New with Questions and wanting advice

sodamancer

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
97
9
48
PNW
Hello everyone! i finally convinced the hubby to take the plunge into chicken raising. We are wanting hens for eggs and as they age we will use them as stewers. I am wanting to build a coop that will keep them warm in the winter months without much extra effort by us and i also want to build cheap. I have an 8x10 area p;otted out for a coop. Is that large anough for 8 chickens with a run about 20ft by 6? Without a rooster is it safe to let them occasionally range our yard freely? completely fenced in and dog/cat free.

I have decided on the DLM for managing poo. Any advice on flooring or is dirt going to work? do i need to build a foundation or is using pavers an okay solution. I would like to build a GOOD coop that is pleasing to see and functional and less than 100$ for material. Is this possible or am i being unrealistic. also i would like to skip chicks this year and strat with pullets. where would one find such a thing? all i have found are chicks.
Do i need to clip our chickens wings or cover the coop with bird fencing?

thanks!
 

mnferalkitty

Songster
7 Years
May 17, 2012
1,386
23
131
Minnesota
My coops are not insulated or heated in the winter I just make sure they have lots of straw, I do the deep litter method and my coops have wood floors and dirt floors they are old outbuildings and this works for me.
 

Supernatural

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 7, 2010
62
3
43
Des Moines
Your coop and run size is plenty big enough for 8-10 chickens. Before we finished our 6ft fence, we let ours out for supervised "yard time".

Our coop is made from salvaged material and old fencing boards. It has a wood floor, but sits on cinderblocks off the ground (that way we don't have to count it as an official "building" for tax and insurance purposes LOL). It is insulated, but we have pretty harsh winters. I see no reason why a dirt floor wouldn't work, but if you have a lot of predators in your area (raccoons, fox, opossums), I'd put a layer of hardware cloth under the dirt to keep things from digging into your coop.

I do think $100 is a bit unreasonable, but not completely impossible. We spent probably $200 on just chickenwire, hinges, latches for the coop/run, straw, the few boards we had to buy new, roost-bracket thingies, insulation, and paint (because I had to paint it, LOL). If you have access to a lot of stuff you can repurpose, then your cost could be $0 - it just depends on what you've got and what you'll need to buy.

Our run is covered with a roof made out of aluminum siding. It's not to keep them from flying out, but to protect them from avian predators (which I'm not all that worried about in our area) and mostly to give them some shade and shelter from the rain. I'd suggest covering at least part of your run with some kind of roof if they'll be in the run most of the time.
 
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