Need help figuring out sizes for first coop?

blufangirl

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
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47
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We got 3 ducklings and four chicks this year and are starting to build a coop. All of them will be free ranging our backyard during daylight hours. We want a coop and run for them at night. I know around 3 to 4 square feet of coop space per bird is good. We are going to be converting a storage shed. But I have been reading that they should have 10 square feet of run space per bird. Is that still accurate if they are not in it all the time and it will only be for nighttime housing? Any advice would be great.
 
Mar 13, 2018
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I think 4 square feet per bird is fine. AS LONG IT IS ONLY FOR NIGHT!! Ducks do not roost, so i would put up a tarp under the roosts so the poop does not fall on the ducks heads. Best of luck!!:wee
 
Mar 13, 2018
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OK! Our ducks didn't want to go inside for the night, so we just let them stay outside. BAD choice, though. They ALL were eaten. So, they will most likely not want to go in, but just bribe them in with some food and close the door. And if you don't want to have to go inside the coop to collect eggs, you should put small doors behind each of the nesting boxes so you could just unlatch the doors and collect them that way. This is one of my favorite nesting boxes.
upload_2018-3-23_11-55-6.jpeg
 

blufangirl

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
48
47
89
OK! Our ducks didn't want to go inside for the night, so we just let them stay outside. BAD choice, though. They ALL were eaten. So, they will most likely not want to go in, but just bribe them in with some food and close the door. And if you don't want to have to go inside the coop to collect eggs, you should put small doors behind each of the nesting boxes so you could just unlatch the doors and collect them that way. This is one of my favorite nesting boxes. View attachment 1307906
That's the main reason we want t attach a run to the coop so they can have outdoor access even at night, especially since we have hot summer nights here. My husband has been studying the best possible predator protection for the coop and run. But I just can't see filling half their free range space with a run only for at night.
 

X_and_Z

Songster
Feb 16, 2018
207
404
116
SF Bay Area
My Coop
My Coop
What is your climate like? When wet or snowy your chickens won't want to free range much so you will want more roofed space. If you live in a mild climate you can get away with the minimums. 4 sqft/chicken is the general rule of thumb in the coop - nest area should not be included in this. 10 sqft/chicken is for run space in addition to the coop but it you intend to free range you probably meet this.


You also want to think about the future. If you want to insure a steady supply of eggs you should read this:
https://nwedible.com/chicken-rotation-optimizing-for-year-round-laying-from-the-backyard-flock/

In addition to the above chicken math is a real force.
 

blufangirl

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
48
47
89
Also he is converting the shed to have a back section for egg collection and storage.
 

blufangirl

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
48
47
89
What is your climate like? When wet or snowy your chickens won't want to free range much so you will want more roofed space. If you live in a mild climate you can get away with the minimums. 4 sqft/chicken is the general rule of thumb in the coop - nest area should not be included in this. 10 sqft/chicken is for run space in addition to the coop but it you intend to free range you probably meet this.


You also want to think about the future. If you want to insure a steady supply of eggs you should read this:
https://nwedible.com/chicken-rotation-optimizing-for-year-round-laying-from-the-backyard-flock/

In addition to the above chicken math is a real force.
We are in south Carolina so pretty mild all year. They will have the whole yard year round but want to add a run for hot summer nights rather than totally locking them up but keeping them safer from nocturnal predators. That's why I'm thinking we could go smaller than 10sq ft per bird. I don't want to take up a ton of the free range space with a run but want them to have options at night, especially the ducks that aren't really happy locked in a coop
 

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