expanding coop?

TheDawg

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So yesterday I posted some questions about ducks and a dog house we have, with pictures, located here:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/980731/ducks-breeds-and-pen-pond-lots-of-pictures

And from what I've gathered, it would really only be appropriate for 2-3 ducks (and I'm assuming that applies to chickens too?) so I guess now my question is if you think that it could possibly be expanded? Or if it would be possible to maybe add a dog crate/igloo or a second coop or something?

I wasn't sure it was because it seems pretty solid and is basically a mini replica of the house but then I thought maybe that back wall could come off?

I can try to get more pictures to put in this thread later but I think I deleted the others so for now it's just the link.

I should also clarify that if I get birds, I would most like be getting ducks OR chickens, not both, or if we did get both, they would each have their own coop. So they wouldn't both be in that dog house. But if we got ducks, I would be fine with only 2 or 3 but if we went back to chickens, I think we would probably need more than that, which is why I was asking. Plus it would just be nice for ducks to have more room anyways if we went that route.

So yeah, do you think it's possible to expand it?

We do have a plan for a coop that we could still do, for either bird, but I decided that if it's possible to fix up this or expand it, I'd like to try to first.

Thanks.
 

thomasboyle

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You could certainly expand the existing coop, or simply build a new, larger one. I have chickens and ducks and they all live in the same 12x16 shed. I have a 4x6 duck area in the coop for my pekins, and a 6x12 area for my chickens and mallards. I have never had any problems keeping them all together. The ducks stay to themselves, and the chickens to themselves. At night, the chickens are up on the roosts, and the ducks all sleep under the nesting boxes (sleeping under the roosts is hazardous because of the poop bombs from the chickens above).

If you get ducks, I would strongly recommend you keep their food and water outside, and not in the coop. I tried keeping it in the coop, and they make a total mess of everything. Ducks are much messier than chickens, so you will need to take steps to manage their mess!
 

TheDawg

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You could certainly expand the existing coop, or simply build a new, larger one. I have chickens and ducks and they all live in the same 12x16 shed. I have a 4x6 duck area in the coop for my pekins, and a 6x12 area for my chickens and mallards. I have never had any problems keeping them all together. The ducks stay to themselves, and the chickens to themselves. At night, the chickens are up on the roosts, and the ducks all sleep under the nesting boxes (sleeping under the roosts is hazardous because of the poop bombs from the chickens above).

If you get ducks, I would strongly recommend you keep their food and water outside, and not in the coop. I tried keeping it in the coop, and they make a total mess of everything. Ducks are much messier than chickens, so you will need to take steps to manage their mess!
Thanks for the info!! I hadn't even thought of building it big enough to keep them together.

I think you're right though that building a new one is probably the way to go or maybe having some in the one and others in another though if I'm going to build one, I may as well just make it big enough for all of them.

They definitely seem messy! so would you say just keep it outside or take it away at night? Cause I've seen taking it away suggested too
 

thomasboyle

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I have all my food and water for both the chickens and ducks in the outdoor pen area, and not in the coop itself. It keeps the coop cleaner. I lock up the chickens and ducks are night, so as a result they don't have access to food or water for the night. It has never been a problem with adult birds. Younger birds have food and water in their brooder pen all the time (another section of the shed). Another reason to not have food in the coop is predators. Some predators, like raccoons and bears, go after the feed and not necessarily the birds. So keeping food in the coop temps bears and raccoons to try and get in.

When designing a coop, make sure you think of yourself and not just the birds. The birds only need a 3' high coop. But how are you going to clean it? I really like a shed as a coop. Give me room for different pens for ducks and chickens, storage areas, hospital / quarantine pen, brooder pen etc.
 

TheDawg

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Thanks again for all the great info!

I hadn't even thought about predators (or even just pests) going after the food in the coop. That makes a lot of sense. Plus if they're sleeping, they don't really need it anyways, right? Do you have a certain age you start leaving it outside or does it just depend?

I'm glad you mentioned designing it for myself too because I've always been thinking about the birds but hadn't really thought about cleaning it or anything, until recently. I thought maybe 4 feet was too low for them but it would probably also be good to have it taller for cleaning, like you said. Maybe 6 or 8 feet would be good? I'm thinking it's going to be raised and/or slanted too though so maybe the 4 or 5 feet would be fine if it's raised?
 

thomasboyle

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Keeping the birds outside is more a function of the temperature than the birds age. In the summer, they can go outside much younger than in the winter or spring. Once temps are no longer cold, the young birds can be out in the shed. I keep them separate from the main flock as young birds can get picked on by the adults. I wait until the new batch is full grown before putting them into the main coop. I'm getting ready to buy 6 more hens, so I'll have another batch to integrate later this summer.
 

TheDawg

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Thanks for the tips!! That makes sense! I've also heard though adults kill each other? Don't know if that's true. I was also wondering too though about what age you take away the food and water or does that depend too?
 

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