My coop and run build!

JoeInPA

Songster
Aug 25, 2019
311
738
151
Western Pennsylvania
So I have 5 chicks, 2 that are 6 weeks old and 3 that are only days old. I built an 8' by 8' by 4' tall run last week and the two older birds have been going outside every day, but I'm still bringing them back in the garage and putting them in their 50 gallon Rubbermaid bin brooder at night. Here is the run-

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I've been slacking on building the coop but I finally started it last night and did some more work today. It's coming along nicely. This was my basic design-

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I began building last night, and left off with the basic 'platform' assembled. It is 4' by 5' and 2' off the ground.

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Today I began framing the actual coop area. Here is where I got to before I ran out of wood. I need to run to Home Depot and buy more 2x4s but it us starting to take shape. I decided to shorten it from 4' and 5' off the platform to 3' and 4' because 5' tall off of the platform was just too big. I need to get it moved into place before it gets to be too heavy!

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ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
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Nice coop and run. :thumbsup Keep in mind that you need 4 sf per bird coop space and 10 sf run space per bird, minimum, so you are about at max capacity. That may be exactly what you planned for, but...chicken math. We started with a 4x8 coop and have added 2 since then. :lau We will now be building another one in spring that will hopefully encourage all the chickens to be together so I have one coop to clean. :lau
 

JoeInPA

Songster
Aug 25, 2019
311
738
151
Western Pennsylvania
Nice coop and run. :thumbsup Keep in mind that you need 4 sf per bird coop space and 10 sf run space per bird, minimum, so you are about at max capacity. That may be exactly what you planned for, but...chicken math. We started with a 4x8 coop and have added 2 since then. :lau We will now be building another one in spring that will hopefully encourage all the chickens to be together so I have one coop to clean. :lau

Thanks! I read 2-3 square feet per bird in the coop, but that could be incorrect. I did read 10 sq ft per bird in the run, so 64 square feet leaves me enough room for another bird with a little space to spare. I didn't want to make the coop too big because I was afraid of it being difficult to heat in the winter, that's why I went 4x5. Also lumber is sold in 8 and 10 foot lengths which makes for minimal cutting and wasted lumber.
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
63,506
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Washington State
Thanks! I read 2-3 square feet per bird in the coop, but that could be incorrect. I did read 10 sq ft per bird in the run, so 64 square feet leaves me enough room for another bird with a little space to spare. I didn't want to make the coop too big because I was afraid of it being difficult to heat in the winter, that's why I went 4x5. Also lumber is sold in 8 and 10 foot lengths which makes for minimal cutting and wasted lumber.
My DH is always thinking of lumber lengths too when building something. I think you can have a slightly smaller coop if you have smaller chickens, like silkies. I have full sized birds so I follow the min 4sf per bird rule. That being said, I currently have 8 birds and only one coop that would hold all of them, and yet they will often most of them will squeeze into a different one that's not big enough, because...they are chickens and do what they do. Then the big coop is occupied by only a couple hens. Go figure. Some people don't heat their coops at all, btw. They say that means if electricity goes out they aren't worried about the chickens not being able to survive the extreme change. I have a generator so I can always get heat to the coops, but this year I'm only going to heat the large one. This is an experiment to see which my girls would prefer before building our big coop next year.
 

JoeInPA

Songster
Aug 25, 2019
311
738
151
Western Pennsylvania
I guess my birds would be considered large. They are Welsummers and White Rocks, no Bantams.

Five is really my max number of birds. I honestly would really be happy with 2 or 3 but I realize they are flock animals and do better in groups, so I have 5. I think this setup would accommodate 6 birds, but 6 would be really pushing it.

Two dogs, a cat and 5 chickens is more than enough animals for me!
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,743
2,227
316
Kalispell MT
Thanks! I read 2-3 square feet per bird in the coop, but that could be incorrect. I did read 10 sq ft per bird in the run, so 64 square feet leaves me enough room for another bird with a little space to spare. I didn't want to make the coop too big because I was afraid of it being difficult to heat in the winter, that's why I went 4x5. Also lumber is sold in 8 and 10 foot lengths which makes for minimal cutting and wasted lumber.
You do not heat a coop, especially where you live. The most important idea you need to learn when dealing with chickens and winter is a dry chicken is a warm chicken. The important idea is to vent all the moist warm air out of the coop. Chickens make a lot of moisture while pooping and breathing. A chicken can get frostbite in a coop that is just below freezing but humid. My chickens do fine in a unheated coop at -22 F.

You want the vents open and up high so that no breeze that might fluff feathers blows on the chickens. The chickens trap warm air in their lovely down coats. Think about those little sparrows that twit around all winter long. They trap the heat under their feathers and go about their lives.
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,743
2,227
316
Kalispell MT
You will want as big a coop as possible. If you do not roof and protect your run from the breezes the birds will not want to go outside. Crowding inside a coop makes for behavior issues. They fight. They start to feather pick. Last winter I had 6 chickens in an 8' by 6' coop. There is 10 square feet of open vents that are never closed. There is no heat. There is no insulation. They did fine. In fact they thrive in those conditions even with days below 0. Chickens have a more difficult time dealing with heat while they wear those down coats.
 

JoeInPA

Songster
Aug 25, 2019
311
738
151
Western Pennsylvania
I've built the coop and the run to the biggest dimensions possible for my yard and I'm still within the guidelines for recommend square feet per bird having 5 birds.

I plan on a "gable vent" type system.
 

MANNA-PRO

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