Beginner Maintenance Help

3KillerBs

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
11,877
31,004
1,116
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
You just broke my heart!! Friends with chickens and even the seller of the coop ensured me it was fine for 3 chickens. We're definitely not changing it so I'll see what we can do. What is the risk of keeping this coop for 3 chickens? They only really sleep in there anyways. So frustrating they would advertise a coop for 3 if it's too small!

Alas, the manufacturers are in it to make money and make their claims based on the legal minimums for commercial chickens rather than the best practices for backyard chicken keepers. :(

It's a continued source of frustration and sadness for us here.

The Usual Guidelines are that each adult, standard-sized hen needs:

4 square feet in the coop,​
10 square feet in the run,​
1 linear foot of roost (which needs to be higher than the nests because chickens will naturally try to sleep in the highest place available,​
1/4 of a nestbox,​
and 1 square foot of permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation, best located above the birds' head when sitting on their roost.​

The main things people see with crowding are behavioral issues such as bullying, sanitation/odor problems with being unable to keep the coop adequately clean, and, in extremes, health problems -- which are often related to poor ventilation. :(

Depending on your exact circumstances, you might not see these problems. Living animals have a lot of variability and there are no hard-and-fast RULES for managing them. :)
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
35,411
290,469
1,662
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
You just broke my heart!! Friends with chickens and even the seller of the coop ensured me it was fine for 3 chickens. We're definitely not changing it so I'll see what we can do. What is the risk of keeping this coop for 3 chickens? They only really sleep in there anyways. So frustrating they would advertise a coop for 3 if it's too small!
Anyone that told you that coop was appropriate housing for 3 chickens doesn't really know anything about their needs and how to keep them healthy and happy. All manufacturers will print misinformation about them.
The risks of keeping them in there are health, behavioral and safety.
It will be very difficult to keep it properly clean.
Those coops ALWAYS lack proper ventilation.
There is not enough room in that teeny tiny coop for inclement weather. Where will they go when it's raining all day? Do you get snow where you live?
I literally just last week tossed one of those into the dump. I had used it for an integration of three birds into my flock. I had attached a 20 x 6 run to it during the integration and I kept the entire setup inside my electrified poultry netting to keep the new comers safe.
Once the new birds joined the flock, I never used it again and stored it next to my garage for 3 years. It just fell apart sitting there. We went to pick it up to put in the trailer and the nest box section ripped off.
Here's a good thread on how NOT predator proof they are. And the coop pictured is much bigger than the one you are using.

Do you have a small shed or something you could convert into a coop/storage area?
 

AfiafiAfi

Songster
Sep 1, 2021
1,161
3,479
241
Bangladesh,Nasirabad.
Well if it’s really disturbing u to clean the over stuffed litter tray I don’t think anything will work but removing it.All the litter might fall to the ground and not scatter around I suppose if there’s a net.
You can we’ll probably clean it using a mob to sweep it into a sweeper and dump it in the trash if cleaning the tray forever is too hard.Honestly I dun suppose there’s anything else to do I’m afraid
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,202
36,936
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
You just broke my heart!! Friends with chickens and even the seller of the coop ensured me it was fine for 3 chickens. We're definitely not changing it so I'll see what we can do. What is the risk of keeping this coop for 3 chickens?
Possible behavioral issues (you're already seeing it with them sleepin in the nests due to poor design) and possible health issues due to lack of ventilation).

Some people solve this problem by turning the entire coop/run combo into a coop: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/my-renovated-prefab-coop.1440258/

Really suggest you give this a go. If you convert the entire thing into the coop you should have enough space/close to enough space for 3, plus it'll allow you to improve on ventilation as well and hopefully address the not-roosting issue.

This is my original write up instructions on converting a prefab:

To turn it from 2 small "boxes" (tiny coop above tiny run) into 1 bigger "box" you'll want to remove as much of the inside coop wall as possible, plus the floor. Take out the old roosts too.

Nests might be able to stay as is, or may need to be relocated elsewhere or replaced - depends on the structure of the coop and how things inside stack up once done.

Run a new roost(s) lengthwise or widthwise across the newly open space, depending on how much roost is needed. Ideally you’d like 12” per bird but 10” can suffice in many cases.

Board up some of the external wire walls so that the roost area is protected from winds and rain. Do NOT fully cover up all the wire, you need ventilation and natural light, so at the very least a few inches under the roofline should remain open. If your climate allows for it, you can leave entire walls open with just the mesh, or make it convertible for the season by covering up open walls for winter, and then uncovering for summer.
 

AfiafiAfi

Songster
Sep 1, 2021
1,161
3,479
241
Bangladesh,Nasirabad.
I would quickly just sweep them up with an electric sweeper or just remove the tray if it’s causing far too much trouble though I wouldn’t recommend it as the litter gathered on the ground can let out a nasty smell.
 

laneaj

Crowing
May 24, 2021
912
2,877
306
Clarksville Tennessee
You just broke my heart!! Friends with chickens and even the seller of the coop ensured me it was fine for 3 chickens. We're definitely not changing it so I'll see what we can do. What is the risk of keeping this coop for 3 chickens? They only really sleep in there anyways. So frustrating they would advertise a coop for 3 if it's too small!
I TOTALLY feel your frustration!
It should be illegal for places to sell those things!
I was suckered as well and now on 3rd build since May of this year! Finally bit the bullet and doing it right...thanks to everyone in here's help!
I had 4 bantams to begin with which worked...soon realized I had 2 roosters in flock of 4 - of course. So polish had to be re-homed. Dynamics of flock 100% better with just 3 silkies as well as helped with my pre-fab coop size. They are 8 months old now and fill up the pre-fab...nesting box is a joke especially now that I have a broody.
Sure prayin son-in-law is able to finish big coop this weekend!
If interested you could check out my other posts to see my learning experiences here.
 

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