Oh crap, what have I done ...

more_old_dogs

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2020
13
59
43
San Francisco Bay Area
Already in building process ... ships next week. Would building a bigger run for them help? Otherwise will have to take some chicks off the order ...
My husband and I are talking about ordering precisely the coop you ordered but for 6 hens. I'm wondering if we could buy it off you before they ship it to you. I feel for you. Our current coop is way too small for 6 and we over-ordered chicks too in our excitement.
 

AppleMomma65

In the Brooder
Mar 16, 2020
45
48
33
Prior Lake, MN / Spooner, WI
My husband and I are talking about ordering precisely the coop you ordered but for 6 hens. I'm wondering if we could buy it off you before they ship it to you. I feel for you. Our current coop is way too small for 6 and we over-ordered chicks too in our excitement.
I'm so excited for this coop! I've had excellent CS from them and will make it all work. Talked to hubby today and are making an even bigger run for them. A lot of people I've talked to said that the coop is for resting and laying. The four next boxes are plenty and there are actually two roost ledges for them. Will downsize a bit but will only decrease by 2. If still too many, I have two people who want the chickens I'm getting. All good!
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
7,291
14,239
642
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you - good to hear from a current owner! I read a lot of reviews on them before buying and they had the best reviews around for a well-built coop within my price range. Can I ask if you purchased the winterized panels - as you are in NE WA? I'm still getting them as will help in keeping out snow and wind but just curious. Also - did you have any concerns with not having a ladder? That was the first thing I noticed but when I called they said that it's more natural for chickens to want to fly up to roost. Can easily add ladder but that would take up floor space. Do you do anything for the condensation?
My coop was a lot, lot smaller (it was marketed as a starter model) and oddly they got the # of birds right for the starter model. I ended up with one more bird than it could hold so I modified it by removing the nest box to increase roost space, and then adding a nest box elsewhere, so quite possibly you could go that route for roosting modification (though IMO you'd still need a larger run to accommodate more than 6 birds).

Yes I purchased their winterizing panels. Actually I bought a half set (mine had the option of 2 different sets) which worked out fine as I did not want to cover up all the mesh as you still need some open space for ventilation. My climate is milder than yours though we still get some snow. With this particular build, I'd say cover up the lower parts and leave anything above halfway up open (so like top half of door, assuming that comes in 2 pieces).

I added a "ladder" (just a branch propped at a diagonal) when my chicks were young but they quickly learned to fly up and down to roost. As it was a smaller unit, my roost bar was lower than the one you'll have.

The condensation I just had to live with. My current coop also has a metal roof but properly has plywood sheathing under the metal. You could possibly try adding plywood specifically in the areas above the roost and nests, as you definitely don't want dripping in those areas. The curved center roof would be much harder to correct but at least it's not directly above sleeping birds.

Also that waterer is going to freeze, even if you add a heating element, as it uses vertical nipples (so water inside is liquid, but nipples are frozen as they're external). Mine froze daily in the mornings and I had to manually thaw out the nipple. So in winter plan on having a different watering source.
 

Mountain_artist

Chirping
Apr 6, 2018
45
55
89
Western North Carolina
The other thing nobody has brought up is that she's getting like 1 of each kind of bird. Maxing out the space and having so many different breed personalities is a recipe for conflict. If she were keeping 4 of the same type of hen in there, and a hen known to be calm, that's one thing. But I've been reading up on all these and some of them are known to be pecky, some are known to prefer to keep to their own kind, and some are easy bullying targets. Not all kinds of hens get along or are a good fit for a flock. Group dynamics are a tricky thing, and keeping all these gals in their bare minimum space will lead to fighting, stress, disease, and death. I'd say not more than 3 of the same kind, or at least same size and temperament in that space.
 

BigBlueHen53

Fragile, Beautiful, Strong
Premium member
Mar 5, 2019
3,989
13,584
607
SE Missouri, USA
@AppleMomma65 let me welcome you to BYC, I don't know if you posted an intro in the New Members section. If you haven't yet, please do! :frow

It may seem you are getting some negative feedback regarding your plans for your flock. Please don't take it as intended to be harsh! There is a LOT of accumulated experience and hard-earned wisdom here, and folks are trying to spare you some of the painful consequences of their own mistakes. We all wish you well and are happy to share what we've learned along the way. Good luck and have fun! And in these difficult times, I also want to say, be well!
 

keeper 1960

Chirping
Jul 5, 2018
53
31
58
conn.
very interesting comments. i agree 99%. if the run is extra large, and you have a coop that you can walk in, but small. i think small coop can work. i have 15 hens in a 4x8 coop,8foot tall. the run is 20x25x8. the small coop they stay warmer in the winter. i have 5 boxes, but they like only two.
 

qopt

Chirping
Mar 14, 2020
73
97
50
Seattle, Washington
very interesting comments. i agree 99%. if the run is extra large, and you have a coop that you can walk in, but small. i think small coop can work. i have 15 hens in a 4x8 coop,8foot tall. the run is 20x25x8. the small coop they stay warmer in the winter. i have 5 boxes, but they like only two.
That coop seems slightly small to me IMO.
4x8?
My whole coop is 4x9 feet for 5 LF chickens, and even then I am short 14 sq ft for the birds. I am building them a bigger attached run to accommodate for that.
I can't imagine cramming 15 birds into a 4x8 space.

But I guess it's fine since you have a bigger run.
Do you have a picture of your coop?
 

Firefighter Deb

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2018
6
30
36
I'd prefer not to have a rooster but will raise it if it is. I called the hatchery and they said it would be a female if that's all I ordered (I did only order females). They will free range most of the day. May have to be in coop for a day or two if we are away. Husband is building an extra section -- 8ftx8ft and 4ft tall -- off of the new coop side for more room for them to run around. All sides on coop and the run will be surrounded by apron of hardware cloth.
If your going to Free Range you might want to re-think the rooster, the rooster is there to protect the hens. And don't worry chickens are very easy, Have you raised any other critters before?? (dogs, cats, fish?) Chickens are easier I've been doing this for approx. 30 some years. You will do fine.
 

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