Coop too small? One week 'till they head in...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by molschickies, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. molschickies

    molschickies New Egg

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    Mar 7, 2012
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    I just spent the last seven weekends building a coop and run for our 7-week old chicks. We have 4 chicks total. I am just now getting nervous that our coop is too small!!! Our coop is 3' x 3' x almost 3' high, with an external egg box. Our run is covered and there is shelter beneath the coop as well. We live in fairly temperate Pacific Northwest, so we plan to let them in their run everyday. The run is 8' x 9' x 6' high, and covered, as I mentioned. Will my four hens be overcrowded?
    [​IMG]This photo does not show the run's roof (corrugated roofing panels at a mild pitch) but gives a good idea as to what I'm talking about. The chicks are set to go out next week. Should I rethink my plan?
     
  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    Looks like a very nice and secure coop and run! A general measurement for inside the coop is 4 sq. ft. per standard chicken, but if they only go in it at night, they will probably be fine. If they squabble when they are in the coop, one thing that has worked for me is to open the coop door when there is only a little bit of light left, and open it up early in the morning. They hop right up on the roost. The run is a great size!
    Good Luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. 78Vette

    78Vette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could not tell you if its to small but it sure looks good.[​IMG]
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I'm a big proponent of giving them as much space as you can. It really does not matter if that space is in a coop, coop and run, coop and free range, or whatever.

    With yours, it will come down to how you manage them. If you leave them locked in that coop while they are awake a lot, you could have problems. But if you let them in the run as soon as they wake up, or if you are comfortable that the run is predator proof so you never lock them in the coop, you will be fine.
     
  5. molschickies

    molschickies New Egg

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    Mar 7, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Thanks All,

    We are a family of early risers, so the plan is to open the coop at the crack of dawn for the girls everyday so they're able to roam the run as they wish. We also plan supervised free-ranging outside of the run while we're home. So, I imagine they will only sleep and lay while in the coop. I'm just afraid of the too-close quarters. Also, the break-in time right when we move them from their indoor brooder to the coop (I've read that the chickens need to stay locked inside the coop for up to a week, so they know it's "home" - could this include coop AND run in our case?)
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    You can do it either way. I have not kept 7 week old chicks in a space that size, but I'd think it would be OK for a week or so. If you give them access to the coop and run at the same time, you run a pretty good chance of having to put them in the coop at until they learn that is where they should sleep. It's not that big a deal if you wait until they lay down to sleep outside. They should be pretty easy to catch.
     
  7. wilbilt

    wilbilt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2012
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    The run certainly looks big enough for 4. Is the coop roof pitched to dump rainwater into the run?

    That would seem counterproductive. (I am dealing with a flooded run right now)
     
  8. molschickies

    molschickies New Egg

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    Mar 7, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Yep, the run is big enough for sure - just not feeling confident about the coop size. I'm getting some helpful feedback from everyone though!

    The coop roof IS pitched toward the run, but I built a runoff system that ends up watering my ferns behind the coop :)

    Good luck with your flood!!!
     
  9. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since your coop run is very secure, they can roost outside at night. The coop can be use for egg laying so you don't have to clean much.
     
  10. tlagnhoj

    tlagnhoj Out Of The Brooder

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    I had 5 hens in a 3'x4' coop. My run was just about the same size as yours. I've not had any problems at all. But it is important to note that I let them out early and they spent the entire day in the run, not the coop. Even now, between the 4 of them (lost one about 3 weeks ago), they probably spend a grand total of 30 minutes combined in the coop during daylight hours, not counting egg-laying. My coop functions almost solely as a barracks and egg-catcher. Don't even keep food or water in it.
     

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