Best Prefab Coop & Run for 12-15 hens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PhDmom493, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. PhDmom493

    PhDmom493 New Egg

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    I have been scouring the internet for prefab coops and runs to accommodate 10 standards and 4 bantams. I am not handy nor have I ever built anything, so I am not interested in plans.

    A couple of considerations are:

    1. I am in HOT Texas
    2. I am thinking I need 1/4" hardware cloth as opposed to 1/2" to really try and keep critters out
    3. Mobile - can be moved around the yard
    4. I would like a tall, walk-in, long run... maybe 10-12 feet in length

    5. Would fiberglass would stand up to the harsh elements better than wood?

    I have researched
    CC-Only (http://www.cconlystore.com/CC-32-R2-CC-32-R2.htm),
    Chicken Condos by Cove Products (http://www.chickencondos.com/4-x-6-classic-barn-chicken-coop.html),
    My Pet Chicken (http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Chicken-Coops/Fiberglass-5x8-Coop-20-Chickens-p1609.aspx),
    EGGstreme Coops (http://www.eggstremecoops.com/chicken_coop-traditional.shtml),
    Better Chicken Coops (http://www.betterchickencoops.com/q48.php)

    Any recommendations????

    Thank you so much for any input!
     
  2. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you checked out any local builders? I've seen the prefab ones assembled in stores and they seem so very flimsy and poorly built. Also looked online myself and reviews seem almost universally poor no matter what brand. You might try searching for builders where you could see them in person. Plus, holy cow, I looked at a couple of these links and they are way overstating the number of chickens that can fit in a coop. Saw a 4x4 coop advertised for 16 chickens--that's factory farming conditions. Standard is supposed to be around 4 sq ft per non-bantam fowl, so you might keep an eye on that too.
     
  3. josher57

    josher57 Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree. Prefab coops are expen$ive and cheaply made. Talk to your folks at TS or similar store. A lot of times they have bulletin boards with people buying/selling animals. Sometimes there are folks on there who build coops too. Craigslist is hit and miss.

    Also, if you want something mobile, long AND tall, you cannot go wrong with a hoop coop. They are lighter than a "normal" wooden coop. I'm 6'2" and I can stand up straight in my hoop coop. I built it 8x8 but it could easily be added onto for 8x12 or 8x16.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Pre-fab coop advertisers just anger me. Honestly, the number of birds they say can be crammed in a coop reaches cruelty levels. One of those ads only gives about 1/2 foot per chicken, that's less than the horrible broiler industry.

    I'd say nix the idea of a pre-fab coop. I'd go with a shed that can be modified, or hire a builder.

    In Texas, you're way more concerned about the heat than the cold. I would go for an open sided aviary style coop. Wood/solid on 2-3 sides, open wire on the others. This will give you more air flow. Situate the coop out of prevailing winds for the winter and provide lots of shade.

    Or, you could look into hoop coops. My breeding pens are wire only, there's no "coop" involved. My birds do just fine.

    I'm just looking at those coops you linked. Some are nice enough, but they're all buttoned up so tight I think your birds would suffocate or have heat stroke. And none of them are spacious by any means.

    For that number of birds, you're going to want a MINIMUM of 150 feet of run space. Conventional rule of thumb is 4 square feet per bird in the coop, but that can vary depending on location. If the run offers shade/shelter, a lot of birds don't go in the coop at all except to roost or lay.

    Speaking of roost, you want over a foot of roost space for each bird, so you're looking at about 15 feet of roost space overall. Like run space, more is always better. Roosting time is prime time to squabble and boss each other around, and more space smooths that.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. Roosurdaddy

    Roosurdaddy Just Hatched

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    Hello everyone, First post here.
    Please forgive me if I ramble. I too did some homework before building my coop and run. I have a total of eight beautiful ladies in my care and want each one to be happy. After checking out some DIY tube posts I went for a 4'x4'x6'= 96 cubic feet coop and an 8'x12'=96 square foot floor run.
    Being my first time owning chickens I felt this would be a good size. Now that they are approaching 20 weeks old and I am amazed at how large these birds can get. I feel my run is just right for eight birds, however, looking back now I wish I would have made the coop larger.
    When all of my girls are in the coop and I am at the access door I see by their actions that its a little crowded which looks like it causes a little stress/pecking and squabbling. Thank goodness I did not make it any smaller. Here in So. Cal they sleep outside in the run alot.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Here are my girls.[​IMG]
    I have 2 leghorns, 2EEs, 2 RIRs & 2 Marans. You can see in this pic just how much space they require to just stand, not including running around, and flying somewhat.[​IMG]
    I think you will be much happier if you hire a handyperson to build what you would like, and what the birds need to be happy. To be honest I feel guilty keeping them in the run all of the time. I may start trying some free ranging just before dusk to see what they will do. I am afraid of them going into the neighbors yard and not coming home or flying over a fence with a dog in the yard. Just remember, happy girls lay more eggs have less stress and fight less.
     
  6. JenniferCNY

    JenniferCNY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also suggest hiring a builder. That's what we did for our coop and run for our 8 girls. I gave him plans that I bought online. Very solid coop. Just wish I had thought to make to run larger. Next year!
     
  7. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I would post on my state thread and ask if someone had a used coop they built, or "if anyone builds coops?" I know we have at least one on our state thread.
     
  8. PhDmom493

    PhDmom493 New Egg

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    I have heard the 4 square feet per chicken rule, but is that coop only or coop+run? Also, how is the coop height factored in (ie. cubic feet per chicken?) It seems to me that just calculating square feet ignores the vertical roosting space, especially if you have several bars.
     
  9. worms7

    worms7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the general rule is 4sq in coop
    8-10 in run
    cheers Phil
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Coop only, run 'rule' is 10 sqft per bird, floor space only.
    Roosts aren't counted as they won't really work in shift to use the floor....tho they can be places of refuge for bullied birds.
    And if you use poop boards that are regularly cleaned, they can afford extra 'floor' space to lounge when weather is awful.
     

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