New Coop questions and advise

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by terricksa, May 19, 2010.

  1. terricksa

    terricksa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I am about to embark on my build this week and weekend.
    I just got a 7'x3'x3' shipping crate but plan to make it 7'Lx5'Wx at least 4' maybe 5' high. Right now I have 10 birds but I think at least one is a roo and we really don't want to keep a roo.

    But on to my questions.

    1. I plan to raise it off the ground and was thinking 24-30" up. Is this a good height or is there a better one(I am in SW PA).

    2. Nest boxes, I was thinking 3 on the outside of the coop but wasn't quite sure how big to make each one? Was leaning towards 12"x12" or 14"x14".

    I plan to have one side of the coop open as a door for cleaning and will put in at least one window with some other venalation. I also need to make it to stay warm in the winter.

    I think that is it for now. Will post pics as it progresses and I need to hurry as they are outgrowning the playpan in the garage now.
     
  2. Marie1234

    Marie1234 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2010
    Make it just high enough to slide the wheel barrow under for cleaning. 14x14 is milk crate size...sounds good. Some people like to use liners though for easy cleaning. I've seen several on here where people pick up things like dish pans from dollar store and make space to work those in. Take them out and hose them off once in a while and that seems like a nice feature.
    Good luck!
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:1. As long as it's at least 18 inches off the ground, that's enough for the chickens to comfortably get up underneath it in case of rain or snow. Between the height of the legs and the height of the coop (I would think 4 ft. would be easier to work with for a raised coop), choose what makes it easy for you to do cleaning and reaching in. You don't want a coop that's hard to work with.
    2. In PA, I would consider inside nest boxes, elevated maybe 18 inches off the floor of the coop so you don't lose floor space, with just a really narrow flap door to reach in for eggs. It'll help keep the nest boxes warmer in winter time. Three boxes are fine, and the size is up to you. I have larger nest boxes, but many go with 12 x 12s to conserve space. Nest boxes can wait another month or two, so don't stress about those right now.
    When you plan where your access door is, be sure to factor in how you'll do your roosts. For example, if an entire side is a door, then the roosts can't extend end to end. However you can still run them across the other way...
    Especially based on your location, your space will be pretty tight, even if one chicken ends up being a rooster and gets rehomed. When they're full sized and cooped up together quite a bit this winter, you'll really need to watch them that they're not picking at one another (a sign of overcrowding stress).
    Good luck with your building!
     
  4. terricksa

    terricksa Out Of The Brooder

    55
    0
    39
    Mar 4, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Quote:1. As long as it's at least 18 inches off the ground, that's enough for the chickens to comfortably get up underneath it in case of rain or snow. Between the height of the legs and the height of the coop (I would think 4 ft. would be easier to work with for a raised coop), choose what makes it easy for you to do cleaning and reaching in. You don't want a coop that's hard to work with.
    2. In PA, I would consider inside nest boxes, elevated maybe 18 inches off the floor of the coop so you don't lose floor space, with just a really narrow flap door to reach in for eggs. It'll help keep the nest boxes warmer in winter time. Three boxes are fine, and the size is up to you. I have larger nest boxes, but many go with 12 x 12s to conserve space. Nest boxes can wait another month or two, so don't stress about those right now.
    When you plan where your access door is, be sure to factor in how you'll do your roosts. For example, if an entire side is a door, then the roosts can't extend end to end. However you can still run them across the other way...
    Especially based on your location, your space will be pretty tight, even if one chicken ends up being a rooster and gets rehomed. When they're full sized and cooped up together quite a bit this winter, you'll really need to watch them that they're not picking at one another (a sign of overcrowding stress).
    Good luck with your building!

    Thanks for the info. How much bigger should I go? shoudl I go 8x5 or 7x6 or even bigger? I know always go bigger.
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, most folks try to give each LF (large fowl) bird 4 sq. ft. of coop space each. Some, especially people who live in year-round warm weather areas where the chickens are only indoors to lay or sleep, do get by with less. And some folks not in warm weather areas get by with less. Some flocks are pretty harmonious and deal with tight spaces pretty well; while others result in a lot of bullying behavior. But for 10 birds I would want at least 40 sq. ft. myself, and for 9 I would want at least 36 sq. ft. So it really depends on how many chickens you think you'll end up keeping. For me, visualations help. Tape off an area the size you're considering, and then picture 10 cats living there...lol (because my cats are around the 7 lb range). In good weather, my birds are almost never in the coop, so size doesn't matter. But last winter they stayed inside a LOT. They hated snow (you'll be shoveling a lot of paths and patches for them...lol), and mine didn't like temps. down in the teens; they'd typically hang out indoors until it made it up into the 20s (unless it was windy...they don't do well with cold and wind). I opened my pop door daily last winter so that they had the option to go out...
     

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