Can't wait to get started here in Mass.


10 Years
Sep 11, 2009
Dartmouth, Ma
a big hello from Dartmouth, Massachusetts, i've been lurking for awhile trying to do as much research as possible. I love this site!!!!!!! and have now become a member!
i'm hoping to convert a shed that was here when i bought my home 2 yrs ago into a coop. the tough part about this all is that i'll have to wait till spring to get any chicks. i'm planning on having an attached run roughly 8'x 16' and the coop will be 5'x5'x7'-6" tall.
this will be my winter project and hopefully ready for the grand opening by April. my biggest concern is going to be making my set-up predator proof. i have my sights on a few different breeds, mainly some good egg layers....RIR, BR, SLW and now i'm really starting to appreciate the EE's. would now be a good time to start locating breeders or is it still too early to start reserving for the spring? which leads me too another question, where can i find a breeder that will sell a pair maybe 3 of each chickens i listed above? since the coop is only 5'x5' i'm pretty much limited to 6 standard chickens or does the size of the run compensate for the size of the coop allowing me to possibly add another 2? maybe these questions should have been posted in the coop design page...sorry...
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Is Mostly Harmless
12 Years
Jul 16, 2009


11 Years
Aug 5, 2009
Middleton, WI
My Coop
My Coop
Yup, got the chicken bug!!!!!!
Sounds like you are doing your homework!! Good for you. I'll try and remember what you asked and try to answer as best as I can.....Space for chickens - standard size: most recommend 4 square feet per chicken in coop and 10 in run.....Bigger is better. (also helps when you decide you want MORE chickens....not that this would ever happen....
) Some adjust for chickens that can roam outside the run all day or at least for a short while daily. I think you should go with 6 standard and see how it goes? Also, I know of two hatcheries that sell 3 and more chickens and you can mix breeds. Shipping is pricey as the chicks need extra heat. Check My Pet Chicken and Meyers hatchery. I think Ideal Poultry has a minimum of 15 chicks. That is for day old chickens. Some breeds are available all year round, some are only available during spring/summer. You may have to pre-order. Your options are to check for breeders in your area, check feedstores, check for Poultryshows, swaps, auction in your area. Check Craigslist. Post and/or check the Buy-Sell-Trade section on BYC. Contact Breedclubs.......I chose to search and found someone that had some of the breeds I wanted within driving distance. I prefer to avoid shipping if I can.
Check out the Coop Design Section, the threads on Coop construction and the threads on Predators to get some ideas for coop/run/predatorproofing. I suggest you avoid chickenwire, especially in lower sections of coop/run as it mostly works to keep chickens in, not always the predators out. Hardwire cloth is better but check the posts.....Good luck, post your questions

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