Is there anyone that can offer advice and what about the feed?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sangel4you, May 14, 2009.

  1. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I think we have decided that our coop for our current 5 chicks (and we're hoping to add 2-3 more) is going to be 8'x3' and about 5' high. The run is going to be 8x8, and they will VERY occasionally be allowed to free range but not often seeing as how we don't live where we are building their coop. Here's the kicker... Their coop is actually inside the bottom of an old barn that is...."freshair"...meaning all the windows and doors are knocked out so it's basically open to outside with the exception of they wont get as much wind (its very windy here) and they won't get snow or rain on top of their coop. Any suggestions how I could make this work a little better with this situation? I don't plan on putting a floor in the run because it will actually be hay ontop of old dirt on top of a cement stall floor- will this be safe? I also haven't decided if nesting boxes will jut out or not yet. and also, with this situation, do you think I need to allow space inside for their food and water, or can I leave it hanging in the run? Would you suggest I make the pop door able to be closed or should I leave it open allowing them to come and go as they please since they will in a way be "inside"? Sorry for all the questions, this situation is a little different and I dont know where to start! Thanks!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    The guideline usually used here is 4 sq ft per bird in coop and 10 sq ft per bird in run. For 8 chickens that would be 32 and 80, or a 4x8 coop and an 8x10 run, for example. And it is also often pointed out that these are minimum figures. Sounds like they will spend most of their life not having access to the outdoors, so being a little crowded is asking for disaster, I would think.

    Also, materials like OSB or plywood come in 4x8 sheets; why cut off a foot? Same for the height, if you are going 5', why not go a little more so you can stand?

    If the coop and run are secured to the concrete, you should not need a pop door, and it would not matter where food and water are.
     
  3. chickens3

    chickens3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That will work for 8 chickens.
     
  4. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks ddawn and chickens3... To answer your question, I actually can and now that I'm thinking about it probably will go a bit higher, but cannot go any wider or longer and their entire area is inside a 8 X10 stall and I was going to raise the coop off the ground in a playhouse style to give them more roaming room underneath. I didn't want the coop to take up too much of their run area, although now that I am thinking about it, if I gave them 5 feet with natural light and complete height and 5 feet underneath the coop that wouldnt be so bad right as long as the coop is 2-3 feet off the ground? Also since they will will techinically inside out of the direct elements I'm going to add some windows- what materials work? And besides some hardward cloth, would I really need a roof over top the coop? I was thinking this would just provide more ventillation? Would that be safe for them? Just a thought... I wish I could show you what I mean before it's built! Lol
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Believe I'd make the whole coop 1/2" hardware cloth or smaller, except the floor; sounds like part of the coop walls will be solid anyway as they will be the side or back of the stall. You can always add some solid wood (or whatever) panels for warmth next winter if needed, and this would give them good air movement for summer. You need good strong fine mesh wire for predators, and it's not cheap, but then neither are plywood and OSB, and if you use these, they also need to be well sealed with paint or whatever. I agree, I'd have the coop at least 2' off the ground so the whole stall becomes the run; 3' would make it easier for you to get under to clean, find hidden eggs, catch chickens, etc., as well as a better work height for cleaning inside the coop.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2009
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    You could use a couple of milk crates or kitty litter boxes or anything similar for nest boxes, and slide them in/out from under the coop. You only need two. A single old dresser drawer would also work fine; it would be a community type nest. Bet they would like that, as they often like their nest to feel a bit hidden from view; in the woods they will make them under a pile of fallen branches, for example.
     
  7. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    great! Thanks! So I went and measured the stall this evening and it is def 8 feet deep and 5 feet wide, and 7 feet tall. So my plan is now being drawn out with these dimensions (only to 6 feet tall tho as I am barely 5 foot! lol) I am going to make the entire run the size of the stall, with my coop being over 1/2 of it so the coop will be 5x5 roughly with the nest boxes out the side or underneath. I also am going to take your advice and bring it three feet off the ground. my concern is, am I still taking up too much of their "sky" space with the coop? Thanks for all the advice so far!
     
  8. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    still wondering if I need a ceiling or if I should cover it with hardward cloth and let it be since it's technically inside?
     

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