Silked

In the Brooder
Nov 7, 2021
4
5
11
This is my first time posting but I’ve been here often. Thank you for all the great answers! I’m a first time chicken keeper. I have 3 silkie bantams and 2 silked Easter Eggers. I tried to attach a picture of the coop that I have. Hopefully it worked. I now know these prefab coops probably aren’t the best and now know they are usually too small. I want to get a polish in the spring but I’m guessing that’s totally out of the question space wise. :)

1. Is this one too small for what I have?
2. I did make a chunnel and it goes to our trampoline that’s enclosed underneath. They do free range maybe an hour a day when someone is outside. I had a hawk swoop down while I was outside so I’m worried to even do it at all. But they love it. Is this enough space?
3. Do I need to be worried about any airborne or other health issues when the trampoline is in use and people are jumping on it?
4. How do I keep it clean underneath? I was thinking about the deep litter method but I’m not sure. Not sure how to even start. There’s a small gate but it would be very difficult to get underneath to clean.
5. If I do have to clean it, how often?
Thank you!
5F04D62B-EAD8-41A9-BD13-CF4C3A20B629.jpeg
 

deidreg

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 6, 2020
765
2,946
256
Connecticut
Welcome! You're asking good questions and I suspect you already know some of the answers. The coop you have is too small for your flock, but it helps that they have a second "run" under the trampoline. Deep litter will help and will self compost so you don't need to clean it often. I strongly recommend you focus on the girls you have and getting them into a larger, more sturdy coop and run before adding to the flock. I resist chicken math when I remember that bringing more birds into a situation where its too small wouldn't be good for any of them.

Post pictures! :frow
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,229
37,039
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
1) Yes it's too small. The actual coop according to the image is 23.62" x 25.6" - it's enough space for 1 standard size bird or 2 bantams. There's also insufficient ventilation, each bird needing around 1 sq ft of open vents 24/7.

I strongly encourage you to consider modifying this unit and treating it as coop-only, not a mini coop and mini run. The end result will still be on the small side but an improvement over what is currently available. To turn it from 2 small "boxes" (tiny coop above tiny run) into 1 bigger "box" you'll want to remove as much of the inside coop wall as possible, plus the floor. Take out the old roosts too.

Nests might be able to stay as is, or may need to be relocated elsewhere or replaced - depends on the structure of the coop and how things inside stack up once done.

Run a new roost(s) lengthwise or widthwise across the newly open space, depending on how much roost is needed. Ideally you’d like 12” per bird but 10” can suffice in many cases.

Board up some of the external wire walls so that the roost area is protected from winds and rain. Do NOT fully cover up all the wire, you need ventilation and natural light, so at the very least a few inches under the roofline should remain open. If your climate allows for it, you can leave entire walls open with just the mesh, or make it convertible for the season by covering up open walls for winter, and then uncovering for summer.

Example of a modified prefab: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/my-renovated-prefab-coop.1440258/

2. Need exact floor space measurements (sq footage) to answer that.

3. You need a proper run. A working trampoline that's still in use is not it. The second someone jumps on there with a chicken underneath, they'll be too terrified to use it again for a while.

4-5. For same reason as #3, you need a proper run, preferably one you can stand upright in or at least have full access to every square inch. Not just for cleaning but to access birds that are sick, wayward eggs, for maintenance, etc.

6. For integration you need more than the minimum recommended amount of space and quite possibly a separate set up. You currently do not meet the minimum.
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
12,012
31,563
1,116
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC.

@rosemarythyme has given you excellent advice so I'll focus on helping you with the math for your desired flock.

You currently have 5 birds, 3 of which are bantams, and want to add another standard-sized bird, right?

I'm going to work the math for 6 standard-sized hens both because that is easier to work out, because you'll need extra space for integration, and because it would be better to add 2 Polish to an established flock than to add a lone bird who won't have a buddy to hang with and is likely to be picked on.

The Usual Guidelines

For each adult, standard-sized hen you need:
  • 4 square feet in the coop (.37 square meters)
  • 10 square feet in the run (.93 square meters),
  • 1 linear foot of roost (.3 meters),
  • 1/4 of a nest box,
  • And 1 square foot (.09) of permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation, preferably located over the birds' heads when they're sitting on the roost.

6 hens
  • 24 square feet in the coop. 4'x6' is the only really practical build for this given the common dimensions of lumber. If you can't walk into it, put the access door in the middle of the long side to make sure you can reach all areas of the coop because a stubborn chicken WILL press itself into/lay an egg in the back corner where you can't reach.
  • 6 feet of roost
  • 60 square feet in the run. 6'x10' or 8'x8'.
  • 6 square feet of ventilation.
  • 2 nest boxes, to give the hens a choice

In re: your trampoline run -- generally the chickens and the people can't share the facilities. The chickens can't use it while the people are bouncing and the bouncing will inevitably stir up poop dust that the trampoline users will then be breathing and getting dirty with. My youngest son had Campylobacter last year, which may or may not have had anything to do with our chickens (he was going through a general hygiene rebellion stage), and it was NASTY.

In terms of raw space, the 60 square feet of run you need can be provided by a circle about 9 feet across -- so compare that to your trampoline to see how it works out.

Where, in general, are you located? Climate matters a lot.

Also, how handy are you? Hoop coops are usually the easiest to build. :)
 

Silked

In the Brooder
Nov 7, 2021
4
5
11
Welcome! You're asking good questions and I suspect you already know some of the answers. The coop you have is too small for your flock, but it helps that they have a second "run" under the trampoline. Deep litter will help and will self compost so you don't need to clean it often. I strongly recommend you focus on the girls you have and getting them into a larger, more sturdy coop and run before adding to the flock. I resist chicken math when I remember that bringing more birds into a situation where its too small wouldn't be good for any of them.

Post pictures! :frow
Thank you for your help! I do need to not add to the flock. It’s so tempting though! I heard somewhere that coops go on sale in the winter. I’m hoping this is the case and I can find one for a good price. It’s hard to spend money and time on a coop and then turn around and buy another. I’ll look for sales and will also look into modifying. I don’t understand how the manufacturers can advertise a number of chickens that the coop really shouldn’t have.
Here’s a picture of my sweet girls. ☺️
 

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Silked

In the Brooder
Nov 7, 2021
4
5
11
1) Yes it's too small. The actual coop according to the image is 23.62" x 25.6" - it's enough space for 1 standard size bird or 2 bantams. There's also insufficient ventilation, each bird needing around 1 sq ft of open vents 24/7.

I strongly encourage you to consider modifying this unit and treating it as coop-only, not a mini coop and mini run. The end result will still be on the small side but an improvement over what is currently available. To turn it from 2 small "boxes" (tiny coop above tiny run) into 1 bigger "box" you'll want to remove as much of the inside coop wall as possible, plus the floor. Take out the old roosts too.

Nests might be able to stay as is, or may need to be relocated elsewhere or replaced - depends on the structure of the coop and how things inside stack up once done.

Run a new roost(s) lengthwise or widthwise across the newly open space, depending on how much roost is needed. Ideally you’d like 12” per bird but 10” can suffice in many cases.

Board up some of the external wire walls so that the roost area is protected from winds and rain. Do NOT fully cover up all the wire, you need ventilation and natural light, so at the very least a few inches under the roofline should remain open. If your climate allows for it, you can leave entire walls open with just the mesh, or make it convertible for the season by covering up open walls for winter, and then uncovering for summer.

Example of a modified prefab: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/my-renovated-prefab-coop.1440258/

2. Need exact floor space measurements (sq footage) to answer that.

3. You need a proper run. A working trampoline that's still in use is not it. The second someone jumps on there with a chicken underneath, they'll be too terrified to use it again for a while.

4-5. For same reason as #3, you need a proper run, preferably one you can stand upright in or at least have full access to every square inch. Not just for cleaning but to access birds that are sick, wayward eggs, for maintenance, etc.

6. For integration you need more than the minimum recommended amount of space and quite possibly a separate set up. You currently do not meet the minimum.
Thank you! I just replied to deidreg a lot of what you suggested too. Thank you so much for taking the time to figure all this out for modifying. I did take out the clear plastic behind the window and put in hardware cloth hoping to provide some ventilation. I’m thinking now that may not be sufficient but the whole coop isn’t either. Ah! We’ve got some work to do.
 

Silked

In the Brooder
Nov 7, 2021
4
5
11
Welcome to BYC.

@rosemarythyme has given you excellent advice so I'll focus on helping you with the math for your desired flock.

You currently have 5 birds, 3 of which are bantams, and want to add another standard-sized bird, right?

I'm going to work the math for 6 standard-sized hens both because that is easier to work out, because you'll need extra space for integration, and because it would be better to add 2 Polish to an established flock than to add a lone bird who won't have a buddy to hang with and is likely to be picked on.

The Usual Guidelines

For each adult, standard-sized hen you need:
  • 4 square feet in the coop (.37 square meters)
  • 10 square feet in the run (.93 square meters),
  • 1 linear foot of roost (.3 meters),
  • 1/4 of a nest box,
  • And 1 square foot (.09) of permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation, preferably located over the birds' heads when they're sitting on the roost.

6 hens
  • 24 square feet in the coop. 4'x6' is the only really practical build for this given the common dimensions of lumber. If you can't walk into it, put the access door in the middle of the long side to make sure you can reach all areas of the coop because a stubborn chicken WILL press itself into/lay an egg in the back corner where you can't reach.
  • 6 feet of roost
  • 60 square feet in the run. 6'x10' or 8'x8'.
  • 6 square feet of ventilation.
  • 2 nest boxes, to give the hens a choice

In re: your trampoline run -- generally the chickens and the people can't share the facilities. The chickens can't use it while the people are bouncing and the bouncing will inevitably stir up poop dust that the trampoline users will then be breathing and getting dirty with. My youngest son had Campylobacter last year, which may or may not have had anything to do with our chickens (he was going through a general hygiene rebellion stage), and it was NASTY.

In terms of raw space, the 60 square feet of run you need can be provided by a circle about 9 feet across -- so compare that to your trampoline to see how it works out.

Where, in general, are you located? Climate matters a lot.

Also, how handy are you? Hoop coops are usually the easiest to build. :)
Thank you for doing all this math! I’ve replied to the other posts too. You all are so helpful. I was worried about some sort of illness from things under the trampoline being stirred up. I had never heard of Campylobacter. I just looked it up and yikes! We’re in Tennessee. I’m going to look into hoop coops now! I haven’t heard of them. Thanks again!
 

LoveMyGurls

Chirping
Oct 10, 2021
57
291
83
UK
This is pretty much the design of the one that I have but I only use the coop at night and the bottom bit is always open in the day and they have a massive part of my garden. The only thing that run is good for is holding a sick chicken or one that is playing up with the rest of the flock and I've used it for that purpose because my Chapel can be a little madam at times. She needs to be brought down a peg or two and it works a treat. A few hours in jail soon makes her into a nice little chicken again from a steaming hell-born wild bully.

I have three chickens that sleep in the main coop and I've blocked off the door to the outside and removed the ramp. Like, I say, I don't use the bottom bit and I also have the entire thing under a canvas dome as the water does seep in. Not that watertight. There is enough room in the top bit for four to five fully grown chickens as they all huddle in the nesting area but again, I had to take out the middle bit as the nesting boxes are made for sparrows and not chickens. To be honest with you, there is a dog kennel on amazon that is just as good for a fraction of the price and I wish that I had just brought that as it would have saved me a lot of money. It just needs some holes drilling into it for ventilation.
 

LoveMyGurls

Chirping
Oct 10, 2021
57
291
83
UK
Thank you for your help! I do need to not add to the flock. It’s so tempting though! I heard somewhere that coops go on sale in the winter. I’m hoping this is the case and I can find one for a good price. It’s hard to spend money and time on a coop and then turn around and buy another. I’ll look for sales and will also look into modifying. I don’t understand how the manufacturers can advertise a number of chickens that the coop really shouldn’t have.
Here’s a picture of my sweet girls. ☺️
OMG, they don't look like chickens to me!!! They are just so adorable and I want some!!! :love
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
12,012
31,563
1,116
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
I don’t understand how the manufacturers can advertise a number of chickens that the coop really shouldn’t have.

They use the legal minimums for commercially-kept chickens. Commercial chickens are intensively managed and specially bred to tolerate tight confinement.

We’re in Tennessee. I’m going to look into hoop coops now! I haven’t heard of them. Thanks again!

If you're in the warmer part of Tennessee you'll probably want extra ventilation beyond the minimums -- unless you can put the coop in deep shade.

Here are some hoop coop examples:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/hoop-tractor.69336/
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/hoop-coop-brooder-with-roll-up-sides.75720/
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-biddie-bordello-a-hoop-coop-run-combo.72189/reviews
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/permanent-hoop-coop-guide.47818/reviews
 

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