Coop addition layout

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Menagerie45, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. Menagerie45

    Menagerie45 New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2014
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    Greetings from New England! I currently have an 12x8 coop with 2 large runs, the first is 10x35 (10x18 has a roof) and the second is 12x30. The hens have access to the first run year round and use the roofed section every day. Their water is located here as well as perches and dirt for dusting (when it's not frozen). Their food is also in the roofed run from about March-October and in the coop in the colder parts of winter. I have 23 hens, of which about 14 are laying. The others are "retired". There are 10 nesting boxes and roosting rails in various configurations.
    I am expecting 40 chicks in March, 32 I will likely keep and 8 I am brooding for a friend. I know that my present coop is too small and have room to build an addition off the left side that would be 7x8 to make the new coop 19 feet wide by 8 feet deep. I am planning to remove all the nesting boxes and roosting rails and redesign the "living arrangements". I currently have a pop door that will lead to the addition.
    I was thinking of putting the nesting boxes in the addition on the far left wall, putting some roosting rails in the addition as well as all roosting rails in the original section. I saw a thread about poop boards with SDZ that I really like and will probably do this as well.
    My questions are:
    -Will the hens likely use both rooms for roosting or all want to crowd in the original 8x12 section?
    -What is the best configuration for the roosts? side by side or staggered? ( I have staggered now with no problems, but there is lots of perch room)
    -Will this new square footage be enough room or should I keep fewer chicks? :(
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    -Will the hens likely use both rooms for roosting or all want to crowd in the original 8x12 section?

    What I suggest is that you use your new addition as a grow-out coop, or maybe even a brooder to start with, but keep the new ones over there until you are ready for integration. If you can, give them access to one of the runs. Put some roosts in the addition. It’s kind of hard to say what they will eventually wind up doing, but during integration the young ones will almost certainly sleep where they are used to sleeping. That makes integration easier. Eventually they will decide where they want to sleep. The young ones may eventually move in with the original flock. The original flock may move to the new digs. It’s highly likely some will sleep in both sections.

    -What is the best configuration for the roosts? side by side or staggered? ( I have staggered now with no problems, but there is lots of perch room)

    Whichever makes you happiest. People will tell you the benefits of one over the other, but both configurations have been used successfully for thousands of years. Don’t over-think it.

    -Will this new square footage be enough room or should I keep fewer chicks? :(

    I don’t believe in magic numbers for much of anything to do with chickens. We are each unique in the personality of the chickens we have, the flock make-up, our weather, our facilities, and how we manage them. There is no magic number that covers us all. If you follow the link in my signature you can get my thoughts on how much room you need.

    Where are my manners? Welcome to the forum!
     
  3. Menagerie45

    Menagerie45 New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2014
    Connecticut
    Thanks for the welcome, Ridgerunner!

    I had the same thought about the addition as the grow out pen for the new girls. I can connect that to my back run. This run (12x30) has just 5 ft sides which I can raise and put some kind of netting over since those young girls can really get some height when they fly!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    RE Space: Think about how well your existing birds fit in to the space you have now.
    Does it seem like enough, even if/when they are confined during bad weather?
    That might give you an idea if your present sqft per bird is good for your climate / management.

    Think about building the addition with removable mesh wall between new and old spaces, will help with integration and can be removed once integration is complete.
     

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