Need help with coop desigin and run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dshumaker, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. dshumaker

    dshumaker New Egg

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    Oct 30, 2010
    We are just getting started with our design. We want to raise a heritage breed chicken and will start with 10 layers and 15 roosters for meat. Should we keep them separate? Is it a good idea to have one large coop with the ability to divide it? And then what about the run? We hope to hatch chics too. And again would the ablity to divide be necessary? Thank you.
     
  2. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you have the space, it is really great to be able to partition your coop for lots of reasons. Hens raising chicks, broody hens needing protection from bossy nest invaders, injured chicken, roos from hens (though you probably wouldn't need to separate them at all if you are raising them from chicks and then butchering the roosters early - like 4 months or so, depending on the breed). It's also nice to have a chicken-free area to keep feed and supplies. Things stay a lot cleaner that way, and you can convert the feed area to a separate chicken area if the need arises.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:It is awfully nice to have the capacity to divide both coop and run to accommodate however many separate groups you wanna have at a time. (Or have multiple permanently-separate runs, with the capacity to subdivide the coop interior, that works too).

    You will be needing at least *some* degree of separation if you want to be growing out chicks, and even in the first year you will probably wanna have a separate pen for those 15 roos to finish growing out in (between maybe 8-10 wks when they start to get sexually-active and belligerent, and 16-20 wks when you eat them -- I know it doesn't seem like a long time but it does when it's *happening*, really really). Also depending on what your breeding goals are, you may want to have two or three separate breeding pens (so you can preserve more genetic diversity to reduce the problem of inbreeding).

    So in general I would suggest building as big a coop as you can manage. If you are in a very very cold-winter area, squareish may be better but in any other circumstance "long and thin" may be advantageous, although if you want an interior aisle the bldg should probably be at least 10-12' wide (wider is better but more expensive to build).

    My best piece of advice I think would be to PUT THE COOP ON HIGH GROUND. Not just so the coop doesn't flood, so the *runs* drain as well as possible too. Even if this is not as convenient or as aesthetically-pleasing a place.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Amen to that! I didn't think about these things when I built my first two coops/runs. I got lucky with one of them, and not so lucky with the other.

    Another thing I failed to take into account when I sited my first two coops was the sun. Here in Texas our summers are brutally hot and I really wish I'd thought about putting the coops in the shadiest part of our yard.

    My third (and hopefully final) coop is now on high ground and in the shade. I can use the other coops in the winter when heat from the sun is something useful.
     

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