Enclosing my Playhouse Coop - how and how many chickens will it hold?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gottaknit, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. gottaknit

    gottaknit Out Of The Brooder

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    May 28, 2008
    I have the Playhouse coop (4ftx8ft) exactly like this for my four hens.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/coops/images/playhouse-coop-2.jpg

    Would it be possible to turn this into an enclosed coop so that I could get more chickens? [​IMG] How many could it hold? They only stay in there to sleep and lay eggs, or if it is really cold and rainy, which isn't often. Most of the time they are free-ranging in the yard.

    Suggestions? Anyone done this?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Well, going by the 4 sq foot per bird rule, it would hold up to 8 standards.

    if they ONLY go in there to sleep, you could probably go up a couple more, but that assumes that there are never days when you'd need to confine them in that space and not let them out into a larger run/free range.

    If you ever have days where you need to confine them due to weather, etc, I'd not go more than 4-5.
     
  3. gottaknit

    gottaknit Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Forgot to mention, I plan to fence in an outdoor run as well. It will be about 600 sq ft. It will be uncovered, but there are fruit trees and a hedgerow (motley collection of small trees, shrubs & vines) for them to hang out underneath.

    I'm in western Oregon. Even on our coldest days, the chickens still want to be outside. Snow is very rare here.

    I think 8 standards would probably be the most I'd be "allowed" by DH. [​IMG] (Little does he know that it's actually the pets that "allow" him here. [​IMG] )
     
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    I'm with arlee458 on this one. Although you could have up to 8 standards in that if it's all enclosed; I wouldn't suggest pushing that and would suggest not having more than 4 or five total. Your chickens will be happier and healthier with less than more.

    Even though you may seldom have to lock them up in there, it does happen and I found out through sad, personal experience, that it only takes one 24 hour period of lock-in to have chickens start to feather peck each other due to too many chickens in a tight living area. I fixed my problem and won't ever again put the 'limit' of chickens in my coop; I will have less.
     
  5. gottaknit

    gottaknit Out Of The Brooder

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    Hmm. So if I want more chickens, do I just need to build a bigger coop? My DH worked so hard on this one, I think he'd be disappointed if it was replaced. [​IMG]

    If I built a second little coop for the 4 new girls, and put it at the other end of the run, would that work?
     
  6. Joy1

    Joy1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Lancashire,England
    Don't see why not![​IMG]
     
  7. New2Peeps

    New2Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2008
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    I have a little coop--only 3x3 and I have 4 EEs that share it happily. There is an 8x4 run of hardware cloth that I have completely enclosed with tarp for the winter---it is nice because it keeps the rain and wind off of them and really is a lot like having extra coop space. They only go in the coop to eat and roost at night---I have never seen them in there at any other time--the run door is open during the day and they are out running around the yard or hanging out under the bushes. If it rains they go into the run, but not into the coop. I have nice big branch in the run for them to roost on and they use that occasionally. I think 4 birds in the small coop keeps them warmer at night as well as they all line up on the roost and huddle together. So I wouldn't see why the playhouse coop couldn't hold 8 hens if you enclosed it and had maybe another enclosed run for them to hang out in when the weather is bad.
     
  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Colorado
    New2Peeps said:
    So I wouldn't see why the playhouse coop couldn't hold 8 hens if you enclosed it and had maybe another enclosed run for them to hang out in when the weather is bad.

    Something that has been learned the hard way by many here is that putting too many chickens in too small of a space leads to unhealthy and unhappy chickens. We try to express this to new people and hope they are smart enough to follow the wisdom givin here and not make all the same mistakes that others have made before them.

    I had enough space for nine standard size chickens in my coop last year. I had 8 standard (2 of them on the small side) and one bantam in there. I have a huge run (well over 600 sq. ft.) that they have access to every day plus they are let out to free range every day from lunch time on. Everything was just peachy until we had a severe snowstorm. I had to lock them inside my coop for 24 hours. I had several that were pecked on by others, leaving them with no feathers and even a bloody butt area on one.

    I thought I was Ok because I had the 'required' 4 sq. ft. per standard chicken... I was wrong. They were still too tight and got bored and turned on each other when locked up. It's not worth taking the chance and risking my chickens now that I know better and I won't ever do it again.

    Just something to think about.... less is better.​
     
  9. UrbanMama

    UrbanMama Gone Country....

    Sep 27, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Question...in a coop like gottaknit has...is there any reason why she couldn't close in the whole thing to make a big coop and extend the floor area that's already there...in other words make it a 2 story coop. It would double her square footage and give them more space if they were to be confined..... [​IMG]

    Just a thought! [​IMG]
     

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