Chicken coop help

bradc86

In the Brooder
May 7, 2015
13
0
22
Shepherdsville, Ky US
Hello everyone, I am just about done with my chicken coop, and the chicks are just about big enough to head out. We have 10.I have a few questions I'm hoping to get help with. First, I'm wondering if my fence is tall enough. It's 4 foot tall. I'm hoping I don't need to cover it. We don't have a ton of predators. Mainly just a couple cats. I'm pretty sure the coop is big enough? It's 5X5 and 6 foot tall. I'm gonna have at least 4 nesting boxes. Should I clip their wings? If so at what age? I plan out letting them run free whenever I'm out there with them,leave them in the fence when not, and locked in the coop at night. Good idea or no? I used 100 foot of fence, so they have a decent size yard. We have roughly 3 acres. I will try to add pics. Thanks!
 

bradc86

In the Brooder
May 7, 2015
13
0
22
Shepherdsville, Ky US
700
 
Last edited:

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,032
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Hello everyone, I am just about done with my chicken coop, and the chicks are just about big enough to head out. We have 10.I have a few questions I'm hoping to get help with. First, I'm wondering if my fence is tall enough. It's 4 foot tall. I'm hoping I don't need to cover it. We don't have a ton of predators. Mainly just a couple cats. I'm pretty sure the coop is big enough? It's 5X5 and 6 foot tall. I'm gonna have at least 4 nesting boxes. Should I clip their wings? If so at what age? I plan out letting them run free whenever I'm out there with them,leave them in the fence when not, and locked in the coop at night. Good idea or no? I used 100 foot of fence, so they have a decent size yard. We have roughly 3 acres. I will try to add pics. Thanks!

Welcome to BYC!
What breed(s) of chickens do you have? Are they large fowl or bantam sized birds? I ask because the coop, while it looks great, is not really all that large, especially for a flock of 10 birds. The breeds will also play into how likely or unlikely they are to see that 4 foot fence as a barrier. It looks like you've used woven wire/weld wire/field fence with 2x4 openings for your run, is that correct?
While I realize you don't feel you have a predator concern, let me assure you that there are more predators in your area than you think, and once you fill the "all you can eat chicken buffet" they will come How worried you need to be about that (and whether you cover your run) is going to depend largely on your ability to accept the occasional loss here and there. Locking them in at night is a great way to put an extra barrier between your birds and predators as they are most vulnerable (and most predators are more active) at night.
What sort of ventilation have you got in your coop? The plan of locking them in will make this even more important as you want to be sure that your coop is able to vent out the humidity that will accummulate overnight from the birds respiration, the waste they expel (chicken poop is wet stuff), etc. - this will be even more important when winter arrives and our temperatures begin to drop as cold dry air is very much preferable to cold wet air (the latter leaves your birds at serious risk of frostbite).
 

bradc86

In the Brooder
May 7, 2015
13
0
22
Shepherdsville, Ky US
They are Orpingtons. I was thinking it was kinda small myself, while everyone I know was saying it was plenty big enough. (they're certainly not experts.) if the fence ends up being to small, I guess I'll clip wings...i have a wire mesh cover for their holes that I'll put on at night.
 

Uberprof

Chirping
May 7, 2015
23
0
55
It might be best if the run could be covered, even if only partially, just to avoid unwanted attention from eagles or sort.
Just my opinion.
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Cheep N Peep

Songster
Apr 9, 2015
368
213
146
Castle Rock, Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
You could cover the run with some poultry netting / wild bird netting instead of actual wire or raising the fence. There is some on amazon (25ft. by 50ft. for $45.68). It keeps aerial predators out and chickens in, but racoons will tear through it like chicken wire. I'm going to use it on my run, to keep the chickens from flying out.
The coop is big enough for 6-8 hens, but ten is really pushing it. to maximize floor space, try to build exterior nesting boxes or at least keep everything off the ground, so they can go under roosts, and not have nesting boxes sitting on the floor taking up room. Hope this was helpful!
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bradc86

In the Brooder
May 7, 2015
13
0
22
Shepherdsville, Ky US
I already have 2 nesting boxes "hanging," and have 4 more I plan to "hang," and may buy more. I was only planning on having about 6 chickens when I started building, but ended up with 10. I looked around online and the ones they sell for 10 chickens are actually a decent amount smaller than mine. Guess I'll see how it goes. I figured I'd also put a nesting box or 2 outside, and maybe even under the coop, as there is roughly 2 feet under the coop they can access.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,032
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
I already have 2 nesting boxes "hanging," and have 4 more I plan to "hang," and may buy more. I was only planning on having about 6 chickens when I started building, but ended up with 10. I looked around online and the ones they sell for 10 chickens are actually a decent amount smaller than mine. Guess I'll see how it goes. I figured I'd also put a nesting box or 2 outside, and maybe even under the coop, as there is roughly 2 feet under the coop they can access.

The setups that are marketed online are built and sold with suggested occupancy rates that are grossly overstated and, if followed, create extremely overcrowded situations.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,154
123,380
1,807
SW Michigan
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My Coop
Quote: Ditto OGM's post.......
.....and....you only need 3 nests for 10 birds.

You could add a foot or two of floppy chicken wire to the top of your fence, they will perch on top before going over, usually, and the unstable top 'rail' will deter them if it's the first thing they encounter.
 

Clemsonchickfan

In the Brooder
Apr 12, 2015
54
10
41
Sumter, SC
Every chicken, flock, person, and setup is unique. There are definelty some guidelines that are "best practices", but only you will know what is or isn't working for your birds.

The birds will probably only be in the coop to sleep and lay, so I wouldn't stress too much about space yet. That being said, you should watch for excessive pecking and have a plan to give them more space if it becomes a problem. My guess is that if your flock grows up together, they'll figure it out themselves.

I would only use 3 nesting boxes.

As far as fencing, it's up to you, again, based on your feel for your area. My family had lots of chickens in rural Iowa for years and let them free range without a fence. But they lost an occasional bird to Hawks and other predators. Don't underestimate the raptors in your area.

Most importantly, have fun with your birds!!!!

Good luck.
 

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