Looking to raise chickens and build first coop

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by robcam817, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. robcam817

    robcam817 Chirping

    Apr 13, 2019
    Looking to raise 12-24 egg layers here in NW Montana on 5 acres. Doing lots of research on birds and buildings. I work from home so have plenty of time to devote. It's just myself and the wife, (and 2 rambunctious rotten rotties...;-). I suspect I'll need to teach them not to hunt/kill/eat the birds (that's what e-collars are for).

    Looking at the Carolina Coops right now. Seems kinda pricey but well made. I don't have any experience building from scratch but am pretty good with my hands. There seems to be no shortage of coop building vids out there too...

    This one looks good too but what do I know. And not sure the largest size will support my 12-24 planned brood.

    Thinking about going with Australorps because they seem to be well suited to cold climates, are good layers and can be eaten as well.

    Thanks in advance for any replies and look forward to being a part of this community.

  2. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    Welcome Rob!

    I had zero building skills and I managed to build a coop.
    I bet you you could figure out how to build one.
  3. Jbum

    Jbum Songster

    Apr 10, 2019
    Mid Michigan

    You can do it!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2019
    KLIL, rjohns39, Pork Pie and 7 others like this.
  4. ClucksAndCombs

    ClucksAndCombs Crowing

    Apr 19, 2018
    New England
    Welcome to BYC!:frow

    Feel free to ask questions, there are so many wonderful and knowledgeable people who will answer them :)

    Good luck with your future flock and building your coop!
    KLIL, rjohns39, Pork Pie and 8 others like this.
  5. Melky

    Melky Spring has sprung!

    Jul 23, 2018
    Edgewood, KY
    My Coop
    Look in coop pages here if want to build. Can sometimes find free plans online. I love Carolina coops though too. Just remember sq ft is important. 4 sq ft per bird in coop and 10 sq ft per bird in run min. Get what you want. May need a barn erected for the number with attached run space. Australorps are good layers. Have fun! Welcome to BYC! :welcome:bun
    KLIL, rjohns39, Pork Pie and 7 others like this.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hello, Rob, and welcome to BYC. When it comes to coops 'bigger is better'.
    KLIL, rjohns39, Pork Pie and 6 others like this.
  7. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    David, Chiriquí, Panama
    Montana... cold country... deep litter bedding. Consider how you plan to deal with frozen waterers. You'll want electricity in their coop for lights, and at least one electrical outlet for an optional heater, incubator, or brooder. Chicken math... 12 to 24 hens, plus a rooster or two, get lucky with a broody hen, or four... 60 birds before ya know it... plan for it, it happens to all of us! Lots of predators in your neck of the woods, so do your best to predator proof their home and consider aerial attacks too. Costs less to build a good fence the first time, than one 'that will do' until it doesn't.
    Couldn't agree more with sourland, come cold season, your flock will be spending a lot of time in their coop. A large coop will allow your birds to avoid any of them that are suffering 'cabin fever' (overall grumpiness and picking fights).
    The minimum rule of thumb is about 2 to 3 square feet per chicken inside the chicken coop, more for you as it's unlikely they'll want to use a run in the winter for a long time, and 8 to 10 square feet per chicken in an outside run. More square footage is better. Skimping on space requirements for a flock of chickens can cause stress, cannibalism, pecking, and sometimes even death. With 5 acres, you may decide to free range them in good weather, but expect some losses if you do. Enjoy your flock!
    KLIL, rjohns39, Pork Pie and 6 others like this.
  8. crazy4ChickensNducks

    crazy4ChickensNducks Songster

    Dec 16, 2018
    west, michigan
    The large over EZ coop can only hold a max of 8 hens. I would build a coop. And remember a MINIMUM of 4sqft.
    KLIL, rjohns39, Pork Pie and 4 others like this.
  9. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

    Feb 23, 2018
    I think you should build your own! I had no building experience either and I am 5’2” tall woman. I built my coop and run entirely by myself.
    KLIL, rjohns39, Azmomm and 6 others like this.
  10. Meg-in-MT

    Meg-in-MT Free Ranging

    Jan 29, 2018
    SW Montana
    Hello! Welcome to BYC, fellow Montanan!! :frow

    My australorps do great here, along with many others. Not sure about the Carolina coop, but generally prebuilt coops aren't that great. If you can build, you're better off.

    Feel free to check out the links below for some interesting reading. Good luck on your adventures!
    KLIL, rjohns39, Pork Pie and 5 others like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: