Coop suggestions?

kirbyekitchen

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 5, 2014
39
3
24
Georgia
Can anyone help me?

I have six brahma chicks that are almost 3 weeks old. This weekend, my husband and I plan to start construction on our coop. We have salvaged some wood from various places and some shingles and tar paper as well. We want them to have PLENTY of space, since we won't miss that part of the backyard; and from what I understand I will probably be tempted to add to the flock as time goes by.

Here are my questions:

1) Being bigger birds, will brahmas need more space than usual? How much per bird?

2) How many nesting boxes?

3) Do you prefer a coop that you can walk into? I am wondering if this helps with cleaning.

4) Would it be a good idea for our coop to have electricity? We live in the southeast... So hot, humid summers and basically mild winters.

Any other tips? I am completely new to this and I would like to get it right the first time so we are all happy with it right from the start. Thanks!

-Kirby
 

Odelia

Songster
5 Years
Feb 20, 2014
947
62
128
Idaho
Minimum space per bird is a total of 6 sq feet per bird. That usually breaks down to 2ft inside coop and 4ft in run. With this amount of space your birds can live just fine. Now that isn't to say that they are happy, but they are ok. The more space you give them the less problem you will have with your flock due to stress caused by crowding. Also you will need to clean it less often. I do think the walk in style is easier and more comfortable to clean.
The rule of thumb is 1 nesting box per 3 birds. If you can round up and give them an extra box you will have fewer birds screaming at each other "to get out of the box." True story they will stand outside of the box and yell at the bird who is hogging the box. Sometimes they will give up and try sharing the box.
If it is easy to wire then give yourself an electrical plug. If not it is easy to live without. If you want to keep your birds laying in the winter you do need to supplement with extra hours of light.
 

Trefoil

Songster
8 Years
Dec 7, 2011
2,317
239
231
Can anyone help me?

I have six brahma chicks that are almost 3 weeks old. This weekend, my husband and I plan to start construction on our coop. We have salvaged some wood from various places and some shingles and tar paper as well. We want them to have PLENTY of space, since we won't miss that part of the backyard; and from what I understand I will probably be tempted to add to the flock as time goes by.

Here are my questions:

1) Being bigger birds, will brahmas need more space than usual? How much per bird?

2) How many nesting boxes?

3) Do you prefer a coop that you can walk into? I am wondering if this helps with cleaning.

4) Would it be a good idea for our coop to have electricity? We live in the southeast... So hot, humid summers and basically mild winters.

Any other tips? I am completely new to this and I would like to get it right the first time so we are all happy with it right from the start. Thanks!

-Kirby

#1. depends on how you intend to use your coop. If you are going to have a secure run that they will have 24/7 access to, you coop will not need to be as large. My brahmas are peaceful and I have little aggression problems with them, but the more space you give them the less chance of having problems. Also, the larger the coop the easier it is to keep clean. With a run, I would allow at least 4 square foot per bird in the coop.
#2. 2 or 3
#3. A walk in coop is my preference, but it depends on how large you make it.
#4. to have the option of electricity in your coop is always a plus, but again it depends on how large a coop you end up with and what your plans for using it are. If you ever intend to brood chicks in it, you will need electricity and lights are a nice option to have.

If your chicks are already 3 weeks old, I would concentrate on making them a secure run with a shelter, and give yourself some time to decide on what you need for a coop. Ventilation in your area is going to be especially important. Birds take cold better than heat, they are going to need shade. And as you gain experience, what you want in a coop will change.
 

kirbyekitchen

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 5, 2014
39
3
24
Georgia
Thank you both so much! We plan to have a large run and then allow them to free-range for a few hours each day while we are home.

Do you all use the deep litter method? Or something else? I think once I make that decision, I can decide if I want a walk-in coop.
 

yyz0yyz0

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2012
623
130
194
Being that this is your first coop, down the road you will have a list of things you wish you had done differently. At least I know I have one, so be prepared for that.

I suggest nest boxes that are accessible from outside the coop, I have those and love them(if I could only get all the girls to use them!!!)

I have a coop that is raised off the ground so there is shaded space underneath, but it's only a 4x8 coop. If it was much larger I would wish I could get inside it for cleaning etc etc.

I have deep litter in my coop but I can't really call it the deep litter method as I have poop boards so there is very little poop in the litter. I use pine chips and put them in last June and they still look almost new. I had some sheet flooring left over from a project and I used it on the sides and floor of the coop so it should clean up easily when I get to that point.

I agree with the advice above regarding electric, if it's easy to run then run it. Just because it's there don't mean you gotta use it but if you need it and it's not there...........
 

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