Enough room for two hens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dazza, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Dazza

    Dazza Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2013
    We recently got 2 chicks (now at about 5 weeks) and purchased an off-the-shelf coop from Costco. Right now it's plenty big, but I'm concerned about when they get bigger. I saw their parents, and they were fairly large...

    The coop run measures 2'x6', the highest inside point is 2'6" and the highest outside point is 3'. Essential 12 sq.ft. outside and 8 sq.ft. inside.

    I don't know exactly what breed they are, but the owner of the parents said their mom was a 'speckled hen' and their dad was a 'rhode island red'.

    What does BYC think about the size of this coop? Big enough? Or not enough info to know at this point?

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  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Well, the general rule of thumb is four square feet of coop space per bird, not counting nest boxes, and ten square feet of run space. So, your run is not big enough, but the coop is, if those measurements didn't count the nest boxes.
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    For my tastes it it plenty large for two hens if they are getting out during the day into a larger area. So I'd also fence in some area in addition to that to let them out for some exercise. The general guidelines most people say on BYC is 4 square feet per chicken in the coop plus 10 square feet per chicken in the run.

    I do put more chickens than that in my coops, seeing as that my chickens don't spend the days inside the coop- since we don't get much snow here or even very cold weather. If you are in a part of OR that sees a lot of cold weather then you may even want to put some sheet plastic over part of the run to keep the wind out. They do need a windbreak anyway.

    You can just put that little coop inside a dog kennel (or use dog kennel panels) for a quick setup (this would not be predator proof but would allow them to exit without taking over your whole yard).

    The only thing that is predator proof is 1/2 inch hardware cloth (with an apron out which is not buried, or buried)...so locking up at night inside the coop is necessary even if inside a regular dog kennel.

    See:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/434998/chain-link-kennel-run
    post #6 shows coop inside dog run panels

    You can also just use 2 x 4 welded wire fencing (chicken wire is like not having a fence there except for keeping the chickens in- a dog could get to them so quickly) with T posts or U posts.

    I like moving my fencing around and just love the U posts from Home Depot with welded wire fencing.

    Your little coop would be just fine for them to stay in all day if you are at work and can let them out in the evening in my opinion. Even if you can't let them out it is still much better than the tiny cage in the industry buildings.
     
  4. Dazza

    Dazza Out Of The Brooder

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    We have an average back yard (for a Portland urban setting) that they will be able to run around in once they are fully grown. We have cats in the area that roam, so I don't want them going out until they are fully grown and can defend themselves. I figure during the day they'll be OK, but at night they'll have to be in their coop due to racoons. I may also build a kind of lean-to over the coop as the wood does not appear to be treated and I think the incessant Northwest rain may degrade it quickly.

    I'm not sure if the dog kennel is an option for us with our yard, but it's a great idea! Our back yard is fully fenced up to 6' which I suppose is similar.
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You are correct that cats DO go after chicks!!!

    They will be just fine with what you have in mind IMO. Here is a pic of a shelter I built (see behind the shed) and the chickens love it, no doubt. I have bought lots of those prefab coops before (not the Costco one though) and they do kind of fall apart with the constant rain after a year or two. So a shelter would definitely help prolong its life.

    This shelter was built with 1 x 1's but the next one I build I am going to go with 2 x 4's for sturdiness. Then I have pallets elevated on concrete blocks under it for hideaways for them to get away from hawks (netting is not covering whole area in pic). Enjoy your chickens! :)
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    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  6. AvianEgo

    AvianEgo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I spot a roo! The bottom chicken looks like a hen though
     

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