First time here - bunch of questions!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JML72, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. JML72

    JML72 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2012
    Hi all,

    I'm brand new here - so be gentle [​IMG] I'm getting chicks the first week of June (in New England, just all around safer that way no?). I have a Wyandotte, polish, lakenvelder, and 3 bantams (1 EE and two "assorted") on their way. I'm in process of planning and building the run and house. So - let me ask:

    I was planning on a 4x4 coop 4 feet tall in the front, peaking at 5 feet tall and then down to 3 for the back wall (think modified saltbox design), external nest boxed with liftable lid, and roost along one side over the nest box entrances (so about 48" roost length). Poop board 2 feet up, 6 inches above that the roost. Ventilation being 2 30x14 basement storm widows on the front, one on the side opposite the roost and nest boxes, covered in hardware cloth (and to be closed with the storm windows when it starts getting cold, and permanently open soffits along the front eaves. Probably also a permanently open heater-vent covered vents on each of the sides as high up as they'll fit. That would make the roost almost 2 feet below the top vents, and 18 inches below the soffit (of course, just at the one end). It will also be elevated from about 6" to a little over 2 feet off the ground (New England! Nothing is flat here).

    They will have complete access to a 16x8 predator-resistant run all day - and night if they wanted it.

    My question - is what I am planning large enough for these birds? I know all except the Wyandotte are on the smaller size, so I didn't know if I would be ok with a 4x4 footprint and 4ft roost.

    I'll have lots of follow ups I'm sure, but I've already typed too much - if you're still awake reading this, then I'd appreciate any insights you may give!

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    :frow Welcome to the Forum! :frow Glad you joined us! :frow

    As long as they have access to that run when they want it, you should have no problems at all in good weather. My only concern in New England is snow and wind. It would probably be greatly to your advantage to cover at least part of the run to keep snow out of some of the run. I'd also put up wind and snow blocks on the walls on at least some of that run to keep wind blown snow and just strong cold wind off of them. They don't really care if their space is all in the coop or if some is in the run as well. But they do need space available.

    If they have to spend a lot of time in that coop because of the weather, you might be OK but it is getting fairly tight in there. I always like to give extra room, partly because it takes away some of the risk, but also because I have to work less if they have more room. If you plan for the bare minimum, you don't have much flexibility if you run into problems.

    Good luck and again :frow
  3. JML72

    JML72 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2012
    Thanks RR. I was planning on a 4x8 strip of the pen coming right off the house to be covered - and thanks for the suggestion of a side cover as well - that would work out perfect the way I'll be setting it up.

    I'm certainly open and able to make the house a little bigger. With the mostly smaller chickens I'm talking about would I be able to get away with a 48" roost, or are they going to squabble about it? Expansion of the flock isn't likely to happen, as the SO has already several times made the comment "you are out of your FREAKING mind! - you had BETTER not ask me to do anything with these things" But hey - my son is all kinds of excited about it.

    Also - does height really matter with a coop? I mean, as long as they have headroom above the roost, and the venting won't be blowing on them, then that should suffice right?

    Again, sorry for the newbie questions - and thanks in advance for all the help!


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