new coop needed and now Idea where to start! Need to pick brains!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MollyDora, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. MollyDora

    MollyDora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2012
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    hello everybody.

    So it seems that we'll be closing on our 40 acre farm within the next few days! YAY! then we'll move.

    Now we have been trying to figure out how to built a coop and what it should look like and we are clueless.

    Our house will be out in the country with many predators waiting....

    So far the plan is to built a coop that can house up to 30 (egglayer) chickens (now we have 4 and won't get anymore till this coop is built).
    We would like to built something that is also appealing to the eye with a run attached to it that we think needs to be covered.

    How big does all this need to be and where should we start? We're so clueless.

    Right now we house our Chickens in a coop bought from Orschelns that is in a run that we attachted to a playhouse that is sitting on our yard (rental house), when we are outside we let them freerange, we used to let them freerange all day but they figured out that they can hop onto the fence and jump in the neighbors yard, which has cats and dogs - yikes-

    For the time between move and finishing the new coop we bought a 6x11 dog run that we'll place the coop in.

    Any Ideas???

    this is what our chicken house looks like now (we have 4 hens now, the first 2 chickens we aquired turned out to be both roosters and we found them a new home)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Starting out with a clean slate can be so fun but also so overwhelming. For your 4 current hens, until you can build something bigger, you could always put a dog house in the dog run that you bought - that should be okay on a temporary basis. The first thing you should do is look through all the coop pictures you can find. Once you find a design that is visually appealing, then you can work from that to make it the "right" size for your flock. I think the general rule of thumb is a MINIMUM of 4 sq. ft. per bird in the coop and 10 sq.ft. in the run. For 30 birds, that translates to 120 sq. ft. of coop space and 300 sq. ft. of run space. If you can go bigger, then that is better. I definitely prefer runs that are at least partially to completely covered - keeps everything nice and dry in bad weather and provides shade in hot weather. As for predator proofing, use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire - at the very least on the lowest two feet of the run. Also make sure you either make a hardware cloth skirt for the run or dig a trench and bury the hardware cloth in the ground - this prevents digging by predators. Keep asking questions as you look through coop pics and get ideas.

    Good luck in designing and building your new coop and definitely share pictures along the way!
     
  3. Jakoda

    Jakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I converted part of my shed for my chicken coop..Honestly, I think the easiest way to go is buy a prebuilt shed and modify it yourself. I found lots of prebuilts on ebay, searching shed companies. I envy you with 40 acres!!
     
  4. DianaM

    DianaM New Egg

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    Aug 20, 2012
    I too need to find a totally new set-up. I have 2 chickens...maybe one or none once I figure out if they are roosters...hahaha. I am a paraplegic & need to be able to tend to things. I need it to be off the ground so I can reach, but I'd like the chickens be able to have a run on the ground & be able to fly around & stretch their wings.

    I live in a community with covenants against chickens, so I'm trying to keep this suburban friendly. I can't see why I can't have a chicken or 2 if others have a bunch of dogs, cats, or parakeets.
     
  5. MollyDora

    MollyDora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2012
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    I was already thinking about the shed idea, some sheds just look so cute.

    I'm glad you brought up that part of the run should be covered because of mud and shade, I did not even think about that important part!!!

    Good think I work at Lowes! Hopefully I can get some dibs on some reduced price items as we go.

    Once we move in to the property I have to take some pictures, since I am just thinking about the fact that there is a horse stable on the property with 4 stalls and the last stall (the one that is closest to the house leads to a different pasture a kind of round pen (which is really too small to work horses)

    Maybe we could convert that last stall into a chicken coop... I'm thinking close off the walls, add some features, fence the round pen off and cover it, --- voila, - chicken coop.

    We will eventually have horses, but not more then 3.
    Does anybody think anything speaks against having the chickens next to the horses (of course without having them together!)

    OMG- I cannot wait to get started on this!

    Thank you for your help.

    And Jakoda - you have no idea how excited I am to finally move in to the place and watch the deer and wild turkeys. it'll be lots of hard work but so worth it.

    My favorite quote: I never said it was going to be easy, but it's going to be worth it!
     
  6. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nothing wrong with having the chicken coop in the horse barn - it's the current set-up that I have as do a number of other folks on BYC. As a note, I believe that horses can get lice/mites from chickens but as long as you stay on top of that since you don't want your chickens to have them anyway, it should be fine. We have never had that issue with chickens or horses. One thought with respect to horses - even though you do not plan to have any more than three, it is sometimes nice to have an extra stall - then again, turning the fourth stall into a chicken coop can help prevent the effects of horse math (almost as bad as chicken math!). I like the idea of converting the one stall and the attached round pen into a chicken area - that has potential to be really neat! And some of it is already in place which definitely helps.
     
  7. MollyDora

    MollyDora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2012
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    that sounds great! We did the final walkthrough for the house today and should be closing by next friday. So very exciting.

    I can't wait to post pictures of everything and measuring it, since I found your rule of thumb for square foot per chicken super helpful; we want to measure the stall and see how many chickens would fit and maybe make it bigger.

    i have a really hard time explaining things by writing so I'll take pictures soon and we'll go from there.

    THANK YOU

    PS: I have this idea in my head that once the run is fenced in, I'd like to put some white pickets around the whole thing (just for show), to make it look like a white picket fence... I think that would just be adorable


    this is how I feel right now -----> [​IMG]
     
  8. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2012
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    Congratulations on your new home! -sounds amazing!!! Wow - 40 acres!
    A shed style coop for 30 chickens sounds great (or, a small barn would be wonderful as well).
    -found the following shed which will convert perfectly to a coop: http://handyhome.com/sheds/gable-sheds/home-depot-exclusive/majestic-8x12-shed/
    I'm thinking it is the exact shed customized in the following: http://www.thefancyfarmgirl.com/heres-the-coop/
    (I love this one!! -my dream coop which the DH and I are going to attempt to replicate for our flock....with more chicken space and less furniture [​IMG] )
    -best of luck on your chicken endeavors - enjoy!!
     
  9. MollyDora

    MollyDora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2012
    Crocker, MO
    oh that is just fantastic!

    As impatient as I am and as difficult as this is, I think we have to wait till we have keys and then take tons of pictures and measure the horsestall that we might convert and go from there.... oh joy.

    We have been working on this house deal for 3 months and it's been a long and hard fight but it is going to be so worth it!!
     
  10. ryeguy

    ryeguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2012
    I was in the same situation as you in regard to not knowing what to build and what it should loo like. I spent a lot of time on the "coops" section of the site going through designs I liked and trying to combine all the features into something that suited what I was capable of actually building myself and what would be within budget.
     

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