building new coop questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kristip, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. kristip

    kristip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    New Glarus
    hello... so finally talked DH into building my coop- Hooray!
    We are in Wi and are going to make the coop 4 x 8 with an attached run that is another 8 feet long by 8 feet wide. We will bury the fence into the ground to protect against predators.

    First- your thoughts on size for 6 birds. He does not want more than that and it is what we are currently zoned for.
    Second- can you use treated wood for the base wood frame against the ground? I am concerned about it being treated wood, but he feels on the ground, it will rot too quickly otherwise. Looking for your thoughts.

    also tell me some of your favorite birds for the colder weather. I have ideas of what I want to get, but love hearing others favorites!

  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    First of all, I would consider going with 8X8. The cost is very little more, and it is so much more convenient for you, and of course the birds will love the room, regardless of how many there are. Plenty of room to store feed and supplies right in the coop that way (a metal garbage can works very well.)

    The minimum is usually given as 4 sq ft per bird indoors and 10 sq ft per bird outdoors. In cold climates they love having a good deal more than that indoors because they may stay in much of the day after a snowfall, etc. Our "coop expert" on BYC lives in Canada and has, I believe, about 10 sq ft indoors for hers.

    You should definitely use treated wood next to the ground. It won't hurt most anyplace except maybe the roosts.

    Here is a chart that will help you with breeds for cold climates:

    I live in the south so am no help with breeds.

    An easier way to protect the bottom of the fence against predators is to build out, not down. For example, a 2' wide strip of hardware cloth, lasid on the ground all around the fence and fastened to the bottom of the fence, secured at the outside. The grass will grow through it; easy to maintain, and to monitor for needing replacement. Bricks, rocks, paving stones, etc. will also work fine. Saves an awful lot of digging and works just as well. You have to dig pretty far down, I don't know, I expect about 2'.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2010
  3. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I used treated wood for all the boards that are in contact with the ground. No issues.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by