OK, Can't rebuild, what are my options (Realistic Please)

Buckeye2002

Chirping
Nov 15, 2018
90
126
86
Omaha, Nebraska
Many have shared concerns with the coop I built. I guess the all the research I did didn't do me very well. I can't rebuild, so what can I do to salvage it. It measures (interior) 3' x 13'. I still need to put the egg retreival doors (6" circles behind each nesting box) clean out door on far wall under roosts and water/feed door (in the back).

Do I scrap the floor door/ramp underneath and pull the fence from around the base? Thereby just having the front door and just having the free-range door/ramp in the front? Get rid of some of the chicks I have, if so how many? I have 23 currently. Use the floor trapdoor as a clean out portal?

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Rose Quartz

Enabler
Mar 18, 2018
2,439
62,134
1,197
East Hants N.S. Canada
I had to go look up how many chicks you had. 23 is a lot. even for a brooder to 8 weeks this building would be a tight fit for all of them to 8 weeks. (unless any of them are bantam but they don't look it.) You will have to find a way to have less, or make more space if you intend to keep them.

(I'm not sure if you were intending any for food, but if you are, keeping them to 12 weeks in that space would be pushing it, but possible, if you were going to butcher them at 12 weeks.)

at about 12 weeks they are going to be wanting 4sq ft per bird. :hugs

building wise, you're going to want ventilation, even in the winter. that much moisture from breathing inside needs to go somewhere.

the run below, if you're going to use it while they're still small, be careful. Rats can fit through that and kill your chicks. I suppose other critters probably could too, just be aware that that fencing won't keep out the smaller predators.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,288
29,201
1,002
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Not sure what to suggest with the floor entrance, what was the thought with having that there? Might be easiest to just board it up if you're not planning on using it, then remove the surrounding wire so the chickens can use the space underneath for shade and rain shelter.

As far as the "easiest" way to handle the number of chicks vs coop space, I'd raise all the birds until their teens, then reduce the flock down to maybe 10 birds at most. You can sell excess girls as layers (point of lay pullets should sell pretty well) and have any boys as dinner or sell them as such.
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,241
5,430
577
Southeast Alabama
I would remove all those nesting boxes. most are too high and they take up too much space inside. If you have to bust the wood to get them out, bust them.
You can research the proper size nest boxes for the breed size you have. Then attach the nest boxes to the outside of the wall about 6 inches above the floor of the coop. Cut a small door in side of coop so hen can go from inside coop to inside nest box. Make sure your nest boxes have a flip top outside, so you can reach in to get the eggs from standing outside behind the boxes.

You need to move your roost poles so they are about 2 feet off of coop floor and about 2 feet in between them.
Pull the little ladder from bottom hatch and cover hatch with hardware cloth for ventilation , the bottom hatch may look cool but it's nearly non functional. I see you put a small door on exterior wall and have a ladder there.

Ventilation!
You need more. Cut a couple of 12"x18" rectangular holes in the gable ends of the house up to, just below the roof, cover with HW Clothe. If you're worried about a little rain coming in the gable vents you can buy louvered vents like go on real house gables to keep water out. That way as their heated humid breath rises it goes out the gable vents and draws fresh dry air in thru the bottom hatch/vent.

That should give you a few things to work on to get started rescuing this build.
:thumbsup
 
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Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,648
11,816
712
Nevada County, CA
I think you did a very good job! Love the windows! I agree that it still needs some work, but I don't think you need to start over or scrap the whole thing.

It does need to be bigger. Mine is only 32sq ft for only 4 pullets. Can you add on to it? Maybe take out a wall and build on? Moving the nest boxes so that they have an opening into the coop and an outside access door will give you more floor space. You can probably salvage the building materials for that.

And the others are correct: you need hardware cloth for a run. The guidelines for run space is 10 sq ft per bird. But you can have less space if you free range them. If you decide to free range, you can take of the wire and leave it open to give them shade and shelter when they need it. And don't skimp on ventilation.

I was super discouraged when I finished my little coop. I got a lot of conflicting advice when I sought feedback. I changed some things, added some things, got rid of some things. It works now, but it's a work in progress. I did the best I could and made what I had work for me. And I am so glad I did - I love my little flock!

Make your lovely little coop work for you!

You. Got. This.
:thumbsup
 

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