Need opinions about the size of a coop/run area

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chicknhawaii, May 18, 2008.

  1. chicknhawaii

    chicknhawaii Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Honolulu, HI
    The area I'd like to keep our chicken and new additions (eventually, max would be 3) is a rectangle area in the backyard. There are other places bigger and more square but those are easily visible from the street ~ the law here is 2 chickens max per household and the building permit laws are ridiculous. The backyard is not as visible and the neighbors on that side aren't nosy or really care.

    Anyway, there's an area in the back that was used as a garden for many things decades ago and now there's only grass, weeds, and dirt. It'd be great if I could use this for the chickens but it is on the narrow side. It's 27"x15' - the total length of the area is more like 21' but the house blocks 15'.

    I only have vague ideas about what I want my coop and run to look like plus I know NOTHING about carpentry and all that so...who knows what'll end up being built!

    TY in advance!
  2. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    27" wide sounds a bit tight to me, especially if you have to get into the run to do anything.

    I'm a small person and it sounds claustrophobic to me (yet I love to go spelunking/caving, go figure [​IMG] ) but the chickens probably won't mind it at all.

    Hope this is a bit of help until someone else comes along!

  3. catfish

    catfish Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    Greenbrier, Arkansas
    Look at some tractors they're smaller than that area. If your going to limit it to 2 or 3 birds, I think the 15' x 3' will be narrow but usable. you could use a dog house sized coop with a top that opens or is hinged to get inside to get to your eggs.

    theres some pixs here someplace, search for PVC Coop they built a two story coop and run that would fit your needs closely.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Gee, that's an interesting problem. I haven't done it, but you know, I think that for just 2 chickens, you could get away with a 27" wide run. They would need to get along well with each other.

    Your main problem, chicken behavior wise, would be if one cornered the other at the end of the run and decided to clean its clock. There are ways to design in some protection from this. If the run is tall enough (like, 3'6"-4'+), you could put a roost-like bar about 18"-2' above the ground, located something like 2' from the end of the run, so that a cornered chicken would have some hope of hopping up onto it and over the aggressor's head.

    Or, less aesthetically pleasing, a reasonably solid barrier dividing the run in half lengthwise, something like 18" long and starting 18" from the end, so you are creating sort of a loop at the end:
    ....................... | (again, to prevent anyone
    | from being cornered with
    ________________________________| no exit available)

    Three chickens would be a little trickier than two, since the chances of someone getting ticked off at someone else are considerably higher. You could try it (design the run as big and long as possible) and see what happens; worst comes to worst, you might have to get rid of one.

    A 27" wide coop would pretty much have to be cabinet-style, where you have doors on one long side (or half a roof that lifts up). Being in a warm climate should really help you a lot. You might consider building the coop in the middle of the space, raised up above the ground, so that you effectively have run going in both directions from the coop plus space under the coop for the chickens to hang out too. I am thinking maybe something that would look like a box on legs (since it would be tiny and portable, *probably* no issues involving lack of building permits). If you want to try 3 chickens, you might wanna go as big as is practical, like maybe 27" by 6, about 2'6" off the ground, and least 3' high inside. Food and water could hang in the 'underneath' part. Plenty of screened openings for ventilation, with flaps that could close in the event of bad weather.

    Perhaps something like, top view:
    | r |
    | o long rectangular |
    | o opening in floor, w/ |
    | s ramp going down |
    |________t___________________ |

    Side view:
    | |
    | |
    | |
    | |
    | |
    | r |
    | |
    ........ .. |____________ ___| ....................................
    | \\ |
    | \\ |
    | \\ |
    | \\ |
    run | food water \\ | run
    | \\ |

    There are lots of other ways to do it too, of course, but this would give you maximum space per chicken and also multiple ways for arguing chickens to get clear of each other.

    Anyhow it certainly does seem doable, to me, despite the narrow space. Good luck and have fun,

  5. chicknhawaii

    chicknhawaii Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Honolulu, HI
    TY TY TY TY TY SO MUCH for such great detailed replies! I will certainly sit down and see what will work in our space! We are supposed to build any coop or housing for pets 5-feet in from the property line but that back area is like a solid wall with the condo swimming pool elevated on the other side (sounds weird i know...).

    I never thought about putting the coop smack in the middle ~ that is a GREAT idea. I can't imagine hens getting so mad that they wipe each other out but hey, you never know! I will do my best to make areas they can each retreat to.

    It may take a month or more but I'm determined to figure something out. I'll post as we go [​IMG]

    TY AGAIN!!!!!

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