New to chickens and coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hoppersway, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Hoppersway

    Hoppersway Just Hatched

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    Hi I am new to this ... I am going to build a coop that is 8x8 for 4 chickens. But I am not sure how big the house needs to be... I live in Dallas so winter and summer is crazy! Any help would be awesome !
     
  2. ChickenGoesRuff

    ChickenGoesRuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC! I assume you want to make sure the coop is large enough, which 8x8 should be, especially for only a few chickens. I have heavy gauge mesh on the insides of my coop's opening windows to let fresh air in. What breed(s) are you planning on getting (or have currently)? Again, welcome to the addictive world of chickens!
     
  3. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

    My suggestion? look in the "Coops" section and read up on the coops other's have built. Look at the pros and cons that others have discovered about each and decide on the design that would best serve your purposes. If you have any designing or planning skills, you may be able to design out the bad points. That's what I did for mine.
     
  4. Hoppersway

    Hoppersway Just Hatched

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    I have not picked a breed yet. Still trying to figure it all out. I do want eggs and maybe some meat. I just want to make sure that the house part is big enough. Looking at 4x2 or do I need more?
    And glad to be here. Been reading all the posts and trying to learn....
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    8x8 is the footprint of the entire coop+run? 2 feet is too narrow to be of any use. Think of each hen as 1 ft2. Being in the south, consider an open sided coop. More like an aviary. Maximize air flow in the summer. Heat will kill. Chickens do not need 4 walls and a roof. A simple hoop coop with one end covered and a back wall will be excellent in D. 8x8 is 2 panels long plus one cut in half for the ends. You could do a very nice coop under $300 with all the bells and whistles.
     
  6. Hoppersway

    Hoppersway Just Hatched

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    Yes 8x8 is the entire run and the coop house will be in that some how. Just not sure how big I need to go for housing for winter and egg laying
     
  7. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd try to go bigger than 8X8 total if you can. They'll squeeze in there but bear in mind you'll need a nest box which'll take up room, and they'll need at least enough room to flap their wings. I make my breeding pens 5'X5' but that's only for two birds for a short period of time. If you can do at least 6'X6' for the coop and maybe 6'X8' for the run they'll be much happier and you'll avoid feather picking, stress, etc.
     
  8. Hoppersway

    Hoppersway Just Hatched

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    Well that's new...I thought 8x8 ground space would be good...
     
  9. ChickenGoesRuff

    ChickenGoesRuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Hoppersway
    8x8 ground access is good, but for housing you also want to think of "If the chickens had to stay inside (with food, water, etc.), would they have enough room? Or would it be crowded?" While it's unlikely that you would lock them in for a week, if you were gone for a few days and didn't want to risk a predator (even with a secure run), would you feel alright leaving them in there? A decently sized coop should be livable space for the birds, where, even with a run, they still have enough indoor room to not feel overcrowded and stressed . Also want to second Flywheel's suggestion to check out the "Coops" section and look at different ideas.
     
  10. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they going to free range some? 8x8 for 4 chickens is a little on the tight side if they are going to be in there 24/7/365, but probably better if they get some time to stretch their legs.

    If you're hung up on the 8x8 footprint, I'd look at building it so that 4x8 of it (or so) is an elevated coop and the full 8x8 is run space.
     

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