design idea

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by farmgal, May 15, 2007.

  1. farmgal

    farmgal Hatching

    May 15, 2007
    I'm new to chickens and need advice on my planned coop design. I would like to build a coop (for 7 chickens and 1 rabbit) that would attach to the outside of my garage. Think of how a kitchen cupboard hangs from the wall? Well, then picture a giant cupboard that opened to reveal nesting boxes and floor space. If I don't care about eggs do I need nesting boxes?

    The bottom would be wire mesh to allow droppings to fall through, but tight enough to prevent predators from reaching in. (Is 3 feet off the ground too high for chickens to jump and/or climb a ramp?)

    Part of the front of my "cupboard door" would lay down to make the ramp. The rest would be wire mesh and board (alternated for cold and warm seasons). We live in the north with deep freezes and lots of snow...anything I should do to insulate the coop?

    I'm planning on putting small doors into the sides to make it easier to change the food and water. Any advice pertinent to that?

    The chickens will be free range during the day. How much room do they need for nighttime and winter housing?

    I'm open to all advice! Thanks!
  2. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Mmm...I can give you a few pointers. (Or try to at least!)

    The first thing I can tell you is that the wire mesh will hurt the chickens feet, and may cause leg problems if used for a long period of time. If you are wanting to make it easier to clean up droppings, I have an easier sollution for you. Make the bottom of the "coop" with a solid floor, and under the area with the roosts, use sand instead of shavings or straw. That way, you can use an old kitty litter scoop to scoop out the clumps. [​IMG]

    As far as space, you should really only count the actual coop space they have, because even though they will/may be out all day, they still have to all fit comfortably in it at night and bad weather days. I have heard that 4 sq ft is roughly what 1 adult standard size chicken needs. So if you are wanting 7 chickens, you would need roughly 28 sq ft. A space that is about 5' x 6' or even 7' x 4' would suffice this quota. If you raised 1 or 2 less chickens, you could concievably use a space not much bigger than a dog house! You'll also need a roost. Allow at least 8" of roost space per bird. So 7 chickens will need 56 inches or roughly 4.6' of roost space. If you dont care about the eggs, I suppose you dont NEED the nestboxes, but then keep in mind that you will have eggs all over the place. They may get crushed and attract all sorts of "unwanteds", or your hens may hide them and go broody, and of you have a roo...then you'll have little chickies poppin up all over the place!

    I think thats all I can think of for now, other than in the winter you could plan on running an extention cord out to the coop with a heat lamp? Oh, and I'd go with a ramp up the 3'..but be prepared to "teach" them how to use it! Some take longer than others to catch on!

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