Hi, I'm new to chickens and am going to build a coop here in Boulder, CO

GaryClare

In the Brooder
Dec 24, 2020
5
28
25
Greetings. In May 2020 we were gifted (4) 5 yr old hens & a 3 yr old along with a small 4'x4' coop. We love them & their ambiance.

Apparently, as I'm discovering, older hens don't lay too regularly - particularly in the winter. My plan is to build a new larger coop, probably 4'x8' and get a couple dozen week old chicks that we can raise inside until they're old enough to go into the new coop. I'm good at building stuff and am hoping to use this site to figure out what exactly this coop should have and how to go about raising chicks that can then go into the new coop.
 

Attachments

  • 201224 coop.JPG
    201224 coop.JPG
    882.7 KB · Views: 6
  • 201224 hens.JPG
    201224 hens.JPG
    1 MB · Views: 6

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
34,697
282,957
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
Hello and welcome to BYC! :frow Glad you joined.
If you want that many new birds and plan to combine them with your older girls you will need a coop more like 8x16. I house 30 birds in a 8x12 coop but the attached run is predator proof so the pop door remains open 24/7 and the run is basically an extension of the coop
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,726
3,373
391
Hudson, Colorado
Welcome.
After 27 years renting in N Boulder, I finally escaped and ended up out by the airport.
Agree you need to go bigger. The last time I checked anything over 100 sq feet requires a building permit and all the nonsense that goes with that. 8x8 or 8x12 will keep you under that but check first. You look like you are county. I was zoned ag but still had to watch what improvements I made. Making at a walk in is the only way to go.
When you are ready to buy chicks, if you don't want to do shipping, drive up to FC to Feeders Supply. They carry chicks year round and have a great selection. The end of March, they will have their workshop and get in over 1500 chicks just for that weekend. I will have 10 POL pullets early spring. They are 5-7 weeks old dual purpose breeds.
 

GaryClare

In the Brooder
Dec 24, 2020
5
28
25
Hi Tonya, Somewhere I got this spec: "The minimum rule of thumb is about 2 to 3 square feet per chicken inside the chicken coop, and 8 to 10 square feet per chicken in an outside run." So 4'x'8=32sf I'm thinking we might get a dozen hens out of the 24 chicks assuming some will end up being roos & some might not survive their first couple months.

The planned run attached to the coop will be about 21'x12' = 250sf but they'll mostly free range on a fenced in couple acres. It's a 6' high fence & so far we've had no predator trouble - we do have a 4yr old German Shepard roaming the yard which probably helps.

I definitely need to start researching raising chicks up to laying hens so right now it's a total guess. Seems probable about 50% will be roos (maybe the ratio is way different) & some of the 24 might die in their 1st few weeks. I'm totally guessing I could end up with 10 laying hens from the 24 chicks.
 

GaryClare

In the Brooder
Dec 24, 2020
5
28
25
Welcome.
After 27 years renting in N Boulder, I finally escaped and ended up out by the airport.
Agree you need to go bigger. The last time I checked anything over 100 sq feet requires a building permit and all the nonsense that goes with that. 8x8 or 8x12 will keep you under that but check first. You look like you are county. I was zoned ag but still had to watch what improvements I made. Making at a walk in is the only way to go.
When you are ready to buy chicks, if you don't want to do shipping, drive up to FC to Feeders Supply. They carry chicks year round and have a great selection. The end of March, they will have their workshop and get in over 1500 chicks just for that weekend. I will have 10 POL pullets early spring. They are 5-7 weeks old dual purpose breeds.

Great Minds think alike. That's where I was going to go to get the chicks. Wonderful to know on the end of March. We only want to have hens for eggs. What's your opinion on the ratio of chicks that will survive and the ratio on chicks that will be hens?

We're in Boulder County zoned estate residential off Baseline Rd. Basically Boulder County's building Dept is beyond insane, an absolute looney group - there is no working with them on any known issue from experience... I guess it makes them the crazy terrorist you ignore as much as possible.
 

GaryClare

In the Brooder
Dec 24, 2020
5
28
25
Hello and welcome to BYC! :frow Glad you joined.
If you want that many new birds and plan to combine them with your older girls you will need a coop more like 8x16. I house 30 birds in a 8x12 coop but the attached run is predator proof so the pop door remains open 24/7 and the run is basically an extension of the coop
Hi Tonya, Somewhere I got this spec: "The minimum rule of thumb is about 2 to 3 square feet per chicken inside the chicken coop, and 8 to 10 square feet per chicken in an outside run." So 4'x'8=32sf I'm thinking we might get a dozen hens out of the 24 chicks assuming some will end up being roos & some might not survive their first couple months.

The planned run attached to the coop will be about 21'x12' = 250sf but they'll mostly free range on a fenced in couple acres. It's a 6' high fence & so far we've had no predator trouble - we do have a 4yr old German Shepard roaming the yard which probably helps.

I definitely need to start researching raising chicks up to laying hens so right now it's a total guess. Seems probable about 50% will be roos (maybe the ratio is way different) & some of the 24 might die in their 1st few weeks. I'm totally guessing I could end up with 10 laying hens from the 24 chicks.
 

Rldad1

Songster
Jul 13, 2020
346
1,030
176
North Alabama
You need 4 square feet per chicken in your coop or you will more likely have behavior problems. You will need 10 square feet per chicken in your run. Based on this formula you can have 8 chickens in your coop. Your run is sufficient. 2 to 3 sq ft/chicken is usually commercial and is crowded. You may not have predators running around your place now but as soon as there are chickens there WILL BE predators. Plan for them now or you will have to recover your losses later. These folks have given you some good advice.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
34,697
282,957
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
Hi Tonya, Somewhere I got this spec: "The minimum rule of thumb is about 2 to 3 square feet per chicken inside the chicken coop, and 8 to 10 square feet per chicken in an outside run." So 4'x'8=32sf I'm thinking we might get a dozen hens out of the 24 chicks assuming some will end up being roos & some might not survive their first couple months.

The planned run attached to the coop will be about 21'x12' = 250sf but they'll mostly free range on a fenced in couple acres. It's a 6' high fence & so far we've had no predator trouble - we do have a 4yr old German Shepard roaming the yard which probably helps.

I definitely need to start researching raising chicks up to laying hens so right now it's a total guess. Seems probable about 50% will be roos (maybe the ratio is way different) & some of the 24 might die in their 1st few weeks. I'm totally guessing I could end up with 10 laying hens from the 24 chicks.
Buy sexed pullets so your chance of cockerels drops dramatically.
No way would I attempt to keep chickens in a coop at 2 sq ft per bird. 4 minimum unless the run is totally predator proof then I'd do no less than 3.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom