Coop Help Please ...Christmas Present From My DH

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by herefordlovinglady, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    Okay, my DH has decided it is time for me to have a coop. This is still pretty new to me to design a coop. This is what he came up with. I wanted to use stuff from around the farm, but he wants to buy new lumber and all -- so be it.

    [​IMG]


    some of my questions:
    Is one chicken door enough?
    How many chickens can I have in an 8 X 12 building?
    There is no current plan for a run, he is building it on skids so we can move it around, is not having a run a problem?
    Do I need to suggest electricity for overhead lighting and power outlets?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  2. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    I would make yourself a design that has a hallway for you and a smaller pen for chicks and a small pen for injuries

    8x12 is a lot of space to work with and you could divide it up a bit to fit different ages and breeds if you like. [​IMG]

    Sounds like a great gift.

    yes I would add electrical if you can

    see thi thread something similar would be good. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=267233

    My
    coop is 8x12 and I have 3 pens 1 large coop and 2 breeder pens. I also have space for cages abvove the breeder pens if need be. I will look for pics...
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  3. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A mobile chicken house is called a chicken tractor. What's nice about having it mobile is that you can move it so that the chickens are over a fresh patch of grass, clover etc... every few days or so, so in essence they are sort of free ranging.

    Having it mobile also is great in that the chicken poo can deposit right onto the ground, fertilizing any greenery and making cleaning the chicken poo just about obsolete.

    You don't need outlets in the coop if you can get extension cords to the coop.


    ...JP
     
  4. OutInTheStiks

    OutInTheStiks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One chicken door should be plenty, but two might be a good idea if you need to subdivide the coop later. I would make the chicken door taller than 12" though. Mine are probably 12" wide by 18" tall and our rooster still has to lower his head to come in.


    Using the 4 sq ft per chicken rule, 24 chickens should comfortably fit assuming all the floor space is usable.

    I have a run for one coop, the others open directly into a fenced in yard where the chickens freerange. I end up leaving the door open to the run as well. It will largely depend on the area around your coop. If you have a fenced in area where dogs and other daytime predators can't get in, then I say no run isn't a problem. The one exception is hawks. Not having a covered run does leave the chickens exposed to danger from above. We have bushes, trees and assorted lawn ornaments that the chickens can get under if they feel threatened from above.

    If the coop is on skids and you plan on moving it, keeping electricity hooked up would seem to be a problem to me. Our coops don't have electricity, but I haven't ruled out adding it in the future. Carrying a flashlight out there everynight does get a bit old.

    My one suggestion regarding your plan would be to have windows on opposite walls (preferably east-west) to allow for cross venilation.

    Good luck and enjoy!
     
  5. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    [​IMG]

    1 small pen

    [​IMG]

    the other small pen

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    big pen

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    outside run pic

    [​IMG]
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Good Christmas present [​IMG]

    8x12 is a nice size, very useful; for sure keep the door in the center of a long wall, as now drawn, as it will allow you to divide the structure into pens, or add a storage area at the door, if and when you want to. To pull a largeish building around on skids will take a good-sized tractor *and* a bunch of extra bracing/strapping on the structure so it doesn't loosen up and get damaged by moving, so make sure you've built it to be pulled/bumped around, not just built as if it were going to stand still.

    Wiring for electricity is nice, but how would you work the supply end -- run an extension cord? That's possible but kind of risky...

    (e.t.a. - if you think you will someday want electricity, or want it *now*, I would definitely suggest wiring the coop PROPERLY even if you are going to take a flier on using an extension cord across the yard for now. It is usually easier to run the wiring etc in the construction phase than to retrofit, esp. if you will be closing up walls, and by doing it now (even if the supply is an extension cord) you can have a lightbulb on a proper easy-to-use wall switch, and outlets wherever you want them, rather than being stuck with a single extension cord plug and no real switches.)

    I would suggest putting in more windows, on more sides so you can get more cross-breeze and bulk throughput of air. For a structure being moved on skids I would suggest avoiding "real" windows (glass, prehung) as even tiny diagonal stresses can destroy those. Instead, I would suggest openings screened with 1/4" hardwarecloth and you can have plexiglass panels that hinge or bolt on for times when youw ant to close the windows somewhat or entirely. Leave those panels loose or off when you move the coop, and they will probably survive. Generally in a southern climate, more window area (like, up to and including having entire walls consist of nothing but hardwarecloth mesh!) is definitely better; however, just be aware that the more and larger windows (or doors) you have, the more diagonal bracing/strapping you will need to keep the structure sound and stable during moves.

    It would be worth building in two chicken doors IMHO, partly because you might someday want to subdivide the coop, and partly because it offers a way to avoid mud problems just outside a popdoor without having to physically move the coop [​IMG] Seriously, it isn't any much harder to build two than one, so why not [​IMG] If you are in the mts, you might consider putting one at each end (that is, one on each short wall) instead of both on a long wall, b/c that way as long as your coop is *not* subdivided you can always have a downwind popdoor to open no matter WHICH direction the wind is from, in wintertime when you don't want wind whooshing in the door.

    Not having a run is less than ideal IMHO (even if you are going to free range thm, as obviously you are planning) -- it is awfully convenient to have a run so they can go out somewhat even when you *don't* want them loose, e.g. if you won't be home to lock the popdoor at dusk or if there are loose dogs terrorizing the neighborhood today. But, certainly you don't *have* to have a run, technically speaking, it's just a useful security measure sometimes. If you do want a run, you could make a separate thing that you move individually and then latch onto the coop when both get to their new location.

    An 8x12 coop, if it's all chicken space and no storage space (although, you may find yourself partitioning some off for storage [​IMG]), would hold as many chickens as you have roost length for if they are TRULY only using it for nighttime and free range all day every day year round no matter what -- that would be something along the lines of 50 chickens or so. I'm not suggesting it, I'm just sayin'. If you give them 4 sq ft per chicken so that they have some modest walking-around room for days when they don't want to be out so much, it'd hold 24 chickens. If they would sometimes be mostly inside (like up here -- and yes, I know Ontario is pretty different from Georgia, LOL, I'm just sayin') and you wanted to give them like 15 sq ft per chicken or so, then that'd be about 6-7 chickens. Note that the fewer chickens you put in there, the less work it will be for you! 24 chickens produce more than four times the mess of 6 chickens, truly [​IMG] ('cuz it gets all stomped in and kicked around, and thus is harder to clean)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  7. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    Okay, I want them to free range in the day and then put them in at night. Am I on the right track with this? I plan to start with 5 or 6 chicks in a pen at the house. i want to be able to keep my hands on them so that as they grow they will not be afraid of me. I had one pet hen that just got got--I love how she followed me around and I could hold her. So I want all my babies to be this way. I sound like I am 10 years old, I am 49 and acting like a kid in a candy store.

    Another thing I have going for me and the chicks is my DH's father used to raise all kinds of birds and he as all this old antique chicken stuff that I have access to.


    I am so excited about this.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just curious about something. If you're going to free range, why is it you want to make this coop mobile? It's going to have a solid floor, isn't it?
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    A lot of people feel that a mobile coop is the best setup for free ranging. The ground still gets all thrashed to dirt right around the coop, and poo (thus parasite) loads are heavier there too, so there *are* advantages to being able to pick up and move from time to time.

    Have not done it myself, we have waaaay too many varmints to free range here, but it sounds sensible to me.

    Pat
     

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