Coops

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Utnmcb21, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Utnmcb21

    Utnmcb21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all. New to this site but love everything about it. I don't have a flock as of yet but will have one this spring. I was considering six hens for eggs only,but think the coop needs to be pretty big. I am considering getting just 4 as of now. I want to build or buy a coop of the right size but can't get a straight answer on how big it needs to be. I want it to be portable also,considering I have a lot of land and want to move it around weekly. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    You should defiantly stop by the coop section first.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops
    Here's some links on tractor coops too.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-tractors-versus-permanent-coops-the-pros-and-cons
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/tractor-vs-permanent-coop-the-pros-cons
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-tractors-mobile-chicken-coop-designs


    Four-six hens is a wonderful flock size. I have five and everything is perfect! Have you decided on breeds? I would defiantly recommend the buff orpington. They'll supply you with many eggs and are affectionate, lap hogs, friendly and curious.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/chicken-breeds
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/which-breed-is-right-for-me.aspx

    Chickens need about 3-5 square feet per bird in their coop and 8-12 square feet per bird in their run.

    Great to have you join us and good luck!
     
  3. Utnmcb21

    Utnmcb21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your reply. I was leaning towards reds and barred rocks.I live in Pa and need a hardy bird. Do the coops need a specific height? I know their perches need to have a certain dimension also.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    No the coops don't need to be a certain hight. Just big enough so you can clean and the chickens can stand and flap their wings. (Btw, Buff orps are a very hardy breed too.)
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Mountain Peeps X2 I like the 4 to 5 square feet per bird in the coop, 10 square feet per bird in the run. 2x4's with the 4 side up, work well for roost bars on heavy breeds, 2x2's on the bantams. Ceiling can be any height, but make it tall enough to stand in. You will appreciate that. Keep your birds roosting close to the floor so the moisture from pooping and breathing has a place to rise and encorporate about 1 square foot of venting per bird in your eaves. Good ventilation is needed for removing moisture in the winter to help prevent frost bite and keeps the air clean inside the coop to help prevent respiratory issues, especially in the winter.

    Good luck with your coop build!
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    It sounds like you are wanting to do something more like a "chicken tractor" than a fixed coop/run set-up, is that correct?
    Tractors are a bit of a different animal than a stand alone/fixed coop/run in regards to being able to provide ample space w/out being so heavy that they are immobile. I would suggest doing some reading up on "hoop coop" structures here on BYC and online in general - there are tons of plans, etc that run the full range from bare bones to pretty impressive with regards to the interior structure for living quarters, etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  7. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Greetings from Maine!

    The general rule is 3-5 sq ft per chicken (depending on the size of the bird) in the coop. My starter coop was a prefab and although it advertised to be for 4-5 hens, there was barely enough room for 3 and that was without keeping a feeder and water inside so I was on a mission at the end of winter to upgrade (and expand my flock). There's this whole chicken math thing too (it's an epidemic lol) so it's not a bad idea to go larger so you have some extra room in case you end up with more chickens than you originally planned on or if you have pushy hens who don't like to share (I have 2 roosting bars each 4ft long and a hen who will only share "hers" with one other hen [​IMG])

    Not having any faith in my skills to build from scratch, I bought a 4x8 ice fishing shack I found on craigslist (for a fraction of the cost of even a used coop with the same dimensions) and have converted it into a hen house. It's still a work in progress but my mixed flock of 7 chickens (1 Golden Spangled Hamburg, 1 Olive Egger, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte and 4 Easter Eggers) are living in it comfortably. I love the size and it works well for them, leaving plenty of room to keep food and water in it so they don't have to go out during inclement weather and it's a walk-in for me which I like because of quick cleaning and I can put a chair in there and sit with them if I want. It was built on skids (skiis) so I can move it around with a lawn tractor whenever I choose. The run is second hand chain link dog kennel panels making their outdoor space 12x24ft and I can move/rearrange that as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  8. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First thing is there there is no straight answer. There are so many variables and factors that may dictate how each person can or has to do.

    There are your local weather, land charactoristic, predators, etc. There was a keeper that picked a nice shady spot but realized that it was too far to run electricity when he needed to plug in water warmer came winter. Another found that the coop was built on a low spot that the run was always muddy.

    Then there are your personal preference, such as flock size, cost investment, maintenance plan, free range, etc. Some people like to walk in to the coop to collect eggs while some like a outside access door.

    And there are the chickens natural habits. They want to roost at the highest spot. They like to stretch the legs and flap their wings. They like dust bath. They poop all the time. Their egg laying fluctuate with amount of lights and other stress.

    If you want a mobile coop and still have ample room, consider building a coop on trailer. As you plan your build, plan your design to be flexible and easily modified, because you likely will see room for improvement as along the way.

    As for coop height, my coop ceiling is ~20in (not an absolute number) higher than the highest roosts. My coop (3x6x5) is a lean-in as oppose to walk-in. I can reach in and touch every corner. It has been a good home for 9 birds. It is portable to a degree. The roof lifts off and the two parts can be carries by 3 to 4 people. PS, the roof is covered with sheet metal, much lighter than asphalt shingles.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
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  9. Utnmcb21

    Utnmcb21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the advise. I will definitely do that.
     
  10. Utnmcb21

    Utnmcb21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry I said buff coons but ment barred rock....I feel dumb:D:barnie
     

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