Increasing the usable space in my coop and making it safer from digging predators

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BoiseChik, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. BoiseChik

    BoiseChik Chirping

    226
    12
    78
    Jul 11, 2013
    Boise Idaho
    Hello! A couple questions for all you seasoned chicken owners. We bought a small 'red barn' coop from D&B. It is 3' x 7' and has an enclosed coop attached to a wire mesh yard. It is open on the bottom and sits on bare dirt. I am considering turning it on its side and using a staple gun to attach a wire mesh bottom on it, to protect from predators digging underneath. Once the coop is righted, I think I will shovel dirt in on top of the wire, so they can still scratch in the dirt and eat compost etc. I am also going to add a shelf or a 'half story' in both the yard and coop because it is quite tall, maybe 4' tall, to add more usable space for my hens. We have quite a few chicks now (12 - yikes! I have a chick buying addiction) but at least three are looking like roosters, and will have to find new homes, and I have promised not to buy anymore.

    I would love to hear honest feedback or ideas about my coop plan! ;-]
     
  2. Baymule

    Baymule Songster 8 Years

    2,118
    115
    236
    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    Putting wire on the bottom would be a good idea. Your space does sound a little small. What are the measurements on the run. Adding another level sounds like a good idea too. Chicken math got you didn't it? [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. BoiseChik

    BoiseChik Chirping

    226
    12
    78
    Jul 11, 2013
    Boise Idaho
    Ok here are some pictures of the coop. It is so cute, but it is a bit small. We will probably change up in the future. I didn't think I was going to fall so hard for having chickens! I literally LOVE IT! The hen house is 3' x 3' x 3' and you can see the nesting boxes stick out the side, and so are additional space from the measurements mentioned above. The nesting boxes are 3' long, 1' tall and 1' deep. My plan was to install an "L" shaped shelf that runs the length of two sides and is 12" from the ceiling and 12" deep, with a small raised edge piece on it to hold in sawdust and/or eggs.
    The attached yard is 3' long x 3' wide x 4' tall. My plan in the yard was to install a shelf 16" from the ceiling, so a little less than 3' from the ground, and about 1' deep, up against the back wall.
    My hope with all this, is to provide lots of usable space for our hens to hang out, nest and sleep. This coop is designed to house less chickens than I have, but my hope is that with the increased usable space it will work. I should also mention the chickens are allowed to free range several hours a day or even all day. We only have them in the coop with the door closed when we aren't home.
    So, am I crazy or on the right track? How do my modification ideas sound? ;-D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Building the coop with some helpers.
    [​IMG]
    In it's spot in the garden.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Not fully assembled, but this shows the basic structure.
     
  4. Baymule

    Baymule Songster 8 Years

    2,118
    115
    236
    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    Even with your modifications, that is a small space for 12 chickens. Could you possibly add onto the run? I don't know how handy you are, but just build it safe for your girls. I built a 8'7' coop, then added a 8'x12' run to it.......chicken math got me. I am at my absolute limit now...... twenty-seven........it doesn't sound like a lot if you say it real fast. [​IMG] And this is after butchering 9 roosters, giving 2 roosters away and swapping 4 pullets for hay!

    Your coop is real cute and the garden area looks nice too!

    First I built the coop.

    [​IMG]

    Then because I wanted more chickens, I built the run.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. farmgirlroots

    farmgirlroots Chirping

    164
    20
    91
    Apr 20, 2013
    Oregon
    My Coop
    With the location you have your coop in you could easily utilize the wood fence seen in the background as two sides, add the other two sides using welded fencing wire and you'd have a nice big rectangular chicken run surrounding your current set up. I agree that with that many chickens the space you have currently is just so small.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. BoiseChik

    BoiseChik Chirping

    226
    12
    78
    Jul 11, 2013
    Boise Idaho
    Thanks guys, for the input and I enjoyed the pics of the hen house and new run attached. Safety for the chickens, is my top priority! Our girls are definitely pets, each have names, and are very tame and friendly. That's why I was going to put the wire mesh (hardware cloth) on the bottom of the coop. I might be able to talk my husband into making a bigger run for them too. Do you think this is absolutely necessary if they get free run of our whole backyard for most of the day? Do you think free ranging in our backyard is too dangerous for them? (I have a gate with a latch and am very careful about keeping dogs away.)
    Here's a specific question about building the second story. My nesting boxes are 12" deep and 12" tall, so I thought I could install the shelf with similar dimensions, 12" from the ceiling and 12" deep. They would have no problem flying up there right? It would be about 2' up in the coop and about 3' up in the yard. Right now, I have 6, ten week old chicks living in there, and one is a rooster, I'm pretty sure. You can check my thread in the "What gender/breed" section about my 10 week old Buff Orpington. Looks like a rooster to me...
    So they sleep in the coop at night and free range our back yard during the day.
    Then I also have a group of six, 4 to 6 week old chicks that are still in a brooder box at night and free range during the day. Surprisingly, the two groups do well both free ranging in my backyard at the same time. Now two of the 4 week olds look like roosters to a friend of mine, but that is yet to be determined. You can check out my thread about them, under the Gender section too. A SL Wynadotte and BO. So, I probably have 9 or 10 hens, give or take. Any roosters have to go, unfortunately.
    Here are some pics of the little chicks. Two Light Brahmas - Pearl and Opal, One Buff Orpington - Hazel, One Silver Lace Wynadotte - Lacey, One Black Sex Link - Herriot, and One Black Australop - Veronica
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Baymule

    Baymule Songster 8 Years

    2,118
    115
    236
    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    Awww.......you have some pretty babies! [​IMG]They are such a joy aren't they?
     
  8. BoiseChik

    BoiseChik Chirping

    226
    12
    78
    Jul 11, 2013
    Boise Idaho
    Yes I just love them!
     
  9. BoiseChik

    BoiseChik Chirping

    226
    12
    78
    Jul 11, 2013
    Boise Idaho
    Cool News! Update to my Coop Remodel project. My husband is a professional builder and has informed me that we are not 'adding shelves' to make a 2nd story, we are doubling the size of the hen house! I like his idea much better and really will be a lot more space for our girls! I'll keep you posted on how it goes!
     
  10. farmgirlroots

    farmgirlroots Chirping

    164
    20
    91
    Apr 20, 2013
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Would love to see pics when he's got it done!
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: