Looking for first coop and run design advice in Souteastern NC.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by vegaburm, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. vegaburm

    vegaburm Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2009
    Hey all!

    I'm in Southeastern North Carolina. We have hot summers here (most days 90-105) and mild winters (maybe 2 or three days where it snows and 20 or so id REALLY cold). We are looking at adding some chickens and Guinea hens to our family. We want to make their home as best we can to start, and of course spend as little as possible. I am thinking maybe 8-12 hens right now and maybe 4 Guineas that we'll train to roost with the hens at night, but will have freedom to fly out of the pen and free range during the day. We're thinking a coop around 8X8. Here are my current questions.....

    Is there a standard for how big the run needs to be? I've found guidlines for the coop, but are there any for the run? What would be recommended?

    Are there any plants I could plant inside the run that the chickens wouldn't kill, but would give them some shade and a place to hide?

    Is there a benefit to having a rooster? We only want the eggs, we aren't planning to hatch any chicks out or raise them for meat. I hears that the roosters can have issues with the guinea males, so figured we'd just go with no rooster.

    For breeds I am currently looking at Easter Eggers, Astralorps, and favorolles. (sorry if I butchered any of those) We want egg producers with temperaments that won't scare my young kids and I figured the various colors of eggs would be fun for them.

    Will love any advice you guys can give! also, if anyone know where to get Guinea eggs or peeps in small numbers, like a dozen or less, I'd love to know that too. I don't need 25 of them!

  2. Scoop

    Scoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2009
    Central PA
    My first advice is to build way bigger than what you need for now. I tell everyone that. You'll be the next chicken addict and then need more space. Our first coop was 4X7 and we had 12 chickens in there to start. That was too crowded. They couldn't flap their wings without hitting another chicken. We culled 5 and we really felt better about how comfortable they were. Our run is at least double the size of the coop, maybe more. We tried to give them lots of room to flap their wings and take a dust bath.

    We like to have a couple of roosters because we like to hear the crowing.

    As far as breeds that are more docile, we have heard good things about Dominiques and got 2 chicks this year. Even as chicks you notice a difference with the breeds. The Dominiques are not as hyper. They seem to always wait for others to eat before they approach the food dish. They don't like the mad rush! Our Blue Cochin chicks are similar in personality.
  3. tn chick

    tn chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 19, 2008
    SW Tennessee
    Quote:yep yep great advice we have resized a coop a few times now as i started with 4 then got 15 babies and now have more coming they are very addictive BIG BIG BIG is all i can say say the head banging [​IMG]
    and doesnt help when the builder thats saying this is all me decides he wants 2 more breeds
  4. jhart101

    jhart101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    Clayton, NC
    Hi Beth and [​IMG] from Clayton, NC...this is a great place to get really good info.
    We too are building our first coop and the wealth of information you can get just by reading the posts [​IMG] (mostly at work!!!) will take you far. Good luck and have fun!

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