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Oh dear, can't make up my mind

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nmretire, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. nmretire

    nmretire Hatching

    Apr 2, 2011
    I thot I was settled on an A-Frame coop that would have a run too. The coop would be 6'x6' and the run would be the same. I have the plans and believe I will be able to do this although I am 4'11" and 70...yikes![​IMG]
    But now I don't know where I would put the roosts or the nest boxes. I read someones post about limited space in an A Frame. Now I am in a dither:p
    The only reason I wanted an A-Frame was because I could walk in it to clean it and I have no clue how I could build a box coop and put on a roof by my self. I plan on having about 12 chix
    Any ideas would be very much appreciated.

  2. Green_Eggs_and_Ham

    Green_Eggs_and_Ham Songster

    May 6, 2010
    Hi nmretire


    I don't have an A Frame, so I don't have advice on the design aspect. However a 6x6 A Frame for 12 chicks sounds a bit small. [​IMG] Not sure though.

    Someone will advise! [​IMG]

  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yes, a 6 x 6 would be quite small for 12 chickens, so if you go that route, I'd consider a much smaller flock. If you're not handy at all, then I'd consider buying a premade coop (look on CL under "chicken coops") or a shed. Keep in mind though that many advertise that their coops will hold many more chickens than they actually will (without overcrowding issues). If you're a small person, a tractor type coop might be too heavy for you to drag around anyway.
    Or if you're somewhat handy, but just lack height and muscle, then consider hiring someone to either build or help build. You do all of the planning. You could try a local votech school - someone in construction or woodworking.
  4. nmretire

    nmretire Hatching

    Apr 2, 2011
    yep, 12 is probably too many......I'm flexible...LOL

    How many do you suggest? I have the plans from "self-suffficient-life. com but I will be building the house 2' longer. the house will bde 6x6 and the run 6x6...I am going to try this by myself to save money and have some fun too...What a great personal accomplishment this will be for "ME"...lol....I might just have to do the chicken dance when it's done...[​IMG]

    I'm thinking about extending the nesting boxes outside on one of the steep slanted sides to save some room and putting roosts on the opposite side. OR, putting nesting boxes on the flat front side above the chix door. I'm not sure how high to put the nesting boxes compared to the roosts.

    Thanks for your help
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, for a confined run/coop situation (not freeranging for a least a few hours daily), the general minimum recommendation is 10 sq. ft. of run space and 4 sq. ft of housing space per LF bird. Overall, that would be somewhere around 14 sq. ft of space available total per bird. If the housing is 36 sq. ft and the run is 36 sq. ft = 72 sq. ft. So personally, I wouldn't keep more than 5 birds in that space, but if they're pretty mild mannered breeds, you might get by with another bird or two [​IMG] But any modifications you can make to free up space would be good.
    I would suggest, if you're using this as a tractor, that you try dragging around something that's of an equivalent weight in your yard (assuming the site gives an appx. weight???). One of the biggest complaints I've read about tractors is that they don't get moved very often (which is supposedly why someone wants a tractor to begin with, right?) because it's just too heavy. So the grass gets eaten down anyway.

    ETA: Okay - went back to your original post - you're just doing an A frame coop, not a tractor???
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  6. Cargo

    Cargo Songster

    Sep 28, 2010
    Farmington, NM
    It was probably one of my comments about the A frame and space. I prefer an actual shed or for a tractor I like a hoop coop.
    12 hens you should think about 8x8 minimum and bigger if you can. Some long time chicken owners recommend 2 or 3 times that much space.
  7. nmretire

    nmretire Hatching

    Apr 2, 2011
    ok 5 it is....
    ty for the response.
    Yes it is an A-Frame. and doubt if it will get moved. But I am building the run and the coop seperately and connecting them most of the time. Don't have to worry about wearing down the grass..I'm in NM and I have lot's of sand and dirt and weeds. LOL. I plan or free ranging a bit each day. We'll see.

    The plans say the nest boxes should be 12" off the floor. Does that sound right? How high the roosts?

  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Well, the whole purpose of elevating the nest boxes for me is to free up floor space. But if you're getting LF breeds rather than bantams, I don't see them being able to use that 12 inches below the nest boxes. If you can go maybe 16-18 inches high, great! If you can't go that high (because A frames are notorious for being difficult to work with in placing nest boxes and roosts), then I'd just put them on the floor. As long as the roosts are higher than the nest box perch (or opening if you're not using a perch), then it doesn't really matter how high they are. High enough to walk under would be good (chickens, not you...lol).
  9. mackenjr01

    mackenjr01 In the Brooder

    I have an A frame House for my chicks with an easy close door to a run that way they are protected at night and in the new england winter storms. But let them out in the larger run during the day. The don't need much room to sleep in and lay their eggs just to frolic and be chickens.
  10. nmretire

    nmretire Hatching

    Apr 2, 2011
    Thanks for all the input....

    I will try for the 16", once it's built...
    I can't wait to get it built

    mackenjr01.....Do you have your nest boxes on the floor or hung?

    Thanks again.

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