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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Superior Chicks, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Superior Chicks

    Superior Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have decieded to pay a contractor to build our run. We are old, tired, and its been a really rough year, as some of you well know. (Remember Iowa?)

    I just want your approval of our plans, because this takes all we have saved! $$ And your approval is THE final word. [​IMG]

    The 4x6 coop will be inside the run. The run measures 27'x12'x8' tall. There will be a deck off the people door(4"x4'), and a "chicken deck" off the pop hole door (so they can walk straight out onto their deck instead of going down a ramp, which will be at the END of their deck. Also 4'x4'. This is to encourage them to be out more in our terribly harsh winters. The coop is a raised coop 18" off the ground.)

    The run will be fully roofed end to end with metal roofing, and sloped for run off to the ravine side of our property. Yes we get wind, and yes the contractor has planned for this. Posts will be sunk 3' deep and set 3' apart.

    A entrance door of course on the people door side of the run. I was going to go with 2 doors, one on each end, but I figured it was just more to shovel out. We are also going to erect a small hoop house over the chickens deck in the wintertime to encourage them to be out more.

    By the way, we will have 8 standard Buff Orpingtons. I know, we COULD have more, but not in the coop, and we DO have harsh, long winters, and there will be days on end when they won't come out, period.

    Am I missing anything? Would you add anything? The contract awaits my signature. It seems very reasonable for the work to be done, and, believe me, we done it plenty of times. (We even got a senior discount. Am I really that old?[​IMG])

    Your opinion is all I need!![​IMG]

    Thanks so much,

    Ma
     
  2. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    Ma, are you sure you want one that small? I didn't notice do you electric going to it for a light/heat in winter, an extension cord sucks, Also you can't find anyone neighbor/friend to build it for you? I just bought a ploy dome calf hutch that works great for hens.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Wow, 4x6 is really really tiny for 8 BOs, especially in a climate where you expect to have winter weather issues. I wouldn't do it myself... I'd go extra *large* not extra small. MUCH less chance of problems that way IMO. Remember that if you decide you want to concentrate their body heat you can temporarily partition off the area around the roost, leaving you with the best of both worlds.

    Personally I'd want something more in the area of 6x8 or even 6x12, ish, minimum.

    JMO, good luck,

    Pat
     
  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    hmmmm that sound very small for 8 big girls. If they are going to be confined for days on end in the winter, then I would go no less than 6 x 10 on the coop size. At 6 x 10 that is still only 7.5 sq ft per bird but that is doable for confining them.

    At the size you are planning...when that lockdown time comes, you will see bloodshed. They are going to be too crowded, bored and the picking and fighting will start.


    The run size sounds good though.
     
  5. Superior Chicks

    Superior Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    OK.

    The coop is 6x4. The nest boxes are the type that extend out from the coop. I have 6 nest boxes that I really think I'll only need 2 or 3. So I converted the other three to feed, water bins. The roosts (2) are up high, with dropings boards right underneath, so not to interfer with the actual floor space.

    The "chicken deck" is 4x4 "all season" protected, giving another 16 sq. ft.
    Making the total 40 sq. ft. I am going to get 6 BO's. (Back to my original thought that 8 WOULD be too much.) I certainly hope it does not happen, but I am allowing for a chick mortality. If there is 5 standard BO's would this be OK?

    I've never had a small coop, I've always had industrial sized coops, so I need some help here!!

    Let me know what you think and thanks ever so much!

    Ma
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Yeah, I was actually assuming that your fixtures would be up out of the way and the water and feed wouldn't cut into floor space. [​IMG]

    It is STILL to my way of thinking a really small coop for eight large birds with harsh winters-- only 3 sq ft per hen (5 if you include the 'porch', but you may find they don't use it too much on real cold days).

    Somewhat more reasonable for 5 -- it'd be about 5 sq ft per hen (or 9 if you include the 'porch').

    It just seems kind of a shame to build a fairly palatial run and then skimp on the coop to the point where you can only have a very few birds and/or have problems with them. It is usually not easy to add onto a coop, not compared to building it bigger in the first place.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  7. Superior Chicks

    Superior Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sadly, I so agree.

    Unfortunately, the coop was a gift from my husband, and it was delivered fully built and "turn key". It is a lovely Amish built thing, but small. I just in fact finished insulating it. (It has great ventalation btw Pat [​IMG])

    My only options I think are to either build on to the coop, or make the run smaller. Neither of which I am very inclined to do. [​IMG]

    So I quess my 4 or 5 hens will have it made in their run! Oh btw, we are getting a poly dome calf hutch I believe its called. This is what I am refering to when I say the chicken deck will be covered.

    Well, I do think 5 hens are doable.
     
  8. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Hi Superior -

    That's a really lovely, large run. You won't be disappointed. I wish my run was larger. The full roof in metal will work great. However, it won't keep out all weather. The run will be *drier* than if you didn't have a roof, but snow/rain will still blow in from the walls. Not a terribly big deal, but worth noting. My chickens refused to go out into the snow, and even if there was a skiff in the run (mine is also roof-ed) they wouldn't go out. I could tell because there were no tracks....

    The chickie deck sounds nice, although would it really need to be covered if it was already covered by the run? I must be confused. Also, I don't think I'd include this in my "indoor" sq. footage measurement. When it's -20 outside, and you KNOW it will be, they aren't going to go outside - deck or no deck. And THAT's when the square footage gets pretty important. I have a 6x8 coop and at the end of winter, my 4 girls (also BOs) were getting cabin fever and starting to pick on each other a little bit.

    I don't think I'd go with two separate people doors in your run.... just one more place to lock to keep the beasties out.

    Are you sinking the posts 3 ft. because of wind? We didn't put our run posts more than 12-18 inches underground. They are also in cement. I was worried about heaving, but all looks good so far. The ground is still frozen, so I'm still holding my breath....

    Good luck. Feel free to PM me if I can be of any help!
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:*lightbulb* OH, ok, sorry, I did not realize the coop was a fait accompli. Sorry!

    Yeah, 5 hens sounds reasonable to try. Look at it this way, if you should run into trouble anyway, it is good rationale for building a larger coop, which should be less expensive than for a normal situation since you could really just close in part of the run (as big as you want) since the run will already provide good posts and a good roof [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  10. Superior Chicks

    Superior Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks CityChook, yes, we are sinking the posts because of the wind factor. We are right on the Lake, and the winter winds can be and are quite nasty. And where the coop/run is located there are, unfortunately, no wind breaks.

    The chick deck will only be covered during winter, and that's to keep all snow out. The dome calf hutch has sides, (5x5x6), so we are hoping to keep all snow off that area. I know my BO's in Iowa would NOT step one chicken foot out in the snow. Period!

    And Pat, thank you for the great idea of using the already built run to maybe build a new, larger, coop! Great idea, I hadn't thought of that.

    We'll have to see how it goes. I am ordering 5 BO's. At least they will grow up with each other and pecking order will be fully established by next winter. (Gads--next winter...........ugh....)

    Thanks everyone, much appreciated!

    Ma
     

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