Newbie Coop Questions - pics

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sedodge, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. sedodge

    sedodge Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2008
    HI,

    I live in an urban town with a fairly small yard but I'm dying to have a few chickens! I think I've finally convinced my husband that it's not a completely crazy idea, but I need some help with coop. Our yard is irrigated, not large and not level so our options for where to put a coop are somewhat limited. I think though, that we could put one along the side of the house - nestled between the outside house wall and the neighbor's fence. It's about a 4 foot wide strip.

    Neither my husband nor I have any (and I mean any) building skills or equipment, so I have hesitated over the idea of building a coop and run unless it means a significant cost savings. I just saw this ad in our local Big R and wonder if anyone has used it, thoughts, suggestions? Also, how much would it cost to build a small coop and run - we can only have 3 chickens due to city ordinances.


    Any other suggestions, comments, tips, etc. for urban chicken keeping would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much!!!!

    Sara
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Welcome! A cost of a coop and run for 3 chickens can be dollars to hundreds of dollars depending on what you want. Figure about 4 sq feet per bird inside space, and one nest for the three. Figure about 10 sq feet per bird for the run. These are just guidelines though and some do more and some do less. If you completely secure the run, you don't have to close the birds in the coop at night, which can be very convenient. Since you are in the city. I recommend the use of hardware cloth because coons and dogs can tear though chicken wire. You could even use a dog house for their shelter.

    Check out the coop design pages for some ideas on what would work for a small flock. Good luck!
     
  3. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:That's really not much space -- unless you want to try to design a 2' wide coop (which for 3 birds would not be impossible, but it would require a lot of thought and both you and the birds would really have a better time of it if it were the full 4') you'll be blocking off that whole side of the property. You're sure that local zoning would allow this, and would allow chickens to be housed against the property line? It would be a shame to have to undo a bunch of hard work!

    An irrigated and unlevel lot is not necessarily such a problem -- chickens don't need flat, and you could just arrange things so that water doesn't go squirtin' their way.

    Neither my husband nor I have any (and I mean any) building skills or equipment, so I have hesitated over the idea of building a coop and run unless it means a significant cost savings. I just saw this ad in our local Big R and wonder if anyone has used it, thoughts, suggestions? Also, how much would it cost to build a small coop and run - we can only have 3 chickens due to city ordinances.

    You don't need building skills -- you just need to be willing to learn a little. Really, whacking pieces of wood to length and sticking 'em together is NOT rocket science at all, and remember, It's Only A Chicken Coop [​IMG] Some really terrific looking coops have been made by people with no prior experience.

    The only equipment you'd need (you could borrow if you don't want to buy -- ask neighbors, family, coworkers) would be a saw (I'd recommend a cheapo $30 circular saw - read the manual before using), a $5 pair of safety goggles, a hammer which you prolly already have, and a $20 cheapo power drill (you can use driver bits in it to put in screws as well). A measuring tape would be awful handy too.

    There is one big advantage, especially in your situation, of building your own -- it can be customized to your shape/type of space and your particular needs. If you are shoehorning a coop into a small peculiar-shaped space, designing the thing to meet your needs can really help.

    If you absolutely aren't going to do that, tho, then as others have said, doghouses and small prefab storage sheds can make useful conversions.

    Have fun and take lots of pictures [​IMG],

    Pat​
     
  5. sedodge

    sedodge Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2008
    Thanks so much for the comments and feedback - I finally found a pic of the coop I've been thinking of buying at our local feed store http://www.critter-cages.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=85

    I
    really like Bryan's coop - https://www.backyardchickens.com/coops/bryan/ - it looks like it would fit our yard. If the weather warms up a bit, I think we'll give homemade a try as we have several houses in the neighborhood undergoing remodeling and have access to some bits and pieces of supplies, if we can find someone to loan us a saw.

    I'm loving this site, but find I could easily spend all day here!

    Thanks again!

    Sara
     
  6. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

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    Evening Shade, AR
    Hi & Welcome to BYC!

    Just wanted to share our modified Chick-N-Barn/Yard with you. We bought it last year when we needed to move the chicks outdoors but their coop/run weren't completed yet. After we finished the main coop/run, we decided to leave the 5 Silkies in the Barn/Yard and it's just about perfect for them.

    Hope this helps!

    Dawn
     
  7. sedodge

    sedodge Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2008
    I have been busily studying your page here! I love how you raised the coop up - seems like it would make cleaning it out easier and help with rodent control. I was wondering if I could just put the coop part on top of the run - that way I wouldn't have to build anything lol! Do you think that would work? Would I need to put a partial floor in or could I just use the top of the run as the floor of the coop?

    Also, does anyone know how big of an opening is necessary for a door or hatch through which chickens can access a ladder to the lower level?

    Many thanks! I went and visited my chicks today - the kids have names picked out already and are soooo excited!

    Sara
     
  8. whatnow?

    whatnow? Out Of The Brooder

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    That's the way I am building mine, too. The coop floor will be 30 inches off the ground so there will be plenty of room to seek shade. My other thought for doing this is that it brings the mess up to table height so the nest boxes, feeder, waterer, etc. should be accessible without too much bending over. If you plan it right, the floor will be high enough to scrape everything into a wheelbarrow.
     

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