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New chick owners- Need advice for an 8X8 coop!!!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by jaswiggins, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. jaswiggins

    jaswiggins New Egg

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    We have 5 new baby chicks (about a couple weeks old now), 1 RIR, 1 Black Sex Link, 2 Araucana's, and a Speckles Sussex. Due to an abnormally snowy winter we are just starting to build our coop this weekend. We are new to chickens! Before we start I am taking this week to obsess over how we should build our coop and run.(been looking through this website among others for several weeks now!) We must have a covered run due to living in a high predator area. We are somewhat limited for space so we are trying to get creative. We would like a coop/run to comfortably house 12 chickens if we ever expand. Here is what we are thinking:

    An 8X8 coop, raised 2 ft off the ground. At that size I think we would want to be able to walk into it. Is 2 ft up high enough to include that square footage underneath the coop in our run calculations? The remaining area we have left for run is 3X8, and then 8X 6-3 (not square- narrows as the run continues from 6" to 3") Kind of confusing, but was hoping that by making the run 6 1/2 ft tall, with some places to perch, plus the area under the coop that it would be enough space for them.

    Any suggestions? I will attach a picture of my proposed plan to give a better- Thanks!!!![​IMG]

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  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Welcome to BYC!

    I think you could keep 12 chickens in this space. I wouldn't add any more birds than this however. But if your climate allows them to be in the run as well in the coop, this seems to be a lot of space. Chickens turn on each other when they are cramped. So if you start to run into trouble, you may need to expand a bit. But this will be huge spaces for your 5 new babies.

    If you need any tips and hints on raising your new brood or want to look at other members coops, stop by our learning center for lots of great tips and hints on raising your new babies and our coop pages for some ideas on building your coop...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops

    Good luck on the coop build and if you have any specific questions while building, you can ask questions in our Coop And Run Construction Forums for help...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance

    Great to have you aboard and enjoy all your new adventures!
     
  3. Natibrati1

    Natibrati1 Out Of The Brooder

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    welcome to byc good luck on that coop build if you have any questions ask me for help
     
  4. Hooligans7

    Hooligans7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome, jaswiggins. It looks like you're making the most of the available space. I'm looking forward to seeing your elevation drawings. An 8' X 8' coop will provide spacious accommodations for 12 chickens. The 'rule' for the minimum number of nesting boxes is one nesting box for every four hens, but we only have five hens and many times all three boxes are occupied at the same time, so 'too many' is better than too few.

    You asked if 2 feet is an adequate height for under the coop. Yes, it is. I did the same thing in order to expand the run area.

    Although your design provides an adequate run size for 12 chickens, you may want to allow them to come out in the yard for a few hours before their bedtime. It tends to be a relatively safe time of day, and it makes the chickens happy exploring fresh territory and finding insect treats. Then at dusk they will put themselves to bed. What kind of predators are in your area?
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X3 Nice use of the available space, I'm getting about 100+ sqf run and 64 coop from that so you should be OK with 12 birds, especially if you can let them out in the evenings, or consider a tractor you could move around the yard/garden etc.
     
  6. jaswiggins

    jaswiggins New Egg

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    Oh boy- we have a lot of predators! Which is why it has taken some time for us to agree to have chickens! There are a lot of people in the town who have chickens, but we have coyote, fox, owls, bobcat, bear, snakes, raccoons, possums, eagles, hawks, etc- you name it , we have it. Plus our neighborhood butts up to a nature preserve! However, I do hop if we build a sound structure and store most of the food elsewhere we will be ok- I hope!!! We are not against putting up an electric fence if need be. We are already planning on a motion sensor light and the good ole' tin can method. Here are some pics from our yard and neighborhood of some of the predators.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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  7. jaswiggins

    jaswiggins New Egg

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    Although the snakes we have ten have been pretty harmless, but at this point I don't doubt there is something bigger, badder out their!
    Here is a spider I found last year under the couch!!
    [​IMG]

    not to mention the scary centipede in the garage (although not a huge threat to the chickens! I don't think.. right?? Tasty snack maybe?)

    [​IMG]
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    You really DO have some creepy critters!!!! That spider gives me the willies just looking at it!! But thanks for sharing. [​IMG]

    And yes, chickens eat most bugs. Even the big millipedes and centipedes. My birds go after the centipedes here that are about 8 inches long, 1/2 to 3/4 inches at the legs and the legs have these pincers on them that sting!! So when a chicken has one in it's beak, the chase is on by the other chickens!! And sometimes they swallow these things alive....just disgusting! [​IMG]

    Enjoy! [​IMG]
     
  9. gander007

    gander007 Overrun With Chickens

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  10. Hooligans7

    Hooligans7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have all of the predators you have, except swap your bobcats for pumas (cougars), and the most recent black bear was seen about three miles from here. Definitely, absolutely, invest in an electric fence. I did, and it provides peace of mind. In addition, I haven't lost a chicken to a predator in almost two years. Before that, I lost five in two attacks by raccoons, and another 'coon tried to grab a chicken through 1" X 1" welded wire. It succeeded in pulling out a clump of feathers. I overlaid the 1" X 1" welded wire with 1/4" X 1/4" hardware cloth, securely wired together.

    Yes, they will try for your birds and you've got to think like them if you're going to protect your birds. Best to go with a "belt and suspenders" approach. I nearly lost three little ones in the brooder to a rattlesnake last year. I ran it off, but I know it's still out there. I don't know what to do about the bad snakes, but at least none have bothered my birds since they've matured. Perhaps my big BR rooster has made the difference, but I don't know that for sure; maybe the pit vipers just aren't interested in big chickens. But I digress. Surround your coop with at least two "hot" wires — a low wire and high wire work well — and keep the ground damp enough to provide a continuous good ground for your grounding stake.
     

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