Different opinions on coop size needs?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KDOGG331, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    So we're trying to design our coop right now and thought I convinced my dad to do one 4x8 until we saw one on Craigslist (and other places in the past) that's 4x6 but tall. He seems to think that I am spoiling them and that 4x6 is fine yet everything I have read says that for 8, 4x8 is the minimum. This is going by 4 sq ft inside and 10 outside. But the coop does look rather huge and spacious and I know a lot of people cram more in if they free range. I've also heard people say 2 sq ft is plenty. He thinks we need a roof overhang and that we can also use the extra wood for the nestboxes. Am I spoiling them by wanting a 4x8 coop?

    Please explain why or why not I need or don't need 4 sq ft per bird.

    This is the coop btw

    https://boston.craigslist.org/nos/grd/5468604708.html
     
  2. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A lot of chickens will not want to go outside in bad weather and if it goes on for a couple days they will get restless and start feather picking, 4 should be the min. the 4X6 is a min of 3 but if it is taller it is easier to get into and clean I would still go with the 4X8 the overhang is good and you can add more ventilation up top without having the rain and snow coming in. You can also put the nesting boxes on the 4 foot side and have two rows high so have 8 1X1 ft nest boxes and have them 2 ft deep, then have a flat board across the top with a 2 in. lip and then use your preference of filling PDZ(zeolite), Sand, shavings, I use PDZ on mine, then have a 2X4 roosts they sit on their feet so keep their feet warm in the winter to prevent frostbite. the poopboard is great because you can just scoop out their poop every morning when you let them out, if you pair that with the deep bedding or deep litter method you will only have to deep clean once a year, in the winter it also helps keeps the coop warmer. This is great because it maximizes floor space, if you do PVC pipe feeders and a nipple waterer setup it also helps to automate feeding and watering if I want to I only have to fill my feeders once a week if needed I top it off every other day or so, and my water lasts about a week as well and I just top it off as needed. For my waterer to keep it from freezing in the winter I use a bird bath heater on a grounded plug.
     
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks so much for all the info and tips!! That's sort of what I was thinking too, especially since they only have a maybe 3x3, maybe even a tiny bit smaller, coop kit from TSC and are in it or under it all the time in bad weather and it also has 2 roosts across a few inches off the ground which unfortunately means zero floor space so they sit on the roosts (just 1 inch bars, square shape) which can't be good for them. But yeah, their current one is really hard to clean. He was thinking if we made it 4x8 there wouldn't be enough room for an overhang. Like not enough wood. But I don't know. Thats a good idea about the nesting boxes, though then I'd have to have the roosts higher so they don't sleep in them. Plus we only have 8 so for now 4's probably good but if I expand I'll definitely do that. But I actually was planning on implementing all those other ideas! Was gonna make the walls maybe 4 feet high too and the nest boxes a foot high them the roosts above that a bit, maybe 18 inches or 2 feet or something, and the board below. I don't like the waterer in the coop since the humidity concerns me but I made and installed a 5 gallon bucket waterer with horizontal nipples and put it in the run last week and so far it works great! :) it's been warm so no need for heater but I did buy a stock tank de-icer a while ago. We had one night the other night get to 20 and there was a layer of ice on top and all down the sides over the nipples but they still worked surprisingly and it was 50 the next day so I just left it and it thawed out by the end of the day. Working great so far though. :) plan on making a feeder next. Hoping to get the money to start on the coop snd run though as they desperately need a new coop and run hah
     
  4. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    with the waterer if you have good ventilation you don't have to worry about moisture anyway but if there is a lid on the bucket then it keeps the water from evaporating out. I realize you probably don't have enough wood but you may want to make it so you can walk into the coop without having to crouch I have my chickens in a dog pen in the garage because their store bought coop didn't last but 6 mo. outside even with a tarp over the run keeping out most of the moisture, and I couldn't get into the one we bought, but since we took two dog pens and stacked them two high I'm able to walk in to it and I love my set up, it may knot work for everybody but it works for me if you want I could show you a picture of it.
     
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    That's true!! Maybe I'll put it inside then, though it also takes up floor space. And well we'd buy the wood but it's also the fact my dad doesn't think they need a big coop plus we technically need a permit for a shed so if it's off the ground it's not a shed :p but that's a good idea. And sure pictures would be great.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    That coop is actually on 3x6, nests take up a foot....and you could probably build an 8x8 for $800 if you could scavenge some materials.
     
  7. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I hadn't thought of that!!! Thanks for clarifying! Don't know why people count nest box space as coop floor space. But wow, that would be amazing if I could build a coop that big for that price! Not sure if I could scavenge materials though or at least, not really sure where to look for them. Although my dad thought that it would be cheaper to buy some tongue and groove boards from our local bargain outlet place for the walls instead of plywood so I think we're going to do that. I had considered buying an installed shed from BJ's, Home Depot, or Lowe's, too but that's kind of expensive, would probably need to be permitted, and I'm not sure the quality.
     
  8. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think my 8x16' coop will come in at about $800 with my scavanged materials. And that's including a brand new automatic pop door! I've bern looking on Craigslist for free lumber and pallets as well as cruising my city's residential alleyways for stuff left by the dumpsters. If you have a Habitat for Humanity Restore near you, that's a great place to get windows, a door, vents, etc. for cheap. I got three wood-framed windows and a door for $35 today.
     
  9. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Wow!! That's great!!! I'll look at those places!! Thanks for the tips! :)
     
  10. cpulley1

    cpulley1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am new to all of this, but I built a 4x8 building where half of it is a garden shed and half of it is a coop with a 3 ftx 24ft run. The coop part is about 3.5 feet off the ground with a ramp leading out and below. There is an auto feeder and auto waterer in the shed portion that sticks through the separating wall under the coop for them to access. All in all I doubt I have more than $500 in it. (I hope) I'm sure you could build something quite nice for less than 800 or so.
     

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