My plans (need help) for my chicken coop (1st time chicken keeper)!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Xxanimal_loverxX, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Xxanimal_loverxX

    Xxanimal_loverxX Hatching

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    Ok.. Well i am new here, and i just found out that in Burnsville, MN they have passed a law where i can have 4 chickens.

    So i have this old playhouse that i used to use when i was younger (i am still a teenager though) and my mom has just told me i have to pay for everything if i want to keep them (but actually said i could have chickens-most animals she says no to nowadays since a few years back i almost died due to allergies which were mainly from allergies)

    I was hoping i could turn that old playhouse into a chicken coop (the lower floor) The dimensions are 7.5 feet wide X 10.5 feet deep X 6 feet to the second story floor, but if you just go from the ground to the ceiling it would be 13 feet (but they wont be allowed to go on the second floor) ---which brings me to a question-- how high can chickens jump/fly?--- The play house has 2 windows (that are like sliding doors, where you can slide them open/closed) and a pretty big cut out in the front of the play house all the way at the top above the door for more sunlight to get in. Also there are 2 or 3 1' X1' vents on the very top of the ceiling to get more air exchange.

    I WAS planning on adding a wired fence from floor to the top of the first floor that was the full width (7.5 feet) and probably 3.5 feet deep all the way in the back of the playhouse. (This seems like a decent sized room for storage of their food and what not, and it still leaves them with plenty of room and is still about 1 foot away from both of the windows.

    I was also planning on having their nesting things above the window (so in the winter it will be warmer since heat rises)

    I was also planning on keeping the doors open and building a chicken run that was fully enclosed in an L type of shape around the play house.

    ONE PROBLEM:
    However my mom has told me that i will have to pay for everything, so i am unsure if i will be able to get chickens anymore...... (especially since in our winters it gets very cold and i would probably need electricity for a heat lamp and a water heater, etc)

    SECOND PROBLEM: I have looked at the codes for my city for the chicken coop/run requirments, and there are a few that make my plan not work:

    No chicken coop or run shall be constructed on any lot prior to the time of construction of the principal building. (not sure what this is saying)

    All chicken coops must have a maximum size of 10 square feet per chicken and must not exceed 6 feet in total height. Fenced-in chicken runs must not exceed 20 square feet per chicken and fencing must not exceed six feet in total height.

    BIG PROBLEM:
    Chicken coops must be elevated a minimum of 12 inches and a maximum of 24 inches above grade to ensure circulation beneath the coop.


    The play house is just leveled so part of it is sitting on the ground while a small portion is elevated maybe a couple of inches.... So this pretty much eliminates my ability to use the playhouse for chickens....


    Does this mean i am unable to get chickens? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Jamsoundsgood

    Jamsoundsgood Songster

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    You could always tear down the playhouse and reuse the wood to build the coop up to code![​IMG] It just depends on how much work you want to put into it. It would also show you mom just how much you're willing to sacrifice. Mom's like that sort of thing. They tend to help out a lot more when they see you put blood, sweat, and tears into things.[​IMG] Good Luck and keep us posted on what you decide what to do!
    Emily
     
  3. Southern Chickens

    Southern Chickens Songster

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    Quote:
     
  4. Mrs. Glassman

    Mrs. Glassman Songster

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    Can you raise the playhouse up on blocks? that would meet your ground clearance.

    If I am reading your measurments right, you have 70+ square feet....more than enough for 4 birds.

    The code in your second problem reads to me like YOUR house has to be there BEFORE the chickens.

    It sounds like given a couple of really do-able things, you are legal.

    Your next problem is materials. Where to come up with cheap to free stuff....
    1) You may have a metals recycler in your area. They take in things people no longer need each day, including wire & fencing. They sell it for a profit. Typically, they will sell what they have on the yard to the public for LOTS cheaper than new material. Check there.
    2) Check to see if there is a Freecycle yahoo group in your area. I have gotten so many free things from there. You can post what you need, and if anyone has it & wants to give it away...they reply, & you pick it up for nothing.

    If nothing else, you do a few things, and have to buy your wire. Maybe you could buy just enough to meet code, and enlarge from there later.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Xxanimal_loverxX

    Xxanimal_loverxX Hatching

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    Mrs. Glassman :

    Can you raise the playhouse up on blocks? that would meet your ground clearance.

    If I am reading your measurments right, you have 70+ square feet....more than enough for 4 birds.

    The code in your second problem reads to me like YOUR house has to be there BEFORE the chickens.

    It sounds like given a couple of really do-able things, you are legal.

    Your next problem is materials. Where to come up with cheap to free stuff....
    1) You may have a metals recycler in your area. They take in things people no longer need each day, including wire & fencing. They sell it for a profit. Typically, they will sell what they have on the yard to the public for LOTS cheaper than new material. Check there.
    2) Check to see if there is a Freecycle yahoo group in your area. I have gotten so many free things from there. You can post what you need, and if anyone has it & wants to give it away...they reply, & you pick it up for nothing.

    If nothing else, you do a few things, and have to buy your wire. Maybe you could buy just enough to meet code, and enlarge from there later.

    Good luck!

    Raising the playhouse is NOT do-able it is probably like a thousand pounds... i dont know.. its built like a house... has siding like a house, has windows like a house, has a door like a house, has a roof just like the roofs on houses, etc.

    I doubt my mom would let me take the playhouse apart..

    edit: and i wasnt saying 4 chickens because i didnt think it would be big enough, but that is all im allowed to have (my city has a population of 60+ thousand people in it.)

    Maybe i will have to make that storage room 4.5 deep instead of 3.5 feet deep so im not going over their maximum (which i think it is stupid to have a maximum on something like that...)​
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  6. Fuzzy_Hat_Farm

    Fuzzy_Hat_Farm Chirping

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    I was thinking the same thing about jacking it up but then it would exceed the 6 ft limit. could you remove some of the lower part of the walls to give your ground clearance and rebuild the floor higher up recycling the parts? You might check around for locals in your area that have chickens (check at a farm supply center, farmer's market, etc) and see if they can make suggestions on breeds that winter well in your area and they may have addition suggestions on where to get supplies and remodeling your coop.

    good luck and don't give up!
     
  7. Xxanimal_loverxX

    Xxanimal_loverxX Hatching

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    its just sooo frusterating... i would either have to tear it down or get some huge machine in here to lift it up.. and i do not think i will be able to do either of those....

    i do not understand why they think 12-24 inches under it would benefit the chicken coop.. i just see it as all problems... like first of all that means i would need to fence in all around there so no predators could get there, it would be a great place for predators/nuisance animals to hang out, etc. The way the floor is layed out it is a SOLID floor, as in no smell/aeration,etc is going to go through it. the door is a 3 foot by 6 or 7 feet (standard front door size) the two windows are on either side of the playhouse, they are around 2 feet by 2 feet (however one side is just glass, the other side is screened.) then the vents on the very top of the ceiling would also contribute to vent out stuff.

    Would this be enough ventalation? (maybe i could use that as an arguement on why they should let me turn the playhouse into a chicken coop..)

    Also another major problem (besides the 12-24 inches off ground coop) is that i will need electricity in the coop right? This could be VERY spendy yes? (cuz they need like 8-12 hours of light to continue to lay during the winter, plus the water cant freeze, and what about the eggs?)

    That brings me to another one of my questions..
    I am kind of lazy and dont want to have to change/clean the water EVERY day... i read somewhere that chickens will drink out of something like those rabbit, gerbils, etc will drink out of (the upside down bottles)? If so couldnt i just get a big one of those and then i wouldnt have to fill it as often, and they could drink whenever they wanted, and i wouldnt have to worry about the water getting all dirty so it wouldnt need to be cleaned.

    also i work at a saltwater fish store and for a second i was thinking i could just get another ro/di system and hang it onto the wall next to the upside down bottle with the hose sticking and sealed into the top of the bottle (well technically bottom) and that way i would never have to touch it (other then making sure it was warm enough not to freeze) but then i remembered one important thing... you need to hook up an ro/di system to some sort of water source.. lol. So that plan is out of the picture....

    It feels like i will never be allowed to get chickens... or atleast i would have to wait years to get them, but by that time i will be in college.. and that will take a lot of my time, along with my job.
    Its very frusterating not being able to afford more animals... since they are my one true passion (i gave up my favorite thing to do - horse jumping- a year back since i ran out of money..) grr..
     
  8. Nicola

    Nicola Chook Cuddlin' Aussie

    Feb 23, 2009
    ACT
    a picture of they playhouse might give people a better idea of what ur talking about [​IMG]
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Crowing

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    South Georgia
    Their water needs to be fresh whether it gets dirty or not. Most people check/change it twice a day. Most rabbit waterers hold only a small amount of water, and chickens drink a lot. It takes some time to teach them to use one. And sometimes the ball sticks and the whole thing empties all at once. There are automatic waterers but they cost more and also sometimes leak or empty water into the coop. Since chickens should really be checked on at least once a day, most people just clean the waterer at the same time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2009

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