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Coop design resources?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by finnleyjo, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. finnleyjo

    finnleyjo Out Of The Brooder

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    I am wondering if any one has links to good guidelines of how big to build a coop?

    We have a coop and run that was on our property when we bought the place, but it is in serious need of a redesign. We don't get much snow, so the chickens will be able to go out in their run during the winter.

    I picked up 8 chicks yesterday, 4 RIR, 2 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Barred Rocks. We might be getting a couple of EE as well.

    The main things I need to know are:

    1. How much sq footage per chicken
    2. How many roosts? How long should they be? How far off the floor should they be, and how far apart?
    3. How many nest boxes and what dimensions?
    4. Is there anything I should consider about these breeds in the design of the coop?

    Thanks so much.
     
  2. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. Base is 4 square foot per bird.
    2. You should have 10" of roost per bird.. So 8 chicks = 80" of roost.
    3. Go with 2 nest boxes.. 3 tops.. At least 12"
    4. They're all large, fat birds so making the pop door a little wider than 12" would be good.

    Ok... So what DOES the current coop stack up to be... Pictures would be great.. [​IMG]

    1. What size is the current coop?
    2. What size is the current run?
    3. Is the run covered?
    4. What floor is in the coop? dirt, wood, tile? [​IMG]


    Redesign doesn't seem to make it sound like it's ugly as sin so guessing that's not the issue and you just feel that some things could be "better".

    I think you'll be set if you just remodel the old coop and run to get them to the level which you feel is best.

    Really would love to see it, though. [​IMG]
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The 4 sq ft per chicken is for the coop. For the run, 10 sq ft is the minimum.

    Keep in mind that you will probably want more birds, and these are minimum figures even if you keep the same number of birds.

    Why do you say it is in serious need of a redesign, if it was designed to be a coop? Wish I'd been able to buy property with an old coop on it!
     
  4. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks ddawn.. I forgot about the run sf.. [​IMG]

    I'm ending up doing a 10'x8' coop for our 8 birds. Know full well down the road that more will show up. Either via store or letting a hen hatch some.
     
  5. finnleyjo

    finnleyjo Out Of The Brooder

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    The run is pretty big probably 20 x 20ft at least. It isn't covered, but it has a small tree. Right now it is covered in grass that hasn't been mowed in at least 10mo. We need to do a little work on the fence to make it predator safe.

    The coop...well, it was last used to house goats by the previous owners [​IMG], it is probably 3ft x5ft, the floor is rotting out of it, it has no door and it is too small for the number of chicks I have (if they all survive [​IMG]). It seems to me that the roosts are too close together, and my MIL (who was raised on a chicken farm) said something about the nest boxes being too small. It isn't very user friendly...no little door for the chickens to come in and out (it is pretty rainy here, so I don't think I would want the big door open all day) and no convenient doors behind the nest boxes.

    Anyway. Since we have to replace the floor, and I have more chicks than it will comfortably hold, I'm trying to figure out exactly what I need.

    I'll try to post some pics tomorrow if the weather cooperates. It really is as ugly as sin [​IMG] It looks like a old school bus shelter, with aluminum siding covering the walls. Calling it a redesign is really my way of making the project seem more desirable to my dh...he's not building a new coop, just fixing the old one (even if he has to tear down the old one in the process).
     
  6. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On the bright side, the run is big enough for up to 40 birds..

    On the down side.. You're right, the coop DOES suck.. [​IMG] Rip it down and salvage any usable wood. You'll need it.

    Ahhh.. I remember as a kid sitting (or standing since we broke the seats) in an old wood and steel school bus shanty.

    Well.. If it makes him feel better, pat him on the back and ensure him that he's SURELY going to end up with a few new tools JUST to get this project done..

    I know I always do... [​IMG]

    STILL looking forward to pics.. [​IMG]
     
  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Well the chickens coop space should be a minium of 4 sqft per bird...you have heavy girls so I would give them more space inside.

    Give them good nest boxes about 14 x 14 my girls like milk crates. Their door should a bit bigger to accomodate their size so at least 14" wide. My is 17 x 17 and the charge in and out of it with no problems.

    Roosts I give my girls a foot each of roost space on 2 x 4's with the 4" side up. The run size you have sounds great for them. Just predator proof it from the diggeres, reach through type and the flyers and you will have happy girls.

    Check the coop design page at the top of this page [​IMG]

    Congrats on getting the girls. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Dark Wolf is right! Esp about the tools....

    You're right there probably isn't anything you can do with the 3X5 to make it usable -- would have to be enlarged -- unless you can use it for storage and just start over -- or as Dark Wolf said, salvage the wood -- lots of people here scrounge a lot of materials for coops, build them from pallets, all sorts of things....

    We built about an 8X12 coop for about $200 plus scrounge, and the run will be about 75X75, uncovered, with electric fence. Have 51 chicks, most (probably 30-35) of which will end up in the freezer around 4-5 months, plus 4 older free range hens. The idea is that the run will MAYBE be big enough to grow grass/weeds despite the remaining hens. Remains to be seen.

    Since you have at least one large breed, I'd go with a slightly larger nest box, maybe 14WX16 deep. Or you can do a community one, maybe 30WX16D. Two of mine squish into a SMALL nest box regularly, leaving others unused; not unusual.

    If you are in a cold climate, make the roost the wide side of a 2X4 so they can sit on their feet to prevent frostbitten toes.

    Many wonderful hints and ideas in the coop section. Good luck!
     
  9. finnleyjo

    finnleyjo Out Of The Brooder

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    Alright, here are some pics of what we currently have (clickable thumbnails)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    When I was out there today, I realized the run is more like 25ft x 35ft and the coop 4x6...and yes that is a crate of rocks that the previous owners were using to keep the door closed [​IMG]
     
  10. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you taken a peek at our BYC Coop Design pages yet? There are a ton of pics in there that could give you some inspiration, too.
     

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