Heat and light source for small coop? And other stuff...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by suburbanchick, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a new small coop 3' x 3' or so in which to keep 4 hens. I have them in the garage still bc it is so cold out this weekend. I want them to move outside when the 30-ish temps are over and it's around 50 - 60. However, I want to have a light in there for warmth. I also will want a light with timer when they start laying so I can do that artificial light thing that I read about in Storey's Guide to keep them laying throughout the winter.

    So what do you guys use in your smaller coops?

    It needs to be easily installed, cheapish, small, and they won't burn themselves on it.

    And do any of you follow the advice on this from the Storey Guide?

    Thanks!
     
  2. girlsnboys

    girlsnboys Out Of The Brooder

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    Whidbey Island, WA
    In the winter I use the base for the heat lamp (with wire protector) and just switch to a 75 or 100 watt light bulb. In my tractor that worked just fine. If it was really cold I just tossed a tarp or blanket over the tractor too.
     
  3. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    San Marcos, TX
    Is the 3X3 coop a permanent coop or a tractor ?

    3X3 is too small for four standard size hens. It might be OK for 4 banties, but it would still be cramped if you need a nest box and roost room.

    Birds put off a lot of body heat. Depending on where a heat lamp is placed, it could get too hot in that small a coop.

    Do you have pictures ?
     
  4. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    BTW, I wanted a more chicken'y name, so I changed usernames... I'm shandea. Sorry if that's confusing but I'll try to remember to login correctly from now on.

    It's actually 2' x 3' and 3' tall. So now I'm worried that it's too small. I'll post pics soon. It has two roosts that are staggered since it's higher than it is wide, and two nesting boxes.

    Well, this is what I've got and there's no changing it now. I spent quite a bit of money to get it built. Perhaps one of them will be a rooster... er something!

    But seriously, should I plan to get rid of one hen? For the rest of the story, the run will be 5' long, 3' wide, and 2' tall. Also, they will be able to free range some in my backyard, which has a 6' privacy fence... probably 2 hours a day or so while we're out there with them.

    Although it's seeming pretty depressing, I do appreciate your frank advice!
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2007
  5. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Being 4' tall helps, but it is still small for four standard size birds. Does the coop have a lot of ventilation ?What kind of hens do you have?
     
  6. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raleigh NC
    And how about if I always leave the door to the coop open, except when it's cold, of course. I live in NC, so that won't be a problem most of the yr. So really they'll just be sleeping in the coop and can come and go when they want.

    And I can even get a nice piece of canvas and cover half of the run so it's kind of like having more room indoors.

    Thoughts? And once again, please be frank. I'm just trying to make this work.
     
  7. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raleigh NC
    Yeah well, unfortunately the 4' was a mistake! [​IMG] It's really 3' tall.

    I have wyandottes - pretty big, huh?

    Pics are on their way...
     
  8. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    These aren't the best pics, but I had a very limited amount of room in the garage to get them. It's full of stuff!

    Big Henrietta (had to throw some of the chicks in here)...

    [​IMG]

    The four chicks...

    [​IMG]

    The side of the coop with door...

    [​IMG]

    Other side...

    [​IMG]

    Inside the coop. There is another roost that is staggered below this one, you just can't see it...

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2007
    Shandea,

    I think you'll definitely have problems size-wise. Being able to have access to the outside should help your birds, but it looks like the roost is only 2 feet wide. That will only be just barely enough for three birds to roost at the minimum of 8 inches per bird. With large birds they sometimes recommend 10 inches, so even them you may have problems with three.

    Your coop is so cute, but I think it would be better off housing two birds. It has 6 square feet of space. Really, each bird should have about 4 square feet of indoor space, less with year-round outdoor access, so you could probably get by with 2 birds. I love the design. It just doesn't seem large enough for four.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raleigh NC
    Thanks Llysse, for your input. The roost is only 2 feet wide, but there is another roost that is two feet wide as well... so each bird would have 12" to roost.

    Ah man... this sucks, still! What will happen if I don't have enough room? Will they start to peck at each other? I can't imagine getting rid of them now. Advice again??? What if I try it out and see if it'll work? If it doesn't work out, I can give one or two to my FIL who is getting ready to get into the chicken thing as well. He will have a TON of room.

    And I'm not trying to downplay any of your advice, but my line of thinking is... chickens who live in cages at processing plants live in a smaller amt of space and don't get to get out in the run whenever they want. So can't the coop just be like a 'sleeping/laying-only' place? And they're outside the rest of the time?

    Another line of thinking is that some chickens live outside totally and don't even have a place to roost. Wouldn't these be better off having a small space to sleep?

    I do want my chickens to be happy. [​IMG]
     

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