1. mom wewantchicks!

    mom wewantchicks! Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    well i will start by saying sorry for all the questions! but hey, its your guys fault!!! i thought, hey i'll get some schicks and put them in this coop we have and that would be all. well now il not so sure! after seeing all the awsome coops on here, mine looks terrible. also i will say i didnt built it, it was here and used to house pheasant and quail (also not mine) . so here are my ???
    1. measurements 11'x16" encloused area,11'x14' outside pen,how many chickens will this be good for?
    2. the enclosed area has a dirt floor, do i have to put a floor in? if not whats a good way to keep it clean? im thinking plant some grass in there!
    3. if i do put in a floor, what do you do with all the chips in the bottom? what do you use?
    4. i live in wv as you see by the pics the enclosed area doesnt have a solid front, it has a heavy rubber thing that you pull down,will this be warm enough?
    5. do i have to have a light or heat sourse? (hubbys not crazy about that!, hes mr. safety!!)
    6. how big do roost have to be?
    i plan on having 6-8 chickens in here and letting them free range,oh and btw, ive never had chickens before, can you tell???
    oh and these cages are inside, there are two should i just tear them out or could they be converted into the roosts and nest boxes? or anything else?

    Edited to fix last picture.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2008
  2. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    IMO--no to the extra heat source. Once they are adult hens, as long as you give them a draft free rain free area, they will be fine. I hav enever supplemented heat for mine in CT. Although, people from Alaska may beg to differ! The matting hanging down should work well in the winter.

    Is this the coop or will they have access to another run. You have plenty of room there to not add anymore space IMO, but you will need to secure it up to keep coons and predators out. If they are not going to have a more secure house to be put in at night, I woul dwire the floor up so nothing can dig in and cover it with dirt and/or pine shavings. Wait, I looked again and saw the run part. Again, if they wont be shut it at night anywhere, you need to wire the whole thing against racoons and predators like weasels. (Weasels can get in very small areas).

    BTW, you have more than enough room for 8 chickens (HINT< HINT)
  3. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    I think you have plenty of room!

    I would leave cages there incase you want to add (or hatch eggs next year you can use as a brooder)

    I do suggest closing the up that wall instead of the wire (you want a window or just glass for light, & if your not using window you can open you need vents)

    chicken wire on the run is not preditor proof so, you want to be able to lock them in at night the so they are safe!

    I think it would be easier (& cheeper) to put a floor in (if not you have dig down around coop with hardwarecloth so no night time preditors can dig in for them)

    when your done pick some nice colors & paint you will have awesome coop too! (luckly I have trees in front of mine)

    you won't need to add heat but, in winter you will want to add light ( they need 14 hours of light to produce a egg)
  4. mom wewantchicks!

    mom wewantchicks! Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    thanks so much for the advice!! my dh and i where just out deciding what would be easiest/cheapest lol. (he cannot build!). i think we are going to do the wire on the bottom as we have more than enough of that laying around! there is a small door to let the chickens out into the outdoor enclousure that i will shut at night! the people who lived here before us raised birds for hunting and the only preditors they ever had was rats!!! it was very groos, to many birds, they left the feed in open container, the rats would serioulsy get in and eat the birds! i was sort of freaked about keeping anything over there but it has been about 3 years and the first year we rat poisined and know we have 3 "killer"cats lol. now about the light, does being outside not count? my dh is really aginst running electric over there. so any easy ideas?
  5. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    As it gets closer to the fall days get shorter! ((as days are now getting longer))

    you can look into:
    solar light (I have seen them for sheds)
    battery light

    my husband has a battery charger for the car battery!

    We bring this camping & the kids plug computer in so they can watch movies! (just need an adapter)

    You plug it in to a regular outlet to get charged

    **you want to use the light outside also(( this is why you want a window (or peice of plexiglass) ))

    when sunrise gets later I set a timer on the light to go on about 4am then I turn off when I open the coop!

  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I chose not to add artificial light to my coop. I decided that I wanted my hens to "be natural" and not be "forced" into laying eggs. Now, that doesn't mean I won't try light in the future ... I'm not against it, I just chose not to my first year. We still got three to six eggs every day all winter (from nine hens) so I am happy with our decision not to add light.

    I agree that putting down a wood floor would be the best idea. But, that's expensive and takes time. So, putting down wire is a good second choice (however, chicken wire is not predator proof - it only keeps chickens in) so using 2x4 welded wire would be the best way to go since hardware cloth is also extremely expensive (that's the best choice). You can either lay the wire down across the entire floor and secure it with staples to the wood sides of the building or dig a trench down about 18 inches around the outside edge of the building and bury the wire down with the bottom end bent outwards about six inches to discourage digging. You'd then staple the top part to the building side.

    Either way you will want to use wood shavings for your floor material. The grass would last about, oh, two days! Chickens destroy anything they are on so the shavings is the best idea. Having a dirt floor would be wonderful for composting if you used the DLM (deep litter method).

    You have a wonderful building there - lots of things to do with it. I would also keep at least one of the inside pen areas for use as a future brooder, keeping a broody hen in there, keeping a hen pecked chicken separate, etc. You have plenty of room for your eight chickens with lots of room to add more later!!! [​IMG]
  7. mom wewantchicks!

    mom wewantchicks! Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    i know, i know more questions!!!! if i use shavings on the floor, how much how often do i change them, what in the world do i do with the dirty ones? sounds as much fun as cleaning the litter boxes lol!
  8. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Theoretically....11 x 16 = 176 sq ft, 4 sqft per bird = 44 birds

    I think you should get another dozen [​IMG]

    shavings...about an inch thick...you can use stall dry for the moisture and the odor...just walk in with a rake and fluffy it every couple of days and remove the wet stuff....add more or change weekly.

    Raking it and turning it will make a huge difference. Personally, I would rather clean that than a litter box. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008

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