My flock just outgrew my coop.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by danceswithronin, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. danceswithronin

    danceswithronin Songster

    354
    586
    166
    May 24, 2018
    Alabama
    I have been keeping my four bantam silkies in this coop since last June: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Boomer-a...MIhcWdsa_X4QIVDp6fCh1wiQ24EAkYBSABEgI3KfD_BwE

    They've done really well in it and haven't been crowded (or at least haven't shown any overcrowding behaviors and have been laying really well), but I just acquired a Speckled Sussex, a golden laced Wyandotte, a golden laced Polish, and a Black Jersey Giant (all day-old chicks) last week. So now my flock has doubled in size.

    Right now the chicks are in a brooder in the garage and I am in the process of doubling the size of my chicken run to accommodate the new hens, but I totally forgot in my plans that my original coop is NOT built for that many chickens. So I've basically screwed myself into a sort of major carpentry project (or purchase, in any case).

    Does anyone have any suggestions for me as far as building an add-on to this setup? The birds have a wrought iron fenced run covered with avian netting that they are loose in during the day, so they have plenty of foraging space. My concern is the wet winter months when everyone will be cooped up together. I'm especially worried for the Jersey Giant due to her impending height.
     
    minaayindra and penny1960 like this.
  2. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

    1,119
    1,558
    277
    Feb 23, 2018
    California
    Sorry to tell you this, but the chicken coop and run is way too small for large breed chickens.If you plan on keeping them mainly inside for the winter, you are probably going to need a set up that is at least 10 times bigger than that for eight chickens. I don’t know what to suggest other than to build something a lot bigger.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    15,131
    13,801
    742
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Some years ago, I was in your shoes. I had a small sixteen square foot coop and needed more coop space to accommodate eight new chicks added to the existing five chickens.

    I hired a builder friend to help me add thirty-two square feet to the existing structure. By the time we were one-third of the way through the add-on, he stopped and announced that it sure would have been a lot simpler to tear down the first coop and build an entirely new one.

    So that is what I suggest you do. Prefab tool sheds make ideal chicken coops. You only need to cut a couple windows into one, add vents at the top of the walls under the eaves, and a pop hole chicken entrance, and kit out the inside with perches and a few nesting boxes, and you're in business. You will be a lot happier doing it this way.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    58,137
    45,267
    1,327
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I would not attempt to add on to that coop, I would build one large enough for all the your birds.

    Where in this world are you located?
    Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
    upload_2019-4-17_11-4-6.png
     
  5. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    1,731
    2,904
    277
    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    Time for a new coop.

    Build one if so inclined. Hire handy person to do it, if not so inclined. Buy a shed kit and modify it if it will fit in your space. Go as large as your space and budget will allow - particularly if you live in a cold climate and they might be stuck inside for a length of time due to really inclement weather.

    But, your location and climate will be a derterming factor as to how challenging this might be. Northern/colder climates need a better structure, whereas those in warmer locations can get away with 2 and 3 sided coops with roofs (protection from wind and elements).

    Enjoy your new birds! We have Black Jersey Giants. The male is just over a year and around 11 pounds, but not yet fully grown. He is a big boy, and the female is also large, but less so than the male (as expected) Here he is recently, next to some normal sized chickens (no recent pics of the female though), and the coop is elevated about 2.5' off the ground. The first pic, it is a Silver Laced Wyandotte behind him, and in the second pic it is a Frost White Legbar next to him:

    Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 11.15.55 AM.png Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 11.16.12 AM.png
     
  6. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

    1,119
    1,558
    277
    Feb 23, 2018
    California
    He is gorgeous! I want one of those but, have to wait until the group I have now lives out there life, but that is on my list for the next batch! It will be a few years down the road though, LOL!
     
  7. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    1,731
    2,904
    277
    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    Thanks! He is a good example of the breed! He's had a tough winter though - he lost all points on his comb to frostbite due to the horrible cold this winter (great ventilation, but it was really cold. And he had a horrible breast blister due to the roosts being too wide - so my advice for the really large breeds like BJG is to use the narrow side of a 2x4 or use a thick/stout round branch. We got him from an OH hatchery that gets the BJG eggs from a person who has been breeding BJG for decades.
     
  8. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

    1,119
    1,558
    277
    Feb 23, 2018
    California
    I use 2”x3” for my roosts or big round branches in my outdoor areas. Is that hatchery Meyer?
     
    azygous and penny1960 like this.
  9. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    1,731
    2,904
    277
    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    The hatchery is Eagle Nest poultry in Oceola, OH.
    http://eaglenestohio.com/

    The BJG are not in their online catalogue, but is listed in their paper 2019 catalogue as they are only in limited quantities and are one of their "exhibition quality" chicken breeds. We tried to get a few this spring so kid could have young layers for the fair, but the BJG were not laying yet, no eggs - no chicks. So, we will wait to get them late this year when we get some meat chickens.

    Overall, I often see BYCers mention that hatchery BJG are not as big as the breed standard. The APA indicates that a BJG Cock (fully grown male) should be a minimum of 13 lbs. BJG keep growing for about 18 months, I've read. Since this guy was nearly 11 lbs when he was 11 months old, I'm going to guess that he will reach that weight or more by the time he is 18 months old (which will be in late August).
     
  10. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

    1,119
    1,558
    277
    Feb 23, 2018
    California
    Thanks for the info :)
     
    azygous and Acre4Me like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: