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Help with all the things please.........☺️

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Lee-Anna, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. Lee-Anna

    Lee-Anna Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2016
    Southern Indiana
    So attached is a few pictures to help with our coop/chicken situation. My mom purchased us a pre made coop for our family. (Yes I learned a little to late that they are usually terribly made). But our plan was that they will free range all day and we built a run that if for some reason they had to be locked up they would have room. So it shouldn't be a huge deal if there isn't much room while they are sleeping. Here is the coop and run, they are together now. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Everything was going great they played around the yard and are just great to watch. At sunset they put themselves to bed and we would lock them up. We had a great thing going. Until recently they decided this was where they want to be every night. [​IMG]
    So now we have to climb up the play set and grab them one by one and take them home. So we need to make some changes to their coop. Maybe it's too warm, cramped? There are no mites. So I want to run through what we are thinking about doing.

    1. The actual coop and the little run that us with it, not the additional run added on, we are thinking of opening up the wall that the stairs lead to and completely enclosing that and adding roosting bars. That would double their space they have and we and we can add plenty of ventilation.

    2. If we do that should we leave it a dirt floor, I really want to do deep litter method for compost and add the apron around the outside? Or should we make it a wood floor, can I still do deep litter with a wood floor successfully?

    3. The grass is mostly gone in the run and I would like to skip sand and instead use leafs, grass clippings, twigs. Will that keep the uncovered run from being smelly and dry quick? It seems to drain well we have never had standing water.

    I have read all the blogs I can find about DLM and it seems to have so many variables like climate, and covered vs uncovered. So if it helps to know I live in southern Indiana. Cold winters, hot summers. Thanks!
     
  2. Lee-Anna

    Lee-Anna Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2016
    Southern Indiana
    Anybody?
     
  3. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2016
    NW Arkansas
    My Coop
    If you include a general location in your profile it really helps.

    The coop and run are too small for 4 full size birds. It is a big deal for them to have room when they sleep. I'd guess that they are too crowded and hot in the coop and they are roosting where they are more comfortable. It's very unlikely that doubling the coop itself will net any real improvement. Generally accepted numbers are 4 sq.ft. per chicken for the coop and 10 sq.ft. per chicken in the run. Until they have a coop that they are comfortable in they will likely continue to roost elsewhere.
     
  4. Lee-Anna

    Lee-Anna Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2016
    Southern Indiana
    So you don't think doubling the size of coop and roosting space will improve it? Im not concerned for the run, they have 2 acres they run around during the day, they off and on stop in the run where the food and water is and will roost there a few times a day. But they are not confinded to coop and run during the day.
     
  5. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2016
    NW Arkansas
    My Coop

    How big is the coop? How long are the roost bars in the coop? How is the coop ventilated? What is your climate?
     
  6. Lee-Anna

    Lee-Anna Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2016
    Southern Indiana
    We will increase coop size to 6x3 today but right now it is much smaller. The roosting bars will be 2 bars 5 ft long. Ventilation is poor but once we have cut the door open and enclosed the run we will have additional windows added. Climate in southern Indiana cold-mild winters and hot summers. Wet in the spring.
     
  7. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2016
    NW Arkansas
    My Coop

    The new dimensions should work for your 4.Ventilation is always key. 1 sq.ft. of ventilation per chicken is a good rule of thumb. The ventilation will need to be as high up as possible above the roost bars so they are not in a draft situation in the winter. What are you doing for nest boxes?
     
  8. Lee-Anna

    Lee-Anna Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2016
    Southern Indiana
    We have 3 boxes already, but they are just a tad lower than the roosts so we will probably need to make them lower if they poop in them. So far the poop hasn't been a problem so it may still be ok.
     
  9. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2016
    NW Arkansas
    My Coop

    You could probably get away with less boxes if that would allow more room in the coop. Or perhaps even make some external boxes on the side of the coop.
     
  10. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    I wish this post could be made into a sticky. This is a classic example of a commercial coop, built simply as something to sell, by someone with an idea of what a coop should be based solely on what they have seen in pictures, by by a builder with no clue as to what the needs and wants of real live birds actually are. The birds themselves are voting with their feet. My daughter had a similar but even larger coop than what is shown here, yet when given an opportunity, her birds also headed for a child's play set that looks just like this one. I think this may be the 3rd or 4th post of this type I've seen in the past month or so.......birds heading for the play set to roost at night.

    So perhaps what a good coop should look like is a child's play set.....fully enclosed with wire run. A high.......really high (6 to 8 feet high) and wide open area to roost on.......perhaps extending the roost beneath the roof line in case of rain........and a fenced in area below on the ground for them to fly down to and scratch around in during the day? At least in the summer.
     
    1 person likes this.

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