Coop design for fluctuating flock sizes?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by EeyoreD, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. EeyoreD

    EeyoreD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Attica, MI
    I'm having a little trouble here figuring out a coop situation. (and I'm totally new to all this)

    The situation is this:

    I have a dozen RIR chicks straight run so there are likely more roos in there than I want. I would also like to get some ducks (muscovies) at some point this year. I plan on keeping some pullets for eggs, but mostly everything else would be for meat (I'll keep some scovies to produce next years crop).

    So this means that I'll have several months with lots of birds and then many months with maybe 5 chickens and however many ducks I'll need to create supply.

    It doesn't seem to make sense to build a coop(s) for the larger flock when they will only be around for a little while, but then I don't want them harassing each other due to space when they are there.

    I live in Michigan so winters are cold and snowy and the summers are hot but again, the size of the coop that has to deal with the cold and snow wouldn't need to be as large as the "summer coop".

    Is there some solution to this that I haven't found browsing threads in the forums?

    I wouldn't really need a large run because in the summer the birds would be completely free range during the day and just locked up safe at night but I can't seem to figure out the best way for the coop. I know I'm not the only one in this situation but I can't seem to find the answer. Thanks!
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    A summer door and a winter door, winter out to a run, summer out to the yard, the summer door to provide more airflow is also the people door for coop cleaning, use sand in summer and deep litter (so there is less cleaning) in winter.

    Have access to the eggs from outside the run and coop, have access to 'poop boards' from outside the coop and run.

    set it up two 'rooms' inside the coop, one closest to the run and the other closest to the outside door - have a way to close this door off from inside the coop.

    Then make the two rooms together large enough for the full flock

    4 square feet per standard foul chicken (I'd do 6 square feet per muscovie they are huge) with about 6-12 inches perch- then you can close them to one side of the coop or the other and still get in and out yourself.

    I would make the run with something buried that I could put the poles for into, like Disney world has those metal receivers for the poles to heard people around.

    Then I could put up and take down the run.

    I would use my favorite vinyl lattice as the run floor so I can ignore it, or pick it up when not using a run.

    I'd use deer netting as the roof of the run...
     
  3. EeyoreD

    EeyoreD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Attica, MI
    Thanks! I guess what I was wondering is if there was some way for things to do double duty. it sounds like you're saying have a regular coop large enough for the whole flock but I don't really want to spend the money to have a winter-appropriate coop for a large flock if only a small one is going to be in there.

    I just saw someone post a pasture shelter and I'm wondering if I could make use of that. What I mean is have the pasture shelter (without the upper level modifications someone else did) with roosts and such as the summer house but have a more winter hardy (but still well-ventilated) smaller coop attached and that would contain the nest boxes and such. That way the smaller flock could use the pasture shelter as a run in the winter but be warm inside at night.

    Would they fight over who had to sleep outside in the pasture shelter in the summer? I would think they might prefer that in the summer for the breezes and such but then maybe they won't want to go into the more solid coop for laying?
     

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