enough space? will this work?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Zoomom, May 14, 2009.

  1. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

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    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    I am planning a new garden shed in my suburban backyard, with part of it dedicated to my chicks that are currently almost 2 weeks old. There will be (I hope) 3 Polish and 1 RIR, or if one of the Polish is a boy, 2 Polish and 2 RIR with the cockerel traded for a RIR.
    We are allowed a maximum 8 x 12 shed without needing a building permit in my city.
    The plan is to tear down our old sheds and build a new one with one end being for the chickens.
    The shed will be 12 feet long, and 8 feet deep. The right end will be divided inside with doors for the soon to be pullets to go outside into a pen screened in and disguised by trellis and grave vines.
    My question is how much inside space do I need? In the dead of winter, they may need to stay in for days on end. It is possible for me to roof the pen. Is that better than an open wire top?
    If I make the chicken pen part 3 feet by 8 feet will that be enough with an external nest box on the front wall? The outside pen will be about 4 feet by 8 feet deep. When we are home and the neighbors are away we plan to let them free in the yard, but this will jut be on the weekends.
    Is this too much chicken for the space? I want to do deep litter.
    Should I just get 3 girls? The 4th I haven't committed to yet, but the 3 Polish are for sure mine. I don't want them crowded.
    It is better to make the pen more square inside?
    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Some people have had problems with Polish mixed with other birds, b/c of not being able to see well and being extra vulnerable to being pecked. Others *do* have them together with no problems, just saying, might be good to have a plan B in mind just inc ase.

    3x8 indoors doesnt' sound unreasonable to me. Would it be possible to roof the run and then wrap most of it in plastic for the winter months? That'd make outdoors a much more attractive prospect for them during, like, January.

    I don't think it matters how long and thin vs squarish your indoor part is, as long as you avoid bizarre things like 18" or 2' wide by really really long.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

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    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks, Pat!
    I am hoping all the girls will get along, or Plan B, I can get peepers for the RIR. The Plan C for the RIR would be she goes back to my friend's farm and I just keep the Polish.
    Thanks for your thoughts on the coop/run. I could wrap the run in a tarp for winter to give them the extra space year round. I think it would make my job of cleaning easier, too.
    How do you keep the water thawed in wintertime? One year I was moving house and just had to do the water 2 times a day for finches in a shed I rented and insulated for them. They were fine. Would this be ok for chickens or are they thirsty birds?
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Sure, you can bring them fresh water as many times a day as it takes to keep it thawed, that's ok. Just have to keep *doing* it, is all.

    I have electric out there so I use a heated waterer (big pens) and heated dogbowl (pen with fewer chickens)

    Pat
     

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