Do I need a coop?

waywind

Chirping
Aug 25, 2019
41
55
84
Melbourne, Australia
Hi all,

So after getting my two first Orphington hens, I was always planning to round off with two more australorps. However, my first attempt at building my own coop has ended up with a few flaws.

- too little vertical space to allow chickens to easily access the roost, which I think is the main culprit for them not roosting
- too little ground space in general

IMG_20190831_080112908.jpg IMG_20190824_140026500.jpg IMG_20190818_152618171.jpg

So I thinking of modifying my coop before I get my two extra chickens. I think I have a good sized chicken run (roughly 2.5 x 5.7m covered space) and I built the protection from scratch. It's a 1mm gauge 25mm square wire mesh that I fixed with screws and washers internally on timber frames. The ground perimeter is actually lined with bricks along the side and I've buried mesh along the bottom at the back to prevent burrowing. I am reasonably confident that it's protected well (my main predator in the area are foxes).

My initially idea was to block off the back section and turn it into a walk in coop. This will give great use of the vertical space, while giving the chickens substantial ground floor to chill if I ever need to shut them in, shown in Option 1.

Option1.PNG

That all being said, do I actually need an enclosed coop, if I'm satisfied that my run is secure? Looking at it, I'm thinking all I need to really do is create a partition to achieve the roosting bars and nesting box as shown in Option 2, which would save on materials and also mean my chickens don't have to be let in and out everyday (except when I want to free range outside). So basically my run is then turned into a big open coop I guess. Has anyone ever heard of this as a suitable arrangement?

Option2.PNG

Keen to get some input before I get started.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
33,271
270,731
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
Hi all,

So after getting my two first Orphington hens, I was always planning to round off with two more australorps. However, my first attempt at building my own coop has ended up with a few flaws.

- too little vertical space to allow chickens to easily access the roost, which I think is the main culprit for them not roosting
- too little ground space in general

View attachment 1906518 View attachment 1906519 View attachment 1906529

So I thinking of modifying my coop before I get my two extra chickens. I think I have a good sized chicken run (roughly 2.5 x 5.7m covered space) and I built the protection from scratch. It's a 1mm gauge 25mm square wire mesh that I fixed with screws and washers internally on timber frames. The ground perimeter is actually lined with bricks along the side and I've buried mesh along the bottom at the back to prevent burrowing. I am reasonably confident that it's protected well (my main predator in the area are foxes).

My initially idea was to block off the back section and turn it into a walk in coop. This will give great use of the vertical space, while giving the chickens substantial ground floor to chill if I ever need to shut them in, shown in Option 1.

View attachment 1906522

That all being said, do I actually need an enclosed coop, if I'm satisfied that my run is secure? Looking at it, I'm thinking all I need to really do is create a partition to achieve the roosting bars and nesting box as shown in Option 2, which would save on materials and also mean my chickens don't have to be let in and out everyday (except when I want to free range outside). So basically my run is then turned into a big open coop I guess. Has anyone ever heard of this as a suitable arrangement?

View attachment 1906524

Keen to get some input before I get started.
Option 2 is a commonly used arrangement in hot climates where worries of protecting the birds from cold blowing winds is not a concern.
As long as you do not have to worry about excess winds blowing on them from the entirely exposed screen wall that the left side of the roosting bars are attached to, it should be adequate housing. If it is, you may want to put something on that side as a wind and/or rain screen.
I'm not familiar with all the predators you may have there but everything eventually finds chickens. As long as you don't have anything that can get through that 25mmx25mm mesh, they should be safe. You will likely have to collect their feed nightly as mice can easily enter that size mesh.
 

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