Coop planning

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nachoqtpie, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. nachoqtpie

    nachoqtpie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2011
    Jacksonville, NC
    So, my husband and I are planning a coop. We've decided we want about 6 chickens. Do you think that a 4'x8' coop with (hopefully) an 8x8 run would be big enough for 6 chickens? Or should I go bigger?
     
  2. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The coop size is great! Your run size is also technically in the safe zone, but if you plan on keeping your birds in there most of the time I would go as big as space and finances allow [​IMG]
     
  3. teamsunbelt

    teamsunbelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Midland, NC
    Bigger Run. They will need the extra space if you do not free range every day. Also, chicken math will catch up to you quick. Build the coop as big as you can go. You WILL add more.
     
  4. nachoqtpie

    nachoqtpie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2011
    Jacksonville, NC
    I'm going to try and make the run as big as I can.
    I'm leary about putting the coop and run inside our fenced in back yard because of how our dogs react to the neighbors Guinea hens when they are on the other side of the fence. They're retired Greyhounds, so, unfortunately, small flighty chickens are going to peak their interests and I would hate to stress the birds out every time the dogs need to go outside. The other side of the fence on one side is taken by our garden, on the other side is our "orchard" but there is a nice sided gap between the mulberry bush and the back of our property. I'm not sure of exactly how much space is there, but I thought I could probably go out and take some rough measurements tomorrow. The only other spot that would even remotely work (and not be in our front yard or inside the fenced back yard) is on the far side of our house. Problem is, there are no windows on that side of the house, and I wouldn't be able to see them at all unless I went out there. Probably not a good idea, eh?

    We may go less chickens if we can find some nice ones locally, but we were looking at mypetchicken.com and they have a minimum 6 for our area. We do have a TSC here, but, I'm not sure if they even do the chicks any more, and with MPC we can choose to have only females, if we just simply pick them out of a water trough we're not going to know what we're getting!
     
  5. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We were concerned about the "in the yard" issue, too. We have 4 dogs, and one of them is a dachshund. Once the chicks were 12 weeks old or so, there wasn't a problem with the dogs. I integrated them slowly while the chicks were in a VERY secure small coop/run, and the dogs got used to them. The only incident was when we added our 4th dog (a mini-doxy). She went nuts when one of the girls fluttered out in the yard and attacked her. Lily (the EE) lost some neck feathers that still haven't come back, but otherwise was OK. Since then the dog has left the chickens alone.

    We have 11 girls in a 6x8 coop, and I wouldn't want many more in there. The run is fairly large, but they also get some free time in our fenced yard every day. We live in the country, and that also puts them inside 2 sets of wire in a yard that smells like dogs (to the coyotes). I like watching them from our windows. We live in a berm (earth sheltered) house that faces south, so all the windows are on the south as is the fenced yard.

    Good luck with the chicks. I got the last 5 from our local farm store (Orshlen's (sp?)) and they were sexed at the hatchery. I got 5 girls (no roos). the older ones came from MPC, and were also all girls. They only claim 90% accuracy at the hatcheries, though, so you might get a male. It is an inexact science, I understand.

    I hope you enjoy your chickens as much as I do.

    Quote:
     
  6. teamsunbelt

    teamsunbelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Look around. I am in NC too, and there are some good breeders around that can sell you exactly what you want. They may cost more, but older birds can be sexed easier and will lay sooner.
     
  7. kichohana

    kichohana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Johnston County, NC
    Quote:I have my coop and run inside my fenced yard. My two miniature dachshunds occasionally spend time incessantly barking at the chickens (especially when the chix get treats that the dogs don't!). Dogs get in too close, stick their needle-noses where they don't belong and get pecked on the nose. Doesn't stress the chickens at all. I laugh at the dogs though!

    You'll want your coop where you can see it from your house. You'll also want it close for keeping them supplied with fresh food and water, etc. and chicken watching in general. They are very entertaining. Make sure it is in an area that is high ground. You don't want to have a muddy coop or run area for smell/sanitation reasons.

    When you do get your chickens, check locally. Your Craigslist is pretty minimal right now, but it might look better this spring. Goldsboro has quite a few - and this guy: http://poultrypeople.com I'm in Smithfield and there's usually quite a few sellers within 30-45 minutes away.

    TSC has their "chick days" in the springtime - usually March, or a few weeks before Easter. They have a 6-chick minimum and their selection is not as varied. I recall most of the bins being straight runs and not exclusively pullets. Don't know if you want roosters or not. I wasn't really happy when I called their store and the clerk had no knowledge of the chicks or chickens in general. MPC has expensive shipping charges (imho) - I think you'll do better locally.

    Pick your site and get your coop built over the winter/early spring. Come March you'll be ready for chickens! [​IMG]
     

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