new here, need coop advise

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by schemi, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. schemi

    schemi New Egg

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    Oct 12, 2014
    Southern Oreegon
    Hello all, new to the forum. I am working on finishing my coop and run. My run is 12x36 and my coop is 6x6. My girlfriend stopped by the feed store and bought 12 chicks. She did not realize that is too many for the coop. Will it work to I add a 4x6 shelf to make a 2 story coop totaling 60 sq feet? I can make the coop larger but it will have to wait till spring.
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 27, 2014
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    You can, but the poop buildup on that second story will be pretty bad. How old are these 'chicks' ?
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to out forum!

    You could do that, or you could move the food and water outside, or you could cover part of the run to make it more functional, or you could predator proof the run -- there are a lot of possibilities. If we had a few more details of your setup and, especially, an idea of where you live, perhaps we could be more helpful. If you are in a warm climate, you may not actually need any more coop space, depending how it is set up. It is those "snow days" when they want to stay in that create need for more indoor space -- and, really, in a very cold climate, 4 sq ft per chicken is pretty skimpy.

    You can add your location under your name by going in your profile, upper right hand corner of any page.
     
  4. schemi

    schemi New Egg

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    Oct 12, 2014
    Southern Oreegon
    the run is all fenced of with poultry wire. The top is half roofed and half poultry wire with a poultry net over it. The back wall of the pen is wood on the lower half and fence on top. The side with the coop is all wood and a solid wood door. I already have the food and water outside. The chicks were 2-3 days on Thursday. I have them in my garage in a water trough until they are old enough to go outside. I am in Oregon so it does get cold. Range is -20 to 20. It is not supposed to get over 50 next week with hard freezes at night. Record low last year -27. I told her to get 6 but she loves animals and they had 12 chicks left and she didn't want the other 6 to be lonely.
     
  5. Mahtowagal

    Mahtowagal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 11 chicks here. Big Cochins. Our coop is 8 X 12 and I can see that we could have easily been fine with half the space. They are all up on their roost at night and lay in the hay during the day. They don't move around much.... their run is about 16 X 32 or so....and we did predator proof it all including hardware cloth on the bottom half, chicken wire on top and chicken wire on the "ceiling" portion to keep hawks out. I still lock them in the coop at night. I dont know about other breeds but I know that Cochins at least, are very comfortable just laying around and not doing much....so they really don't even need a bigger area to be happy. I think you'll be fine with your coop size!
    I wouldn't worry about a second floor. They are always just laying around together.... dont seem to need alot of room for that. :) So as long as you can let them out every day, I think you'll be fine.
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  6. schemi

    schemi New Egg

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    Oct 12, 2014
    Southern Oreegon
    Thanks for the help. My mom lives close by and she has a 4x6 coop with a smaller run and she has 12 chickens. She has kept 8-14 chickens in her setup for 17 years with no issues other than a bear in the run once and some free range predator issues. She no longer free ranges.
     
  7. Mahtowagal

    Mahtowagal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could never risk free ranging around here... would be so much fun to have them out and all over the yard, pasture, barn....but I just can't put them at such high risk. They are my pets now.
     
  8. OEG Lifer

    OEG Lifer Out Of The Brooder

    I free range when i'm around. When I need them back inside the run I toss some scratch in the door, and try to stay out of the stampede
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like you have a good setup. If they have enough room to roost and enough ventilation, with a run that big, they will probably be fine. You could even put the nests outside, under some sort of cover to keep them dry, if you just thought you needed to increase the coop space -- but I'd guess you won't need to. Maybe next spring you will decide to, just to make your own workload lighter, but then maybe you will decide it's not necessary. There is nothing written in stone about the 4 sq ft per chicken idea. Many chickens have done fine in half that, if things allow them other sorts of space.
     

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