Is this yours? Or, how many chickens would fit?


9 Years
Feb 8, 2010
We've been scouring the board, drinking in all the great info here. If it weren't for everything I've learned on this board, I never thought I could pull off having chickens in Manhattan. Not Manhattan, Kansas, but Manhattan, NY!

That's right, I'm starting a small flock here in New York City.

Before you ask, yes, we have a backyard and yes, our building allows pets. We've researched all the laws and we are good to go (as long as the chicks are sexed correctly.)

We're getting 3 chicks next week- SLW, Barred Rock, and an EE. They're coming from MPC. Without all the reviews here I never would have mail ordered birds. Saltwater fish is another story though. Both my GF and I have bought fish, corals, snails, etc, by mail order. So when we thought about 'mailing baby chicks' we thought, "It works for fish, and they need to stay in water. Chickens must be much easier to ship."

The brooder is almost finished. All I have to do is get the roll of hardware cloth for the coop and cut a small chunk for the top of the rubbermaid container. The birds get here next week, which means I have about 6 weeks to build a coop before they go outside. I'm working out of town for three of those weeks, so I better get crackin!

Although we have a back yard, I'd rather not fill it with the coop. Our whole backyard is 28x16. (Yes, my back yard is bigger than some of my friends' NYC apartments.) Over half is patio/concrete. The other half is grass-ish, and split about 60/40 with a high section and a low section. The coop will go in the high section, with the possibility of moving around the yard. The birds will be able to free range around the yard while we're out there, so moving the coop might be a bit ambitious.

The coop has to look good as well. I'd love to build the coop out of 100% reclaimed materials, both to save the trees and save the cash. But since it has to pass as 'not-be-ugly-enough-to-bother-the-neighbors,' I'll be building the exterior with new materials. The old "Good, Fast, and Cheap-pick two," adage works here. I only have a limited time to search trash pickup days for material, so I'll end up buying much more than I'd like.

While searching online, I found this coop:

I really like the non-peaked roof, because it gives me more space for container gardening. We only have a bit of space, and we want to make the most use of it we can.

The pictured coop looks perfect for what we want to do. If you know whose coop it is, we'd love to hear about how it's working, how many birds are in it, ect.

I'm thinking I can build one about 3x3x3 and have a 3x4' run. With the section below the actual coop, the run will be 4x7.

Do you think it's enough space for 3 full sized hens, and possibly one Silkie banty (which might be added later.)

Any other suggestions for space will help.

You're pushing it on space, honestly. If you're buying new materials anyway, go 4x4 for the coop and 4x8 for the run. You'll have less cutting/waste and the birds will be much happier. It gives your girls nearly twice the coop space.

Congrats on getting chickens in NYC!!!
4x7 is 28 square feet of run space, and that's plenty for 3 chickens.

Here's the possumqueen take: You've got a little bit of "grassish space" that you can put a run on. Go for it. But can you shift that thing around some? Because if you can, you can use it to build up your soil and really make things grow! Chickens produce poo, which, mixed with leaves or even shredded paper, will make some of the best soil in the world!!! Your container garden could easily cover over your patio and green up your back yard.

How is your back yard contained? Is it fenced? Walled? If the girls could get out for some supervised excursions around the yard they'll do better, and so will the yard.

You've got the makings for a great experience, bad_coffee (and a great name, too!
) AND you've come to the right place!
Agreed. You don't want to be back here in a few months trying to get a feather picking problem under control. I'd also hesitate to add the silky later. Lots of people on here have mixed flocks without problems, BUT introducing new chickens can be tough and introducing a bantam to LF when you're already pushing it for space is IMO a losing proposition. If you really want the bantam order it now so they can all grow up together AND take sherrydeanne's advice on coop size.

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Figure on around 2.5 sq per standard bird so for ur crew I would figure something around 3x3 for urs it would be 9 sq ft. then they'd have some elbow room. make sure if you can't get in the coop you need to be able to reach every area for cleaning. just a thought
good luck
Thanks all for the suggestions.

In no particular order, here's some answers.

We plan on letting the birds out in the yard whenever we're around. I expect them to fertilize well, and keep the bugs off my veggie plants. Most of the pots for the garden will be on the concrete part of the yard. I'll most likely build shelves to give me even more room for pots.

our back yard is pretty fenced in. Our building is 5 stories, two other sides are fenced in by a stone-walled church that's 50' tall. The last side is a 6' privacy fence between our yard and the next buiding. After their yard, it's another concrete wall straight up for a while. The chickens will only end up in our yard or the neighbors.

Moving the coop/run will be kind of tough because of the step. Unless I build a ramp down, moving the coop will take at least three people. If I were going to do tractor style, I'd want to move the coop every other day or so. It might get a little tiresome asking friends to "come over and help move the coop." That's mostly the reason I said moving the coop will be ambitious.

Only the larger section of yard could hold a 8x4 run. If I put it in the lower section, there's not going to be room for the coop as well. So the run and the coop would be separate. I know 8x4 sheets of ply cut up into 4x4's well without waste, but a 4x4x4 coop is going to look massive in our yard. This runs into the 'don't P off the neighbors' rule. The less it looks like a coop the better we'll be. I've been building things all my life (Dad taught me how to us a table saw when I was 10.) So I'm not worried about design/construction. I can build a 3' coop as efficiently as I can build a 4' coop. The 1' cutoffs from the ply can become doors, braces, frames, nesting boxs, etc. Plus there's always projects on the "honey-do" list that the leftover wood could be used for. I think by building a 3' coop I can actually buy less wood, and still get the job done.

I might be able to do a 3x4 coop, and just re-configure the run. I've got to wait out the current blizzard and take a tape measure out back. Then I'll have some final dimensions.

That exact pic of the green roof is what gave me the idea to use the top for gardening. I figure I can put pots up there for two good reasons. the growing plants will provide shade for the top of the coop, and the plants will be chest-high. I'm 6'2 and working on the ground is a PITA. I'm not lazy, it's just physics!

That is the exact coop we have. I added a door to the pop hole but other then that it is as it was brought.

Our 4 Brown Sex-Link Chickens are let out everyday into the garden to do as they please and then tucked away at night. They all huddle up on the roosts and seem to be really happy (Got my favourite that follows me round every where)

We too are in a residential area so wanted something adequate and that also looks the part.

Good luck with your build

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