I have a few questions about planning my new coop and run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jsanders, May 15, 2009.

  1. jsanders

    jsanders Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2009
    Calera aka Minooki
    First, I am new to chickens. I have 4 red comet chicks and 6 white big chicks. I live in Alabama so the weather is pretty decent around here except for a good bit of rain. I plan on building the run and coop unders some pine trees for shade. The run is going to be pretty big, about 12 x 12 or so. I am using trees for corners so I'm not exactly sure. I want to make the coop 4 x 8 with 3 or 4 nesting boxes. I am planning on using either 5 gal buckets or those square kitty litter buckets (they look small). I use a lot of straw here so I plan to use that in the house.

    I know I need 4 sq ft/ chicken for the coop but is it going to be crowded under these circumstances to have 3.2 sq ft/ chicken? Will the pines cause problems? Will using trees for corners be a problem?

    I've been reading here a lot lately and it is a life saver to have you guys available to help us new to chickens out. Thank you!
     
  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    The problem with the pine trees for corners is going to be sealing the bottom of the pen against predators. An electric fence might solve that problem. I'm in southeast Arkansas, and except when the buffalo gnats are out, my chickens spend very little time in the coop except for roosting and laying. It never gets cold enough to keep them inside. Occasionally during a really cold rain they will stay inside. So I think for the number of chickens you have it would be ok. The only problem is, what are you going to do when you get more chickens? [​IMG]
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Are the "white big chicks" CornishX (might also be called Cornish Rock) broiler chicks, by any chance? If so that is a whole different kettle o fish and you may have a hard time keeping them alive past a few months as their cardiovascular systems are not designed to live that long.

    I don't think 3.2 ft per chicken in the coop is unreasonably small in a nice climate with good run size, although of course ultimately it comes down to what the *chickens* think. And it sounds like you could enlarge the run if you ever needed to e.g. acquired more chickens. (Although if you *could* easily build the coop larger, that would also help in terms of future chicken population [​IMG])

    To me the main risk of trees as corners is that it's just ASKING for possums and raccoons to go up and over. If you're willing to risk the rare daytime individual, and will shut the chickens up in a secure coop every day at dusk without fail, then I don't think it's unreasonable at all. You can pretty easily digproof them by running a wide apron of 2x4 welded wire mesh on the ground outside the fence (attached securely to the bottom of the run fencing, and pinned or weighted well onto the ground or buried under the turf). You may have to do some creative cutting or fitting to get it to be snug around the corners because of them being trees, but it seems very doable to me.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. jsanders

    jsanders Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2009
    Calera aka Minooki
    Thanks. I am building it in a 4 acre horse pen which we have dog proofed. I am going to use red top horse fence with 2 inch holes and chicken wire for the top for the coop. Why don't they make 6x8 plywood? That would solve a lot of problems![​IMG]

    As far as the white chickens...they are laying hens. The guy said they lay big white eggs. Heck! I'm just going to call them! Maybe they're leghorns. I'll let ya'll know.

    9:30 and I'm already pooped. I just finished getting the garden ready to plant. I'm too old for this self sufficiency thAng![​IMG]
     
  5. jsanders

    jsanders Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2009
    Calera aka Minooki
    They are White Bard Rocks! Woohoo!!!! Now I'm going to find oiut what a Bard Rock is.
     
  6. thedeacon

    thedeacon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Around many of the pine trees, both long & short needle, are dying from insects and desease. If you have the same problem, your coop may not last long.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    White Rocks (also called White Plymouth Rocks -- Barred Rocks are an alternative color of Plymouth Rocks) are nice chickens, I bet you will like them [​IMG] Use search on this site for lotsa information on them [​IMG]

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  8. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If they've got plenty of run, a 4x8 coop should be ok for 10 hens. I've got 11 in my 4x8, and they do wonderfully. (Of course, I've got almost 1000 square feet of run for them...)

    You might also consider roll out nest boxes. Pretty easy to make, and you can be assured of clean eggs.

    I've got plans on my coop page . Hope this helps.
     

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