1. old-timey

    old-timey New Egg

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    Aug 24, 2013
    SW Ohio
    Hi,
    I'm about ready to build a coop, but before doing so I would like input from folks that have been doing this for a while.
    I have about an acre and a half on the out skirts of a small city in southwestern Ohio.
    I have about three quarters devoted to a small orchard, garden, and what will soon be for chickens.
    My plan is to house 16 layers and maybe and I mean maybe expand to no more than 24.
    I'm wanting to build a 10x12 coop, with 8x10 dedicated to living space and 4x10 to storage. Five nesting boxes will open to the storage area for getting the eggs. I will be able to add more nesting boxes, if needed, to the east side of the coop. Ventilation, doors and windows will be on three sides of the building. I plan on insulating the N, E, and W sides. I've not decided on the ceiling.
    I have an area 30x90, fenced, for range and is next to my garden with the same area, also fenced, for a total area of 60x90 on occasion. I plan on covering an area out side the coop for winter and bad weather, to give the hens a choice on getting out of doors.
    Any tips, advice or "are you nuts" will be appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. farmgirlroots

    farmgirlroots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2013
    Oregon
    My Coop
    You are not nuts and I'm sitting here with a bit of envy as you describe all the space you have for your chickens. I've heard many say their regrets include not going bigger, so if anything just build it slightly bigger than yoou need (especially to accommodate a growing flock). Sounds like you've thought out what features you need to include quite well. I would think 5 boxes would be just right for 16layers, but don't be surprised if they decide to cut that number down by choice for what they use. Ample room for roosting would be the other thing to focus on so social problems don't occur due to too many chickens fighting for room on the roost.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  3. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2013
    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    Add at least 20% to the total amount of chooks you think you might expand to. Chicken Math!

    We started with a coop for 3, had to rebuild to fit 12 (made it to fit 20), and now we've got 20...I think a another rebuild is in order this spring, lol!
     
  4. old-timey

    old-timey New Egg

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    Aug 24, 2013
    SW Ohio
    Thanks,
    I was planning on the roosts running along the 8 f. end but maybe I should think about the 10 ft. side.
    I was keeping the space down because of all I hear about "to much space" during the winter cold. I actually was planning a 12x12 coop.
    I was thinking 4 sq. ft./ chicken and then revised it to 3.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Smaller coop spaces to hold heat in winter is kind of a myth, IMO.
    You need lots of space and adequate ventilation as ventilation is more important than heat for winter.

    Insulation can be better for keeping coop cool in summer sun than holding heat in winter.
    If you have major snow events they may stay in the coop for days, and the more space the better for that.

    1 linear foot per large fowl bird is the rule of thumb for roost space. 2" x 4" wide side up is good for cold area so they can hunker down over their feet. Keep the roosts higher than the nests or they'll roost in the nests and poop them up.

    I'd go 12' x12' if you can do it. Nobody has ever been sad that they made a building too big. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  6. old-timey

    old-timey New Egg

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    Aug 24, 2013
    SW Ohio
    Thanks Ch. Ob.
    Do you think if I stagger the roost that it would prevent problems? this would double my roosting area. I seem to remember my Great Grandmothers coop having the roost staggered with what appeared to be about 12 to 14 inches in between.
     

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