First coop/run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mhrj, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. mhrj

    mhrj Hatching

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    9
    Mar 6, 2018
    NS, Canada
    So we are in the process of building a coop for our future babies and kind of learning as we go! We hope to have 6 Easter eggers and maybe a couple extra hens someone wants to give us. Our coop will be 6x6 feet with three nesting boxes built onto the side. We plan on having an outdoor run, with the space under the coop and rest of the area the run should be around 175 square feet. Will this be enough space to leave them in during the day? We'd like to let them free range as much as we can but are worried about them wandering into the road when we are not home.
     
  2. Foster's Freehold

    Foster's Freehold Songster

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    Jun 7, 2013
    South Central KY
    Hey, welcome to the chicken world! Basic sq ft for large birds in the coop is 4 sq ft. So, if nothing is in the floor of your coop, it will hold 9 birds. 10 sq ft is the minimum for the run per bird, so you are covered there.

    I would put a covered feed and water station outside the coop since you have more room there. Make sure you leave lots of open areas for ventilation, even in your climate. Moisture equals frostbitten combs and wattles and feet. I'd put in a communal laying box, say 36 in wide should do it. Some chickens don't do snow, so you might have to cover part of your run to keep it snow free so the chickens will leave the coops some in winter. Also, I'd look into deep litter for both the coop and run, saves a lot of mess. Oh, a biggie, make it as large as you can, so that you can walk into it. Sure saves aggravation.

    Good luck. Ping back with any questions. Lots of folks happy to encourage your addiction on here.
     
  3. mhrj

    mhrj Hatching

    5
    5
    9
    Mar 6, 2018
    NS, Canada
    Okay thanks! We will have some open ventilation near the top, if it gets too moist in the winter we can always cut out a bigger chunk until we are happy with it!
    This may be a dumb question, but do they need water access at night or just during the day? I'm going to order some chicken nipples and hang/elevate a waterer for them, so we would be able to move it around if needed.
     
  4. Foster's Freehold

    Foster's Freehold Songster

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    Jun 7, 2013
    South Central KY
    If you are going to close the coop tight at night (highly recommended unless run is FtKnoxed) they need to have some water available. You never know when some emergency comes up, they don't get let out, and die from dehydration. Trust me, you'll forget at some point to let them out, or lock the door. It happens.

    I have a 2nd shift management style, since that is what we work. Lock 'em up at dark, don't get out there to let them out until 9ish. Since they are up before I am, they have a water tank in the coop. I also drop scratch in and toss in compostables. Gives them a snack in the early am and keeps them busy so they don't fight.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Minimum.

    Double it for cold weather climate like the OP's Canada.
    Unless there will be a very large weather(rain/wind/snow) and predator proof run attached.

    Go with Horizontal Nipples as you'll need to heat the waterer in the winter and these fair much better than the Vertical Nipples.
     

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