Help remodeling an existing coop!

katierad

Hatching
Oct 1, 2021
3
4
6
Sacramento, CA
Hi,

I bought a property with a chicken coop on it. It is 89 inches by 89 inches (56 square feet), but it is divided in two sections of 44 inches x 89 inches (27 square feet). One section has roosting bars and the other had two nesting box. I removed the prior nesting boxes because I eventually want about 15 chickens so I plan on building 6 nesting boxes.

I am planning on removing the wall entirely that divides the coop. That way I can:
  1. Cover up the lower part of the studs on the bottom of the coop and instal a full sheet of linoleum that goes a few inches up the walls. - I want to ensure I can easily clean the floor of the coop.
  2. Install 6 nesting boxes on the left (3 x 3) with something like these roll away nesting boxes.
  3. Install roosting bars on the right side.
  4. Possibly instal an Automatic Watering System and Automatic Feeder to go in the back of the coop. If not inside, then outside.
Does this sound like a good plan? Or should I just leave the coop sectioned off as it is. If I leave it sectioned off, does that mean I should only account for the roosting bar area when considering how many chickens I should get?

Also, I wasn’t able to find anything from my research, but are there any concerns with putting the roosting bars in the same room with the nesting boxes? I know that nesting boxes should not go under the roosting bars.

Also, should I keep food and water in the coop with the chickens through the night? Do you have any recommendations to make my coop better?

Sorry for the long post! I look forward to all of your input and ideas!
 

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3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,532
26,912
1,066
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC. Where, in general, are you? Climate matters, especially with housing, so if you put your general location into your profile it makes it easier for people to get good advice.

It looks like you've got great ventilation -- one of the hardest things to get right sometimes -- so that's a splendid start.

Here are some target numbers for you:

For each adult, standard-sized hen you need:
  • 4 square feet in the coop (.37 square meters)
  • 10 square feet in the run (.93 square meters),
  • 1 linear foot of roost (3 meters),
  • 1/4 of a nest box,
  • And 1 square foot (.09) of permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation, preferably located over the birds' heads when they're sitting on the roost.
So for 12 hens you need:
  • 48 square feet in the coop.
  • 12 feet of roost
  • 120 square feet in the run. 10'x12' or 8'x15' -- 8'x16' means fewer odd cuts than either of those. 6'x20' is possible, especially if your run is an open-topped, fenced area instead of fully-enclosed with a solid and/or wire roof but risks social problems because subordinate hens need to be able to pass the dominant hens at a respectful distance.
  • 12 square feet of ventilation.
  • 3 nest boxes.
So if you take the divider out your coop has plenty of room inside -- which is another thing that can be hard to get right.

Is there a run outside?
 

katierad

Hatching
Oct 1, 2021
3
4
6
Sacramento, CA
Welcome to BYC. Where, in general, are you? Climate matters, especially with housing, so if you put your general location into your profile it makes it easier for people to get good advice.

It looks like you've got great ventilation -- one of the hardest things to get right sometimes -- so that's a splendid start.

Here are some target numbers for you:

For each adult, standard-sized hen you need:
  • 4 square feet in the coop (.37 square meters)
  • 10 square feet in the run (.93 square meters),
  • 1 linear foot of roost (3 meters),
  • 1/4 of a nest box,
  • And 1 square foot (.09) of permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation, preferably located over the birds' heads when they're sitting on the roost.
So for 12 hens you need:
  • 48 square feet in the coop.
  • 12 feet of roost
  • 120 square feet in the run. 10'x12' or 8'x15' -- 8'x16' means fewer odd cuts than either of those. 6'x20' is possible, especially if your run is an open-topped, fenced area instead of fully-enclosed with a solid and/or wire roof but risks social problems because subordinate hens need to be able to pass the dominant hens at a respectful distance.
  • 12 square feet of ventilation.
  • 3 nest boxes.
So if you take the divider out your coop has plenty of room inside -- which is another thing that can be hard to get right.

Is there a run outside?
Thank you so much for the response! I am located in Sacramento, CA and will work on updating my profile! In the winter our low can get down to 39 degrees on average and we have pretty hot summers with over 100 degree heat. It is great to hear that my ventilation is good! I was wondering about that.

I def have enough space for 12 hens based on those numbers! My target numbers were slightly off so thank you for providing that! Also, I am glad I was on the right track with removing the divider out.

I think I have a run? Basically the coop leads out to a area that is at least 28 feet x 12 feet in size and is fenced in. The top of this area is not fenced so I'm not sure if that would be counted as a run, but we plan to let the chickens out during the day in that area.
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,532
26,912
1,066
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you so much for the response! I am located in Sacramento, CA and will work on updating my profile! In the winter our low can get down to 39 degrees on average and we have pretty hot summers with over 100 degree heat. It is great to hear that my ventilation is good! I was wondering about that.

I def have enough space for 12 hens based on those numbers! My target numbers were slightly off so thank you for providing that! Also, I am glad I was on the right track with removing the divider out.

I think I have a run? Basically the coop leads out to a area that is at least 28 feet x 12 feet in size and is fenced in. The top of this area is not fenced so I'm not sure if that would be counted as a run, but we plan to let the chickens out during the day in that area.

Yes, that's a run and a very nice size. Whoever built that coop knew what they were doing. :)

Some people have open-topped run, some cover their runs with wire or netting, and some roof their runs.

It's good to have shade and what we call "clutter" in your run. Natural shade from trees is best, but you can roof a portion, put up a picnic fly, add a few umbrellas, grow vines on a trellis, ...

Here's the thread on clutter: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/

And a photo of my old pen with the picnic flies and the clutter:

0815211916_HDR.jpg
 

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