New to this in Kansas City

JimNKC

Chirping
Jun 4, 2017
20
26
57
Hiya folks,

I was looking for books on coop plans when I found BYC. Have never had birds before, but my wife had some in Bolivia and she's excited too about getting some finally, as are our 5 yr old kiddos! We've got a backyard about 100'x75' that already includes 2 arrays of solar panels and a 10x12 shed. We are also exploring gardening out there (raised beds and permaculture eventually), and have already started microgreens in the basement and in time hydro/aquaculture down there too. The Dervaes family videos on Youtube have been quite an inspiration to us.

Kansas City codes say we can have up to 15 non-crowing birds and their coop has to be at least 100' from any residences. That will limit our coop to the back 1/3 of our yard. We are still looking for some good plans to build, although I am wondering if repurposing an 8x10 shed would work well, putting in laying boxes, perches, cutting panels to swing open for ventilation with that welded 1cm sqaure garden cloth.

I'd like to do the deep layer in the bottom to reduce total cleanouts to once a year and compost the manure, feathers, etc. Sounds like pans under the roosts is the way to go, too. For birds, any suggestions? We are in zone 5/6 in Kansas City and I am just getting started... wondering if we could do Easter Eggers here? I like the idea of colored eggs and my wife grew up with brown eggs... she says the white ones have no flavor! Also, the limit may be 15 so I was thinking to build a coop for 12-15, but maybe start with only half a dozen or so.

Our goals are fresh eggs for us, as well as extras to sell either to friends or at a farmers market. We've already had 2 friends express interest in fresh eggs! So, I guess number per year, as well as size are important considerations... but if possible I was thinking maybe 50-75% Easter Eggers and a couple others just to have some differences. With all hens, they should all get along okay once their pecking order is established, if they have enough space, right?

Last question for my overly long intro... have started reading Mother Earth News again for ideas, and my wife saw an article showing basically a 32'x36' pen with a coop and a covered run along the entire outer edge except the gate, with 8 or 10 raised beds for crops and closeable gates near each bed. It also had a movable run that could be positioned over each bed and the gate opened to let the hens go in and pick over that bed after being harvested. Thoughts on a set up like that? Anyone done it? Suggestions? :)
 

Poultrybreeder

Crowing
Apr 21, 2017
1,502
1,616
272
New Mexico
The chicken needs on average 4 square feet per body, so that they can have some space to move around. Chickens need plenty of sunshine as well as shade, so I would recommend having and uncovered part of the run for your hens to enjoy the warm sun.
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
56,962
228,563
1,687
Hi and welcome to BYC. I'd suggest asking your questions on this forum - https://www.backyardchickens.com/forums/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance.9/ and please include your general location (you can include this under your avatar) as it will enable peeps to give you better advice.

More generally, you'll find lots of info in the Learning Centre - https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/category/learning-center.11/ and if you have a specific topic in mind, just type it in the search box - there's a wealth of information on past and present threads.

Each week, various topics are discussed, which can also be a great resource - https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archive

You may wish to consider joining your state thread as it will put you in touch with other BYC members in your area - http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/270925/find-your-states-thread#post_3239224

All the best

CT
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,048
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC - so glad you've joined us. Repurposing a shed is a great way to build a coop and can often save you quite a bit. Starting with fewer than your max is a great approach as it allows for adding different breeds/birds as you start really getting "the bug" - the flexibility also gives you the chance to experiment with different breeds to figure out which ones you do/don't want to keep in your flock.
 

JimNKC

Chirping
Jun 4, 2017
20
26
57
Welcome to BYC - so glad you've joined us. Repurposing a shed is a great way to build a coop and can often save you quite a bit. Starting with fewer than your max is a great approach as it allows for adding different breeds/birds as you start really getting "the bug" - the flexibility also gives you the chance to experiment with different breeds to figure out which ones you do/don't want to keep in your flock.

OK, so, some thoughts on all this... talked to my boss at work and he said I can have all the pallets I want (our warehouse probably gets 2-3 trucks a week, so constantly getting some in and I can cherry pick which ones I want!) Also, another tech said he'd come over and give me a hand with the build and he's pretty handy. :)

So, new thoughts tonight are: What about repurposing HALF of our shed (I measured and it's 10x12, so that would give me roughly 6x10=60sqft for up to 15 birds. I was thinking about building an inside wall, so we could still store the lawnmower, some seasonal stuff, etc... although I am wanting to turn under a lot of our backyard for either some garden beds or permaculture type guilds, so less mowing and watering.

Inside our shed the ceiling is out of my reach, so the peak is at least 8' tall (I am 5'9"), could I build a dividing wall with a door for interior access, then maybe a ceiling for them around 6'6" high and use above the coop as extra storage for rakes and other bulky but not heavy items? Cut a door down low for a ramp, and cut some ventilation "windows" on the North and South sides up near the ceiling of the coop and line with garden cloth? Put some latches on each to be able to secure for the night, and insulate the walls and cover inside with plywood or something easier to clean, to help with regulating the temperature...

Also thinking about putting gutters on the roof of it for rain catchment and maybe a solar panel or two on the South facing slope to power the shed. If I am saving a bunch by not building, maybe that money could be spent on these other projects. I've been wanting to start experimenting with a DIY 12V solar build too. :)
 

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