Help! one coop, two coop, or mini chicken village

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flocking nuts, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. flocking nuts

    flocking nuts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2016
    Homestead, Florida
    Hello Everyone,

    I'm new to the chickening thing, and new to BYC. A long time ago a friends father used to send me home with fresh eggs every time I went over. Ever since then I have wanted chickens, and we're talking 15 years. We finally had the space for chickens, so I impulsively went and bought chicks before I had even decided on a coop design. I had already begun salvaging crates, construction scrap, and other road treasures for the project.

    For our Family Flock we bought 6 chicks at the feed store, and that night a hen on the other side of the fence (not ours, and a total surprise) eggs began to hatch, the Surprise Hen hatched 10 eggs. She rejected one (which of course we took in) leaving us with a Surprise Flock that totals 9 and a Family Flock of 7. I know I have to build more than the chick playpen thing they live in now.

    What I (think I) know
    3-4 sqft per chick (21-28 sqft)
    I think I have 6 pullets, so I'll need at least 2 nesting boxes
    They need roosts

    We're in Redland, an agricultural area right outside of Miami, FL. We have the space to let them free range during the day, so large attached runs don't seem necessary. We have wet, hot, humid summers with the possibility of tropical storms and hurricanes. From what I've ready about building a coop this means I should have the coop raised off the ground to make sure that it doesn't flood, that I need to make sure the coop is well ventilated, and in shade so I don't have roast chicken. We are renting this house, so I'm hesitant to build a giant coop that would be impossible to get inside and require concrete to make it storm safe.

    Has anyone ever heard of someone building a few smaller coops, and having them connected with something similar to breezeways in buildings or would all 7 of them want to be in the same place since they are "part of the same flock"? I was almost thinking of having it be like different rooms in a house with a feeding coop, roosting coop, and nesting coop. Watching them all huddle together made me question if they would be happy with it.

    Currently the broody hen tries to beck the Family chicks, is this because she's broody, or will they always have to be separated?

    Thanks,

    Wendy
     
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    chickens like to sleep squished up against each other on a roost at night. the coop doesn't have to have concrete floors dirt or wood works fine at first. their roost doesn't need to be big as one chicken only requires 7'' of roost space. 2 nest boxes is correct. and if they are spending most of their time in the coop the 3sqft per chicken is right, if they are using the coop only to sleep and in eat then it can just be 2sqft per bird. more if they are big, less if they are bantams.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  3. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2011
    NJ
    If you already have the chicks, better start building because they will grow fast.

    you should also have a secure run. You will find out unexpected predators in your area. You may not be able to free range all the time.

    Building separate coops for laying, roosting etc works. But will take lot longer. My suggestion, one big box with everything in it and a secure run.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  4. flocking nuts

    flocking nuts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2016
    Homestead, Florida
    Currently the chicks are in what i intended on having as the run for one of the coops. [​IMG]

    In my rush to get them outsidewe failed to make a people sized entry, but since the top is wedged in currently it isn't much of a problem. Since those picture the chicks have a wooden box that i assed for them to roost on or as something to hide from the sideways rain in.
     

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