Need advice and suggestions for space, etc

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tebs78, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. tebs78

    tebs78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    454
    0
    139
    Jan 1, 2008
    I am planning on raising chickens with my sis-in-law. What I have in mind for the coop is a metal/tin shed I got for free off of craigslist.

    The shed is about 10X12 with the sliding door. We will add a run too, but would this work do you think? My SIL wants to put a cement floor and I want to put about 2 feet of wood chips instead. (my husband has one of those monsterous wood grinders and he had 100's of years of the ground up wood products) What do you think would be best? I read in a magazine that the wood shavings or what ever help break down the poop. How should i go about designing the inside? Make it some how two stories? How many nest boxes? How do I keep the breeds seperated so I don't have a bunch of mixed fertile eggs? Do I seperate out the roo's? Mostly it will be just for egg production for eating the eggs, but I would like to sell some of the fertile eggs too. I also am going to have some seb geese, should I seperate them from the flock or do you think its safe to house them the same well at least at night?

    How big should the run be? How high should the run be? We are thinking about a dozen chickens per breed and I think we'll have 4 breeds.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2008
  2. ebonykawai

    ebonykawai Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's a lot of birds. Maybe you should start smaller and work up to more, as you get more experienced? How much experience do you have? How much land do you have?

    That's too many chickens to keep in the one coop. You'd need about 190 square feet, give or take a little either way, and about 480 square foot in the run.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2008
  3. tebs78

    tebs78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    454
    0
    139
    Jan 1, 2008
    We live on a ranch with 2000+ acres. My SIL and I both have raised poultry, though I mostly raised ducks and geese, she raised chickens when she lived some where else. We have all the room and materials we could use though.

    We have 400 head of cattle, 100 head of sheep and 15 horses that we work too.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    78
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    well ok, but that is still an awfully big lot of chickens for an awfully small space. ESPECIALLY since you evidently are wanting to breed each of the 4 breeds and thus will have to create separate pens/coops for each set.

    Would it not make more sense to start with one or two breeds, get your 'system' running with them, and THEN move up to additional breeds?

    Also, if your main interest is egg production, you do not necessarily want/need four different breeds -- there are not really that many breeds that are such efficient layers and why spend extra money for extra feed and housing on more chickens than you need to get the eggs you want?

    The tin shed thing kinda depends on your climate and whether you have shade to put it under for summertime - people have found them to get awfully hot in the summer, even with lots of added ventilation.

    People usually figure one nest box per 3-5 hens. If you had a cement floor you'd need lots of wood chips (or whatever) over top of it *anyway*, for cushioning and absorption, but a cement floor if you can afford it will be safer against burrowing predators and rodents. If you think they will be a problem. (Dirt is a heck of a lot cheaper though! And can work just fine)

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  5. ebonykawai

    ebonykawai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow, that's a lot of space! Well, just go BIG with the coop and run and you should be fine.
     
  6. tebs78

    tebs78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    454
    0
    139
    Jan 1, 2008
    Well maybe I should explain further. My SIL wants RIR and WhiteLeghorns.
    I want the black star and gold star chickens. We are getting 18 eggs of each breed to hatch out and see what we get.

    I thought perhaps that I would keep a couple hens of each breed for the fertil egg production to sell the fertile eggs seperated some how. I don't know.

    We have a huge older chicken coop already on the ranch, but it needs a lot of work. A few neighboring ranches have old coops they said we could have if we hauled. Who knows what we'll come up with.

    So far with my luck has been not good with shipped hatching eggs. I had one batch of a dozen eggs where NONE hatched. The second batch only 1 hatched and the hatch I have in now only 2 are developing. My incubator is the R-Com 20 and I have tested TEMPS and HUMIDITY with about 3 different thermometers/Hydrometers. They all ready about the same.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by