newbie-have some questions abt coop size/build

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ydkjenn, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. ydkjenn

    ydkjenn Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all,
    I live in a Chicago suburb, so we get weather variations (below 0 in winter occasionally, and 90 in summer) I am also planning for 4 hens for starters.

    I like this coop because I have the majority of materials on hand already and it looks like something I can do with relatively little assistance. With a few minor adjustments. door placement/size, making small flap windows near the top, etc.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/basic-backyard-coop-keep-it-simple

    she says she has bantams though. Would this be an ok size for medium size hens, especially if they're in there for long periods of time in the winter?

    Also, I can't believe the small amount of space in the pens for the number of birds! I had no idea they need such little space to be happy! I have a 9 1/2' x 11 1/2' area surrounded on 3 sides by the house, so would really only need to build a front and top on the run. This even seems small for 4 hens, but looking at other coops/hens i guess it isn't. (we are also able to 'free range' our hens in our backyards as long as it's fenced and they're supervised...lol) Any ideas to attach 2 x 4's to a house without doing a ton of damage to the vinyl siding?
     
  2. ydkjenn

    ydkjenn Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, also, I have 4 cinder blocks (16 x 8 x 8) and was wondering if standing those up on end (16" high) would be high enough for the chickens to get under the coop. I didn't seen any coops with cinder blocks as legs.
     
  3. Ernie G

    Ernie G Out Of The Brooder

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    Do not stand blocks up, stack two blocks instead. Stronger that way.
     
  4. cknkids

    cknkids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many on this site suggest 4 sq ft of house space for full size chickens. This design only provides 8sq ft so would house about 2 hens. I love this design for it's simplicity, and as someone new to chickens, plans are so helpful! Here is anther set of plans and a post on space.

    Purina Hen House - 16 sq ft house
    http://poultry.purinamills.com/NUTRITIONMANAGEMENT/HenHouseHutchDesign/default.aspx

    Good post on housing space needed…
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/700308/coop-and-run-size#post_9504811

    9.5' x 11.5' = 109.25 sq ft would be enough for 11 hens. I'm interested that you say this is surrounded by the house on 3 sides. This may not be where you want you hens. My suggestion is keep it simple. I remember reading that no mater how well you plan, after you have your hens you'll want to change it. I think this is very true.

    My hens can't have too much space, they have a predator proof run but spend most days roaming a large area of our yard that is fenced for them. They had the whole yard until i realized how many land-minds were on the grass.
    [​IMG] Here's our set up. We built on an existing concrete pad. It's sized for 7 hens and tall enough for DH (6'3") to easily clean inside. This is way more room then we need for our 3 hens, yet I expect we'll get a few more in the spring. We love the attached predator proof run. The hens can go out in the run as soon as they're up. They spend much of the day in the yard, if we're going to be gone at dusk we put them back in the run before leaving. Also, we can leave them alone for a long weekend without getting a chicken sitter and if we're gone for a longer time, the sitter gets the benefit of fresh eggs.
     
  5. ydkjenn

    ydkjenn Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks cknkids for the links. that purina house looks complicated! and more expensive than I'd like. I'm trying to find scrap and/or what I can repurpose, at least for starters.
    Maybe I can make two of the simpler, smaller ones? lol

    Out of curiosity, why not build with house on three sides? It's an unused part of the yard because of its location and more difficult to access. It's basically sitting there as an old rock bed (Which i will clear out) and collecting weeds. (you have to walk around the entire house/yard to get to it from the backyard door.there is however a window that would be in it so I could always look out and check on things) It's also more secluded from neighbors rather than out in the middle of the yard. I have neighbors on either side and behind. I can always expand if need be.

    Keep the ideas coming. I'm open to hear anything
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  6. cknkids

    cknkids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like it may be perfect for you.... I guess I was in-visioning it in the main part of your yard. I've found staying flexible with our girls helpful. Have fun.
     
  7. ydkjenn

    ydkjenn Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok. I thought maybe there was a disadvantage to being up against a house, like sanitary issues or less air flow or something.
    Thanks. I will have to draft up something between the basic one and the Purina one, I think. Definitely a good place to start.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  8. jeds chickens

    jeds chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a coop that has 9 square feet and I have four birds that are around 4- 5 pounds and they fit fine. I let them out during the day to free range though. I think chickens need 2 square feet at night and 4 square feet during the day. My chickens can still walk around and I have a feeder and water in there to. They lay eggs as well so i think there fine.
     
  9. ydkjenn

    ydkjenn Out Of The Brooder

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    I think I can modify the first plans to do a 5 x 3 by 4ft high (exterior dimensions) coop to give just under 15 square feet. That sounds like it would be least amount of plywood waste and bigger than original.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    A photo of the area would help folks make suggestions.
    You are right to be concerned about sanitation and ventilation.
    Not sure penetrating the vinyl siding is a good idea.
    Are these going to be stealth chickens or are they allowed in your location?
     

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