My 12x12 wire coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by WoundedEgo, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. WoundedEgo

    WoundedEgo Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Oct 1, 2008
    Alabama
    Hi, I'm new to chickens.

    When I bought my land it already had a run down 12x12 wire "coop" - for what kind of animal(s) I do not know. The wire is not "chicken wire" (the 1" octagons) but rather rectangles (about 2 inches by 4, I think).

    Inside the coop have grown many thin trees and shrubs.

    What I am wondering is:

    * do I have to wrap the coop in chicken wire or can I just use what is there?

    * won't the chickens enjoy the trees for shade and roosting, as well as visual interest, places to get privacy? Or should I clear it out?

    * there is no kind of "box" in the place. Would a garbage can tipped on its side make a nice spot for a chicken?

    * how many chickens would be happy sharing a 12x12 coop?

    * if I had a goat or a pig, would they cohabitate well with chickens?

    Many thanks!

    Bill Ross aka WoundedEgo.com
     
  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

    7,096
    13
    261
    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    My coop is made out of an old dog kennel that's 10x10. I put a tarp over the top and around 1/2 of it for shade and protection. I have an old dog house as a box, but I'm sure a garbage can would work. I have 7 chickens in there and they don't seem cramped at all. Hope this helps!
     
  3. whatsup chickenbutt

    whatsup chickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

    317
    3
    131
    Sep 9, 2008
    heres what Ive learned
    my chickens enjoyed their run for a couple of months before they discovered that they can fly out and rather enjoy it out there. My fence around my chicken yard is 4 ft high. they do come back in the evenings, but im not sure its so safe for them to run around. I may have to cover my yard with poultry netting, or clip their wings. I added a second section to my yard, which was in the condition yours is, minus the trees. It was an old fenced animal yard of some sort, about 6x10. They love this area, because its shaded. It took them all of about a week to break down any hills, weeds, bushes, etc, so that it is now pretty flat. They still spend most of their time there lounging and that is where they prefer their dust baths. I originally added this area to house 4 new birds, who needed to recover and I gave them only a plastic tree container from the nursery and a piece of plywood over it for their nest box, which they love, and dont even bother to go into the large enclosed coop area. None of them go into the large tree (yet!). Im not sure how many birds you can house in your space, but looking at my 6x10 area, I think I could put 8 or 10 birds in there just fine, and they would be happy.
    My opinion is leave your yard the way it is, and let them do with it what they want. Your biggest concern is keeping it predator proof and keeping your chickens in, if thats what you want to do.
     
  4. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    [​IMG]

    So glad to have you here! [​IMG]

    Well they need a place to be able to get out of the wind and rain, so ideally you need a makeshift coop or "house" that you can close up. You need ventilation but not wind blowing directly on them. If you can close them up at night then if a predator broke into the run, then it still couldn't get your chickens. [​IMG]
    You can keep the wire you have but add something like hardware cloth (has very small openings) around the bottom 3 feet of the current wire to prevent raccoons from reaching in and grabbing a chicken. (they will tear them apart through the wire to eat them [​IMG] )
    You will need to make sure the fence is buried into the ground at least 10 inches or so to prevent foxes and the like from digging under your fence and getting your chickens.
    Ideally you should cover the top with bird netting or fencing if it is not already covered. This will prevent hawks and other wild birds from getting in.
    You will need chick feed if they are babies, and layer feed if they are 18 weeks or older. They need free choice feed at all times - only give scratch or cracked corn occasionally as a treat.
    They need fresh water at all times.
    Thats all I can think of right now.
    Good luck... [​IMG]
    ~Rebecca
     
  5. whatsup chickenbutt

    whatsup chickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

    317
    3
    131
    Sep 9, 2008
    one other thing, we had a chicken and a pig live together for about a year and they were best of friends. the chicken would ride around on the pigs back all the time. although your space would be a little cramped for a pig and chickens. My pig was huge!!!!
     
  6. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    Oh and I think the run would accomodate 15 chickens, but of course you have to think about how many the coop will hold too!
    ~Rebecca
     
  7. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

    508
    4
    141
    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    Sounds like if you upgrade the wire and give them some shelter you should be most of the way there :) I wouldn't put a goat in there with them unless their food is in their house where the goat can't get to it- my goat's main goal in life is to burgle the chicken coop storage area every time I try to open it as he knows there's food in there (and no, he's not starved lol). As for pigs, I'd be worried they might get hungry and eat your girls.
     
  8. WoundedEgo

    WoundedEgo Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Oct 1, 2008
    Alabama
    Thanks for this useful info.

    On the hardware cloth - do I need 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2" mesh?

    And if I get 3' height mesh and bury it 10", will that be tall enough ? I believe the current wire is 4 feet tall.

    Also, I have 2 cats and 2 dogs, none of whom I trust. Will the chickens feel "cooped up" if I don't ever let them out of the 12x12? Or is that enough space for them to not feel that their world is too small?

    Also, will they cohabitat well with rabbits and/or guinea pigs, and other birds, such as ducks?

    Thanks,
     
  9. whatsup chickenbutt

    whatsup chickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

    317
    3
    131
    Sep 9, 2008
    fyi on the dog and cat situation
    my cat couldnt care less about the chickens. she completely ignores them, I think they are too big for her to take on, and she is an avid mouser, and i have a dog who killed the neighbors chicken, though didnt eat it, so Ive been slowly trying to get him accustomed to the chickens, but after two months, they are starting to get out, and I have no choice but to train him to leave them alone. He loves to chase, so its been no easy task, but i find that it helps if I let him nose into the coop when i go in there, and now that the girls are getting out, i go out there and try to look preoccupied to see how he behaves. several times of praise when he ignores them and snapping at him if he focuses on them too much seems to be working. Hes pretty much lost interest in them (pretty much..), and I just looked out there now and he is laying in the yard while one is about 15 feet away from him scratching around. He is looking at her, but also looking at other things so he doesnt seem to be focused on her. I praised him again, from the window, just so he has the sense that Im always watching. We'll see. Theres not a whole lot else i can do right now, but i am seeing great progress, and feel reletively confident with him. I just dont have the option of fully enclosing my chicken yard right now.
     
  10. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    [​IMG]

    I have a question after reading this thread.

    It sounds like what you are describing is a 12 x 12 run. Or is that a 12 x 12 building?

    If you are talking about an open run enclosed with wire, then you'd need a warm building (coop) for the chickens to nest/lay eggs, roost at night, and eat/drink.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by