Coop Size and Insulation?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mylilchix, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have 18 chicks right now. We're in the process of building an 8'x7' coop with an 8'x12' run. Will that be big enough? I'm also wondering how much insulation we shoud have in the coop and how to ventilate it well. We live in the mountains so we need to keep the girls warm in the winter. Thanks for the advice!

    Sonja
     
  2. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    well , hubby is building our coop and run now , and on the coop he is building complete wood sides on hinges with wire on inside to open during the day ... LIKE WINGS , and during winter , the rainy seasons and at night , they will close and lock .


    he said this will be for total ventilation . we live in South Louisiana and have high humidity and very hot temps in summer . Thank God we DO NOT have bad winters like most up north with snow and ice . BUT I coop and run is in the north so considering this method . Will work great in Spring , summer and fall . WE may have to do alot more in winter months being its totally in the north side of the property .

    Coop will be 8x12 and run 12x20. We can extend to run if we need and enlarge the coop if and when needed .
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    You'll only have 3 sq ft per chicken in the coop.

    Personally, in a harsh-winter area I would not by preference give them so little space, but if you are going to cover the run with heavy plastic (and it's enough out of the wind that the plastic won't get shredded) you might get away with it if your area is not too cold for too long. More room would be better, though. (Be aware that it makes a difference, living in an area where the weather is often not chicken-friendly for long stretches of time)

    There are various ways to ensure they stay warm in a larger area -- a drop ceiling, an aluminized bubblewrap 'canopy over/around the roosting area, or subdividing the coop so the roost is in a smaller 'room'.

    I made some comments about the insulation and heating issue on your other thread already [​IMG]

    Cheers,

    Pat
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    What Pat said.

    That really is smaller than optimum for that many birds. Assuming they are common breeds, both the run and the coop are small.
    This doesnt mean you cant do it, it means you will be get to experience the joys of overcrowding and chicken poo. Waste management and disease control will become your biggest concern. But dont worry, you're in good company. Most people have the same issues.

    You most certainly can insulate and that is wise. Your goal is to eliminate subfreezing temps from their living quarters - you dont need to make a sauna out of it.

    As far as ventilation is concerned, decide what you think is best and add 50% more area. Chickens have high metabolisms and suffer when kept closely, without adequate ventilation.
    Combined with overcrowding, this can spell trouble. Most commonly this results in respiratory ailments, to which chickens are rather susceptible.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2008
  5. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    We've been outside today working on the coop. The structure is under construction, so we can't change it. We were planning on roofing part of the run, so I think we'll build at least an 8'x4' lean to off the front for the winters, and after some measuring decided we'll do an 8'x25' run. We've got plenty of space for the run. Sound more doable?

    Thanks,
    Sonja
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    That sounds sensible. What Elderoo said about ventilation. More is always better. Better than having to attack a newly-finished coop with a reciprocating saw, anyhow <g>

    Pat
     
  7. DougD

    DougD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are the 18 chicks all pulletts or are they straight run?

    What breed are they?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  8. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have australorp, EE, adn RIR pullets, and a straight run that consists of brahma, cochin, fanerolle, and langshan (Ideal Poultry messed up my order, altough from attempting a wing check they seem to all be girls).

    Sonja
     
  9. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Ok, I may be confused but I've read on here repeatedly that for standards the amount of room needed in a coop is 3 sq ft per bird. 4 sq ft per for larger breed birds. Has this now changed?

    I currently have 16 birds and my coop is 8x8. My roosts are 3ft up off the floor leaving all the floor space except 4 sqft for feeder and waterer. Nestboxes are on the exterior so they don't take up space either. I don't have insulation. I have a tin roof with one section of sky light and no insulation. Last winter I only had 5 birds in there and closed off half of it with heavy plastic. The windows were covered with plastic too because I still haven't found the time to finish them off. They have access to my 10x10 dog run at 24/7 if they wish and the main run (which is huge but I don't know exactly how big) when I get up and let them out.I'm installing an automatic door here in the next week or so. They go out every day, rain, sun, snow, fog. With free run of the dog run and then the main run, I believe I can have a few extra birds in my coop for extra warmth come winter.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:It's not like it's engraved in stone, you know? And there is definitely a diversity of opinion. I have read where some folks here have 1.5-2 sq ft indoors per hen; I have read others' posts where their chickens get 4 sq ft TOTAL, per hen. To me that is too close to factory-farming. Others have a lot MORE than 3-4 sq ft per hen and feel that amount is important.

    Anyhow, I would venture to guess that the majority of people here DO have large chickens, e.g. not banties or leghorns [​IMG]

    It depends considerably on climate; the more time your birds will feel like spending outdoors (in run or freerange) YEAR ROUND, the more you can probably get away with tightening-up coop space.

    It also depends on how much you feel like courting problems -- and I don't think there's much disagreement that greater crowding gives greater chances of pecking and health problems, although of course that's ODDS not certainty.

    Beyond that it's personal beliefs and aesthetic taste, and what each person finds works for them. <shrug>

    Pat
     

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