make-up, climate, your management techniques, age differences, whether or not you integrate or allow a broody hen to hatch and raise chicks with the flock, and many others that no one set of magic numbers cover us all. From what I can see, yours being all the same age and all female, you probably don’t need that much room. If you ever add new chickens that could change quickly though. I’m a huge advocate of giving them as much room as you reasonably can. That’s for your benefit as much as the chickens if not more. I find the tighter I pack them the more behavioral problems I have to deal with, the harder I have to work, and the less flexibility I have to deal with problems. I make my life less stressful if I provide more room.

    For example, the less space you have the more the poop is concentrated for the same number of chickens. I believe you need to spend as little of your time handling chicken poop as you can manage. The tighter your space is the more poop you have to handle. That’s called working harder and if it starts to smell from being so concentrated it’s stressful.

    You seem to be more flexible on the number of hens you’ll keep than on that 4x4 pen. Sounds like you already have it. Does it have a gate so you can get into it? You need to be able to access all of your coop and run.

    Another reason that the magic numbers don’t work is that the quality of the space makes a difference. Sometimes chickens just need a little personal space, especially if one of them is kind of aggressive. That’s why I’d like to know the dimensions of the coop you have now. If you put your kennel next to the coop, they’d have the small coop section where the nests and roosts probably are, the area in the run part of your coop, plus the 4x4 dog pen area. That might or might not work for three hens though it is tighter than I’d want. They would have areas they could go to get away from a brute if they need it. Most hens are not brutes but occasionally you get one that is. That’s another reason the magic numbers don’t work, personality of the individual chickens makes a difference.

    I understand your desire to have a cover on the run. The bigger the run the harder it is to cover, especially if it is kind of wide. A 10’ x 10’ is a lot harder to cover without the roof sagging a lot than a 4’ x 10’. You need to be able to walk in the run without bending over or crawling. You might try Craigslist to see if you can come up with free or cheap fencing materials like dog kennels to make a bigger run.

    Will what you have work for three hens? I don’t know. It’s not as horrible as some people would have you believe but it’s still tighter than I’d want. If your hens turn out to be fairly mellow, and most are, they should be OK but you might spend more time and effort on poop management than I’d want to.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Tlco

    Tlco Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 5, 2016
    Buffalo tx
    That you for ideals I forgot to mention I don't own the property and can't put up anything permanent also space is limited. So I have to go with something easy to remove. I have a few weeks before they will need more room so will keep looking at runs and getting ideal. If you guys have pics would love to see them.
     
  10. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    It's not a great picture, but you can kind of get an idea of the welded wire/t-post run I had on the side of the coop. I had 3-4 birds in there, and it gave them enough room when I wasn't ranging them. I used a 50' roll of fence, and made it as wide as it was tall so I could cut a section of it to use as the roof as well. It was a last minute deal, but it worked for the better part of a year, and wasn't permanent in any way.
     

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