Is there room in the inn?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by canofstew, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. canofstew

    canofstew Out Of The Brooder

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    We've got six chicks, getting their coop built this weekend. Our original plans were for a 3x4 coop with 2 nesting boxes included in that measure, and two roosting poles. They'll be free-rangers during the day and will go in at dusk. There will also be a run, appx. 3x5 in the front of the coop. Is that enough room when the girls get out into the world, or do we need a last minute revision?
    ALSO- my husband and I have disagreed on this, but: Do you actually shut the girls in the enclosed coop at night, or is it sufficient to just put them inside the run and they'll see themselves inside the coop when they're ready for bed? Thanks in advance for your help. (This novice appreciates it)
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  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Standard fowl should have 4 square feet of floor space in the coop, and 10 in the run, so a3x4 coop would comfortably hold 3 birds. Remember that in bad weather they may spend most of their time inside.

    And bigger is always better, just in case you decide to add just a few more.

    If your run is completely predator proof and secure, you can leave the pop door open at night, but you really have to be sure it is completely secure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  3. QuietPony

    QuietPony Chillin' With My Peeps

    I imagine you will want to secure them up at night in a predator proof coop.
    I know I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if mine were not locked up safe from hungry little coop robbers.

    Also, I'm thinking you're going to want to go bigger on both your coop and your run. Bigger is always better.
    Unless you have little bitty chickens, which I did not research so I don't know what kind of space they need.

    Also, will they be in the run all day or were they going to have free range roaming room all day?
     
  4. canofstew

    canofstew Out Of The Brooder

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    They're going to free range during the day- I hadn't thought about the whole "bad weather, stay inside" part of things... I'll have him add another 3x4 section in that case :)
     
  5. noitulover

    noitulover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This depends on several things!

    1. When you say free-range, do you mean in the run? If so, this is nowhere near enough room at all. If you mean they get to run free over the whole yard, acre, or whatever space, all day, then that might be okay for the moment. (In my opinion it is still not enough room.) It is recommended that you have 4SF per chicken in the coop and 6SF in the run, but most chicken owners agree that is only the bare minimum.

    2. Currently, we do not shut the run doors at night, but our entire run is encased in 1/4" and 1/2" hardware cloth. The hardware cloth is buried in the ground and rocks have been laid around the entire thing to prevent animals from digging in. If your coop and run are 100% secure, I think it is okay to not shut the doors to the run. (Chicken wire or netting is not sufficient protection.) Also, at first you may have to encourage them to go inside at night, if they are not used to it, but eventually they will see themselves inside when it starts to get dark.
     
  6. canofstew

    canofstew Out Of The Brooder

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    Free-range means run about the property. Dually noted on the shutting in at night. I am for them being locked in the box as we've got racoons that aren't scared of anything... husband says they'll be fine inside the confines of the run- but I'll have to show him these posts! When you first put them out, I've heard the consensus is to leave them shut up in the coop for a couple days so they are aware that it's home. Is that true?
     
  7. noitulover

    noitulover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes definitely leave them in a few days. When we first put ours in the coop with the big girls, they have to stay in the coop for a day or two. Then we let them into the run for a few days to a week or more. Then we let them free range in small increments. Eventually when we see that they aren't just running away and they know how to put themselves back int he coop, we'll let them out like everyone else.
     
  8. noitulover

    noitulover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You will also need a coop/run large enough for when they are on (what we call) "lockdown". We had a hawk move in recently and we couldn't let our chickens out for a few weeks (without watching them) or we'd lose one to that nasty thing.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Do some reading in the Predators and Pests forum too.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Keeping them in the coop for a couple of days is fine... provided it has plenty of natural light and ventilation. Cover windows and other ventilation with hardware cloth to keep racoons out. I would also very much encourage locking them in at night unless your run is seriously Fort Knox. Racoons are incredibly strong animals and they will search for any place they can rip a hole and get in.

    As far as the size of the coop and run for 6 standard chickens.....I'd definitely go larger.
     

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