I'd like an opinion on this please?

TreeHuggerz75

Hatching
8 Years
Mar 8, 2011
8
0
7
So I'm not very handy, in fact the very thought of giving me any sharp impliments scares 3 years off of my DH.....so we've talked about getting a few chickens (3 or 4) and found a plan for a "stealth" coop on Ebay (again, I'm not very handy, so keep this in mind) I've found a "Bunny Barn" I like the design, but I'm afraid that it wouldn't be large enough for my Guinea Pigs, let alone 3 to 4 hens?

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=20279

I'd appreciate any advice, I also like the Eglus on Omlet.net, but not certain those would hold up to any amount of wind! Plus I live at a higher altitude, so it doesn't seem very warm, the average temp here at night in the peak of summer is 40f.
 

Chicken0Boy

Songster
9 Years
Feb 27, 2010
1,142
3
161
Upstate of South Carolina
Persoanlly, that is WAY to small for 3-4 hens. For that # of hens a 4x5 coop would do, because you will need some extra space for nest boxes, feeders, waterers, etc. For the run a 5x8 run would work reasonably well.
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glad_hundegard

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 9, 2011
52
0
29
I hate to say it, but none of the rabbit hutches will be big enough. You could probably fit a pair of bantams in there, but that would be the max. Can I recommend that you either look at dog houses (like the ones for big dogs that are made to go outside) and prepare for a few modifications, or look at other pre-fab coops.

Here's a link: http://henspa.com/
*My parents had the Henhaven and it fit three hens comfortably, although they free ranged on 2 acres all day. I see the Henhaven is actually on sale right now... You could go to your local hardware store and get a chainlink dog run, then plop in the Henhaven or modified dog house and you'd be set. Minimal power tools!

Good luck! And
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from another newbie!
 

glad_hundegard

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 9, 2011
52
0
29
I re-read your post... how cold does it get where you are in the winter? How bad are the winds, as in mph? Chickens are pretty cold hardy, but if you're going with an uninsulated prefab coop you're going to want to get some especially cold hardy breeds of chicken. Just my 2 cents.
 

TreeHuggerz75

Hatching
8 Years
Mar 8, 2011
8
0
7
I live in Upstate PA, 30 minutes from the NY state border, this winter it was below 20, and we got 145in of snow. Winds can get up to 60mph, we are at just above 2000ft elevation.

So it's a very small for a coop, I found a site with prefab coops, which we'll have to add insulation to, and Mother Earth News (the mag where I discovered my love of all things Chicken!) has some plans. Our neighbor graciously offered to help build it, in exchange for some eggs every now and then, and he'll get some insulation left over from work, he also suggested using a basking light in the coop at night during the summer nights, and the winter.

I do appreciate all of your advice, I never knew that I could also buy prefab coops, which is awesome!

I'd really like 2 Ameraucana's and maybe a Sumatra. My DH wants a silkie, since a guy outside of town has them!
 
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glad_hundegard

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 9, 2011
52
0
29
Helpful neighbors are awesome! It sounds like everything will turn out for the best, you'll be much better off with a slightly bigger coop and you'll definitely be better off with some insulation. Just be careful if you decide to add the heat lamp, make sure there are no electrical hazards. I honestly think you'd be fine without it unless it was going to be a really, really cold night.

I don't know much about the Sumatras or Silkies, but sometimes bigger chickens will pick on a bantam... just food for thought. And hopefully someone with more experience will chime in.
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Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
597
448
South Georgia
I'd suggest doing some reading on here before adding heat at 40 degrees. Chickens are much hardier than that, coming with their own down coats as they do. It's heat they have trouble with, can actually die at 100F. You might decide after some research to give them a little heat in winter, but I don't think you'll be turning it on in the summer at all. Also, they really need more indoor space than the minimum when in a climate where they are likely to stay in all day in winter; they don't like snow or a lot of wind; mine will go in on a windy day when it's 60 degrees just to get out of the wind, I'm sure.

Read here, some excellent advice:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-winter-coop-temperatures She also has an excellent ventilation page linked there.

Now don't go getting in a big fight with that very helpful neighbor!
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MANNA-PRO

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