Coop and run questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by K813ZRA, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. K813ZRA

    K813ZRA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2016
    Pennsylvania
    Hello again everyone, I have a few more questions but this time it is about the comfort of my new feather friends. I just bought all of the materials for my coop but before I begin building I want to double check that the size is alright and confirm a few things.

    #1 I went, roughly, with the 4sf by 10sf rule that I have seen since joining here. I will be getting 24 silver laced wyandottes and am building a coop that is 12x6 with two sets of externally attached nesting boxes on either side that will be 12 inch deep by 8 foot split into three. Including nesting boxes there will be approximately 88 square feet of room which is just slightly under 4 square foot per bird. It wil be 4 foot tall and and additional 3 feet off the ground. The whole back will open to easily clean out the feces and detritus. This has been the most comfortable method I have come up with for my rabbit hutches over the years.

    The attached run will be 144 sf which is 12x12 but there will be an additional 12x6 under the coop which is 72sf. Combined that is a total of 9sf per bird in the run.

    Everything said, I will not hit the 4/10 rule but I will come rather close. Does this sound okay or should I be shooting for more?

    # 2 where does the 4/10 rule come from? If you search the net that is not the suggested number everywhere. It is common but so is 2 square foot per bird in the coop with a total of 10 square foot including the run and the coop. I have even seen people suggest the smaller coops in colder climates.

    In the end, I didn't want my head to explode so I came up with numbers that worked for me and they came close to what seems to be the suggested minimum requirements here. I know some people go with much much more space and if needed I can go that way in the future but for now I just have a little bit of wiggle room.

    Thank you for any suggestions you might have.
     
  2. gregaai

    gregaai Out Of The Brooder

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    I personally think you'll be fine with those dimensions but you will be at capacity on day 1 - so no chicken math! My coop is smaller than yours at only 5' x 8' and I've had 20+ Buff Orpingtons for close to a year now. I even section off part of it as a brooder at times.

    However, I do allow my girls to free range - their "run" is a 1 acre fenced in area with either privacy fence or 3 board with pet wire all the way around to mostly keep them in and predators out. I make up for the smaller coop with more space to range. That being said, if you are able to let them out of the run every once in a while that will definitely help. As long as they don't seem to be too irritated with and pecking at each other, you're golden.
     
  3. sarahandjay

    sarahandjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    The numbers are guidelines those numbers are what seems to work for most people. The more room the chickens have the less problems arise (boredom which can lead to feather picking, aggression, sickness etc.)
    For the coop the number is suggested because when the weather gets bad and the girls do not want to go outside they need space. Also that number changes when they have access to the outside or depending on the size of the bird. You can get away with smaller if they have more outside space. You can go smaller if they are only using the coop to sleep in and have adequate space outside. Just known that with smaller when the weather gets bad you have more work to do. Also air circulation etc is important when designing the coop.
    Your close with your numbers so you should be good. Just keep an eye on your girls and make changes if needed.
    I love my chickens and I love hearing others opinions and advice but when it comes down to it there is no one right answer. What works for one will not work for another. Don't make you head explode :)
     
  4. K813ZRA

    K813ZRA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2016
    Pennsylvania
    Thank you, I assume chicken math is that the chickens will multiply which actually is the plan for the next season but if this coop works out the way I want I will build a second as I am interested in buff orphingtons as well. I will keep each breed separate in their own coops. I know it isn't needed but it pleases my OCD.

    Thank you, that starts to clear a few things up. My chickens will have extra room outside of the run as well. We had other animals in the past, years ago, such as goats and such so we have a very large pen out back that I can run the chickens in as well to stretch their legs even further.

    As for weather, we get a few bad months so I figured getting closer to 4sf rule was better.

    I guess I will just have to try this out and see. If it seems too small then the next will be bigger, lol.
     
  5. gregaai

    gregaai Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 16, 2014
    Powhatan, VA
    Chicken math is telling your wife (or husband) that you only want a couple of chickens - say 8 hens in my case. What REALLY happened was 7 hens and 1 rooster, which of course we were going to get rid of. Until we kept it. Then the hens went broody and you think "oh won't it be fun to let them hatch out some little babies? These hens are going to stop laying in a few years anyway, might as well get some replacements started". Long story short I ended up with 40 BOs, now down to 19 but hatching chicks every 3 weeks. Not to mention the 6 Easter Eggers I'm picking up on Sunday. [​IMG]


    Also, OCD aside, if you have a few Roos in with your girls, keeping them separated will ensure they breed true (no mixing) which will allow you to sell fertile hatching eggs in addition to chicks in the future.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  6. K813ZRA

    K813ZRA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2016
    Pennsylvania
    Heh, I was planning on a hatch after a season as it is. I don't have a minimum number in mind and my wife is okay with that. I am lucky that way.

    Speaking of which I already have plans for a large brooder as well. I'd like to be as prepared as possible. If I don't use something, that is okay. As they say, it is better to have and not need than to need and not have.
     

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