Coop too small.....add a second level?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 3rocksandme, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I believe our coop may be a bit too small for the amount of birds we have. It hasn't been a problem to date because they are not full grown and they are outside all day. With winter in the not too distant future I am getting a little worried. We have 16 chickens: 8 BR, 6 NHR, 2 EE. Our coop is a shed that has been converted and is about 8 x 5. I was wondering, has anyone added a second level in their coop to increase floor space and does that work? The shed is normal height, so I don't see why we couldn't add second and maybe a third level across half the coop. Any ideas? Do chickens require a certain amount of head room as well? Or should we build a whole other coop all together?
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yeah...your coop size is more appropriate for maybe 10 grown LF chickens. Many people don't consider that when they buy chicks, that they're going to be basically the size of an average cat by the time they're grown. Obvious problems with building a second level into it is cleaning access. Plus, chickens are birds of habit, and they will most likely still try to clump together even with two levels (and NOBODY wants the lower level, of course...lol). I'm sure it has been/can be done, but I would either build a larger, more suitable coop, build another coop (but you'd probably have to have two separate runs, as they'd try to clump together again), or reduce your flock. In your area, unless you have a covered run, they probably will spend a LOT of time indoors, and there could be problems, as neither breed you have is especially mild/submissive (although they're both nice breeds). You COULD wait to see how things go (assuming you have at least about 16 ft. of roost space), but then if there are problems, it'll be harder to deal with in winter time... [​IMG]
     
  3. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I was thinking of only adding a second/third level across half of the coop, so if a person was looking at it, it would be sort of like really deep shelving tiers. So I could clean it and then the other half would have the perches running across. Our run is covered. I am hoping they might want to go outside, if the cover keeps out most of the snow.
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    We have chickens now, that have a ramp to a second level. They use both areas. They wander up and down, depending on what they want to be doing at any given time.
     
  5. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2010
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    Would they be over crowded if they didn't have that second level?
     
  6. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless your going to keep them locked up all winter the six extra will only add body heat on those cold NH nights.
     
  7. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    It'll make the world go around a lot faster if you can remove part of the back or a side wall and add an extension to the coop. It wouldn't have to be as high as the rest of the coop.
     
  8. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2010
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    Maybe I should post this in another section...not sure....is it okay to use rock salt in the chicken run to melt snow/ice?
     
  9. dldolan

    dldolan WineNChooks

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    Sonoma County, CA
    Glad I found this thread! I have been wondering about my sizes: I'll call them my chicken yard and my henhouse. My yard is 18' x 25' x 8'h totally fenced in with 1/2 of it a former pony shelter, so well shaded. My henhouse is built off the ground 3 ft (girls walk up a ladder) 5'l x 4'w x 5'h and is situated under the shelter, so no rain, wind, etc. I have two tiers of roosts inside the henhouse, and two nesting boxes (I had three, but they all want to use the same two, of course), with 5 hens that just started laying and two a month or so younger. I live in northern California, so severe cold is not an issue. My gals go out in my 1/2 acre orchard to roam 2-6 hours/day. How many chickens should I shoot for as an optimal flock given this space??

    As they only use the henhouse to sleep and lay, should I be so concerned as some of you living in more severe weather zones about how many are using the henhouse? (Dont harass me!--I grew up a Cheesehead and Madison is still my favorite town ANYWHERE!!) My hens have a ton of "outdoor & roaming" space, and all five of the 6 month-olds are laying. The other two hens just arrived a few days ago, and i see the arrangement inside hasn't changed much. Heaftier Blue Cochins (2) on the bottom rung, and all smaller breeds up on the top rung.

    Thanks to whomever takes a minute to help!
    d-


    Ladder was too steep--I fixed that already!
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have a huge run for 7 chickens and a hen house that is slightly on the small side. That being said I think that with your weather and run size you'll probably be fine with 7 chickens. I would expand the coop before adding anymore though. Rule of thumb is 4 sq' of coop and 10 sq' of run per LF bird. You can get away with a little less coop space if you have a large run, freerange, and/or live in a mild climate.
     

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