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Building my first coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AZ RT89A, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. AZ RT89A

    AZ RT89A Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey everyone,

    I apologize in advance for not having any pictures right away but I promise I will get some later. I just bought my first house and I'm also building my first chicken coop. I lucked out with this house because I only have one next door neighbor and he has about 30 chickens himself, as well as a bunch of ducks and other assorted animals. My coop is going to be 4x8, and approximately 6' tall. I'm hoping to house between 10-15 chickens.

    Right now I've got the base and 1 wall complete. I got a couple cheap windows from lowes so I hope to have at least one wall framed today, and another tomorrow. I'll post some pictures when I get home.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I would strongly encourage you to increase that to at least 8x8 for that many chickens, paritcularly in a snow climate like yours, as they will want to stay in a lot in the winter -- unless they have a covered run where they can spend the day outdoors.

    I'll give you a few links that come well recommended here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/winter-coop-temperatures

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...-go-out-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

    Good luck!
     
  3. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats on the house! Like Judy, I'd advise a coop double that size for that many chickens (and even larger if you live in a place where they'll have to spend large amounts of time locked in the coop because of snow).
     
  4. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bigger is always better with chickens! Good luck.
     
  5. AZ RT89A

    AZ RT89A Out Of The Brooder

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    I may have to start small then and work my way up. I plan on having the run covered and accessible year round. Does that help?
     
  6. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It really depends on your weather. It doesn't snow where I am, so my requirements may be entirely different from yours. If they can use the run year-round like they can here, then the max number of chickens in a 4x8 coop is probably 6-8. If they will have to be inside for weeks or months on end because of heavy/deep snow, then you're looking at a max of half that according to all the guidelines I've seen. So it really comes down to circumstances and whether you want to build a coop to suit the number of chickens you want or to get the number of chickens that suit the coop as planned.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it helps.

    Many problems with chickens are caused by too little space, and many can be fixed by giving them more space -- not to mention, the more space, the easier they are to care for. There is a formula often quoted here, 4 sq ft in the coop and 20 in the run per chicken. This actually is what is supposedly the minimum needed to prevent severe pecking and cannibalism -- and it is certainly not a magic formula. I would never keep chickens in anywhere near that little space, and we don't even have winter here.

    They will probably want to stay in much of the day on bad days, like high winds or even heavy snow -- they will go out even in very cold weather, but they may go ino and out a lot. That takes a fair amount of indoor space, enough to move aorund comfortably and not be crowded. If I recall correctly, Patandchickens said in one of the links I gave you that she figured 15 sq ft per chicken in the coop. She lived in Canada.

    (edited: the 20 sq ft is a typo; it is usually given as 10 sq ft in the run. Sorry!)
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  8. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll repeat.

    4' x 8' = 32 square feet.

    32 / 4 square feet per chick = 8 chickens maximum AND that's IF they only sleep in the coop.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Agrees to go with 8x8 for more room for winter confinement and it also will make roost access much easier....
    ...4 feet is just hard to navigate when coming off the roost, they'll crash into the wall and there's not enough room for a ramp without really crowding things.

    The run might help if you can keep the snow out of it and block the wind.

    Congrats on new house!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  10. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought it was 10 in the run per, but maybe that's only if you can also free range part time?

    (edited -- see post 12.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2014

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