Coop design and size

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by thedevlins, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. thedevlins

    thedevlins New Egg

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Hello Everyone

    My husband and I are looking to raise about 25 meat birds, a few turkeys and 3-6 laying hens. We are very very new to this and are looking for some tips on building our coop!

    Questions:

    1. Can we raise our meat birds, turkeys and laying hens all in the same coop and run?
    2. Is there a trick to building a coop that we can have the the layers in one spot (for feeding and laying) and the meat birds and turkeys in another, yet still have the same run and roots?
    3. What sq. footage would you recommend per bird for building the coop??
    4. What sq. footage would you recommend per bird for building the run??
    5. If we get a rooster (for fun!!) can he roam freely with the ladies, or does he have to be seperated all the time??

    Thanks in advance for any tips and info you could provide!

    The Devlins
     
  2. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    They would not go into their coop section if they shared run. It's fine if they are intermingled. A rooster is fine, which means fertile eggs! For hens 4 sq foot in coop, 10 sq foot for run. I am unsure about turkeys.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    1. Can we raise our meat birds, turkeys and laying hens all in the same coop and run?

    If by 'meat birds' you mean CornishX broilers, then no, you don't want to do that -- a) they are FILTHY FILTHY, b) they need to be fed a bit differently, and c) they turn into large potato-shaped objects that everyone else may decide is a fun toy to pick on. Really, best to have their own place for them.

    As for turkeys with chickens, there is a disease called "blackhead" that turkeys can get from chickens (it is basically harmless to chickens so you mightn't know it's even there, but often fatal to turkeys) so many people advise not raising them together. OTOH a buncha people raise them together with no problem. It basically depends whether blackhead is common in your area, I think, and personal taste for risk-tolerance.

    2. Is there a trick to building a coop that we can have the the layers in one spot (for feeding and laying) and the meat birds and turkeys in another, yet still have the same run and roots?

    Put the meaties separately (and they will not need roosts, nor probably *too* much of a run -- but boy will they need ventilation!). Then if you still want to keep turkeys and layers together, they can share the same run and coop. Otherwise, you will need separation of both -- hard (not actually *impossible*) to get them to share a run but go into different coops at night.

    3. What sq. footage would you recommend per bird for building the coop??
    4. What sq. footage would you recommend per bird for building the run??

    As big as possible. Most people here would say 4 sq ft per chicken indoors and 6-10 sq ft per chicken outdoors (scale up for turkeys), but more is REALLY better, especially if you live somewhere the weather will make the chickens un-thrilled about going outdoors for long periods of time. Also remember you may want to add chickens later on, and it can be hard to enlarge a coop or run.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  4. thedevlins

    thedevlins New Egg

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Thanks Pat

    The meat birds will be leghorns. Are they okay??
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Oh... leghorns aren't really meat birds as such; certainly if you buy male chicks for cheap you *can* eat them but they will be more along the lines of very small fryers or large boullion cubes rather than having any substantial meat on them. Be sure that's what you want.

    If you *do* raise some leghorn cockerels for small bits of fried chicken or whatever, the things I said about meat birds being stinky and sedentary do not really apply; you could probably keep them with the rest of the chickens but it might still make more sense to separate them so you can 'feed them up' and so they don't get to bothering the other chickens with rowdiness or pecking.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    can you free range any? that always helps with the feed bill
     

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