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  1. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    We've got 28 three-week old RIRs, straight run. I've got them in a homemade brooder w/ dividers that can be either 2'x2', 2'x4', or 2'x6'...right now they have 2'x4', but I'm opening it up to 2'x6' tonight. Reason being, I just kinda looked down there last night and, all of a sudden, it was like "HOLY COW! That's a lot of chicken in there!"

    Almost seems to have happened overnight, too.. [​IMG]

    Obviously we're noobs when it comes to chickens, but so far what we've determined is that they grow amazingly fast -- which brings me to my next question....

    How big a coop should I build? We're planning to keep all the pullets and two cockerels, and everything else is going in the freezer. Obviously, all 28 are going to need to go into the coop for at least a little while. Oh, and clearly...this thing needs to get done SOON.

    Now, some folks say they only need 1.5sqft/bird, but that seems pretty ridiculously cramped... Other folks build spacious, fully insulated, four-star cottages for a handful of birds, which seems...unfeasible for a number of reasons like shortages of time, money, and inclination.

    Our coop will be inside an existing pole barn, in which the posts are set about 11' on-center.

    So, would 11'x11' (minus interior framing, nextboxes, blah blah blah) be enough to hold 28 birds at least until butchering day?

    If so...would 11'x11' be too big and cold if I butchered, say, 12 and left myself with only 16?

    I'm in central Kentucky, by the way.. It can be anywhere between 110 and -10, and we've been known to have 50+ degree temperature swings from one day to the next... Like, a high of 70 one day, down to 20 the next night.

    Thanks...love this board, btw. [​IMG]
     
  2. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    So, would 11'x11' (minus interior framing, nextboxes, blah blah blah) be enough to hold 28 birds at least until butchering day?

    An 11x11 coop can hold 30 Standard chickens or 60 bantams.
    If so...would 11'x11' be too big and cold if I butchered, say, 12 and left myself with only 16?

    I don't think so, my 10x10 coop has 18 chickens in it and I had no problems with it even with this bad winter.​
     
  3. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    Good to know.. I think it will probably make it easier just to use the existing posts anyway so I won't have to build a foundation. I was going to loft over the top anyway, so there's the ceiling... So all I really have to do is a floor, three walls...and the loft, since it's not actually done..and nestboxes...and perches..and maybe some storage...install a door, and maybe a couple of those aluminum windows I replaced from the house....

    Shoot...I think I should have started about three weekends ago. [​IMG]

    Oh well..I've found that it's better to get the animals before you get the housing complete, so that way you have no choice but to actually build the housing. [​IMG]

    Worked for the goats. [​IMG]
     
  4. sherrydeanne

    sherrydeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Go with 11x11, that way you can section it off next year if you decide to get more meat chicks and don't want them in the house [​IMG]

    Don't worry about nest boxes now, just put walls up and some roosts.

    Enjoy!
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    78
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Frankly, in KY it just does not get cold enough you need to worry about body heat, honest [​IMG]

    But even in the actual North, there's no such thing as too big a coop (perhaps *especially* not in the North, since not everyone's chickens will go outside in nasty far-subzero weather and blizzards, and they can get a bit stir-crazy and pecky if too little indoor space). If you feel they need to concentrate their body heat more it is easy to knock together a drop ceiling or hover over/around the roost, or partition off part of the space as a 'coop within a coop' so you have the best of both worlds.

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    Quote:Ya know...so far, I haven't really minded them being in the house. To be fair, though, they're in a mudroom/sunroom type thing that's seperated from the rest of the house by an exterior grade door w/ full weatherstripping and all that, so the noise and...aroma?...are more or less out of the way. We also keep hay and grain in there for some goat kids we've got living in our back yard.

    Come to think of it, that room's sorta become like having an 8'x10' barn stall attached to the house. [​IMG]
     

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