Open or Closed coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hagadorn6, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. hagadorn6

    hagadorn6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello
    I'm totally new to this chicken thing, my husband just brought 3 chickens home on the spur of the moment. I built a small coop and put wire around it for a pen.

    Does the coop need to be totally closed with a solid door or is it okay to keep a door that has wire on it?

    Do I need to put a light bulb in the coop for heat?

    Do the chickens need a smaller box inside of the coop that they can climb into to keep warm?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks
    JeSs
     
  2. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome!! Welcome!![​IMG]

    Where are you, first of all? Open coop or closed coop depends on what the weather is like where you live, especially in winter.

    Go to the coop section and check out all the designs. There are TONS of them!! Then go to the coop section in the forum and spend -- oh -- the next year or so there -- oops, you have chickens already, and it's September.

    Well, take your time about it anyway. Build it the best you know how. The chickens won't care what it looks like as long as it's draft free and dry. You won't need to worry about looks as long as it's easy to clean. Your neighbors -- well. . . .

    Good luck! Keep posting! Learn how to post pics of your coop because I'm still building one, and I need all the help I can get!
     
  3. hagadorn6

    hagadorn6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Im in Eagle Idaho. My husband said he was bringing home chickens so I threw together a small makeshift coop before he got home. It is a work in progress, but I knew I'd need somewhere for them to sleep safe so I had to do what I did with what i had on hand at the time. I used 2 sheets of plywood and took apart my kids old bunkbeds for posts and a roost, but in all seriousness, I have no clue what im doing and i wanted to build something much bigger. This is what I could come up with at the time and I'm adding a door to the front. I guess I could just cut a whole in the side for them to come out? I like the door idea better, I can let them out in the mornings and that way i won't need to worry about coyotes or foxes during the night.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  4. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm pretty new to chickens, as well - just got ours this summer.

    I think the open/closed coop decision should be based on 1) climate and 2) predators.

    We're in southern CA. Our coop is closed up like Ft. Knox (we do have windows for ventilation) because we are surrounded by coyotes and raccoons. We built a little tunnel by which the chickens can pass from the coop to a pen built of hurricane fencing (I think that's what it's called), enclosed on five sides - including roof.

    So far absolutely no sign of predator issues for us. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Great job on short notice.

    It is September in Idaho so you don't have a lot of time but you have a little. First, read Pat's Ventilation Page. She lives in Ontario so her comments may really strike home for you. Of course, it is a great read for somebody in Florida.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION

    Then I'd suggest going through this thread.

    Coop lessons learned
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=140561

    And finally, look through the learning center at the top of this page.

    The rule of thumb is a minimum of 4 square feet per chicken in the coop with 10 square feet per chicken in the run. These are rules of thumb and can vary for your specific circumstances. Since you are probably going to have several days where the chickens can have problems going outside the coop, I'd seriously consider making the coop a little bigger.

    How cold is the extreme where you live? I don't have a problem with single digits and no supplemental heat or insulation as long as I have adequate vertilation and no drafts directly on the chickens, but I'd suspect your coldest nights are colder than that. And with only three, they are not going to get a lot of additional heat from huddling together. Hopefully Pat will see this and comment. I'd trust her more than anyone else on here with this topic. My climate is warmer than yours and probably has less wind, so I hesitate to be too specific.
     
  6. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Monroe, North Carolina
    pretty darned nice coop for such short notice!! Is the ramp out of the bunkbeds, too? I'll bet the kids got a laugh out of that![​IMG]
     
  7. hagadorn6

    hagadorn6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Yes, it took me about 6 hours to do it and its bar far not what I was imagining when we talked about chickens, but when my husband woke up and said I'm getting chickens today, i had to do what i could with what we had on hand and yes the ladder is either the headboard or footboard piece of the bunk bed. Plus, When I had just started building in, my MIL stopped by and she asked what I was doing and I told her I was trying to figure out how to build a chicken coop out of the materials I had on hand. SHe said, " Do you Even know what your doing?" That was motivation enough for me to get something, anything together for those chickens before hubby got home with them..haha
     
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

  9. hagadorn6

    hagadorn6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thanks for the info. And hello to Novia Scotia, I have relatives there somewhere [​IMG]
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Whoa, that is an excellent, excellent job for on-the-spot banging-together. <applause>

    For the time being, I'd suggest adding ventilation and coon-proofing th wire front (add smaller mesh, and make sure it cannot be ripped/pried open.

    For winter, you *could* winterize that to sorta work if you *had* to, but an actual walk-in larger coop (freestanding, or within an existing outbuilding if you have any) will work lots better for you, in terms of chicken health/comfort and in terms of ease and pleasantness of management. If you build something, build it as big as you can realistically stand, don't get stuck on this "magic number 4 sq ft per chicken" thing that gets tossed around here [​IMG] When it's way-subzero blizzard-nasty for days or weeks at a time, the chickens highly benefit from as much indoor space as you can give 'em, believe me [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun, welcome to BYC, and kudos again on that coop you've put together,

    Pat
     

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