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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chelsey21211, Mar 23, 2013.
Thanks in advance for any inquiries. I really hope I get some :/
If you give us more details of your circumstances it would be easier to advise you.
But the basics:
For Large Fowl 4sq.ft of coop space, 10 sq.ft of run space per bird. For bantams I'd go with 3 and 8.
Provide plenty of roost space. 12" per bird is recommended for LF I'd say 8 or 9 would be enough for a bantam.
You may have to take your climate into account. A 75w bulb is usually enough to add enough additional heat to small coops, but you may also need to heat their water to keep it from freezing.
And the best advice I can give is plan well, think ahead, build it strong, and build something you can live with. I highly suggest waterproofing the coop and lining the floor with linoleum or someother thick plastic, this will help with cleanouts.
I have OEGB and just a small, prefab henhouse that I worked on to make better; insulation, window, etc.. We have it next to our house in a 6' x 20' enclosed area (top too--hawks and cats!) away from the wire. (WELDED rabbit wire, 1/2" x 1", NOT flimsy "poultry" wire!) One pophole door (downward opening, to provide a ramp) can be opened into the main pen, the side pophole opens into a large cage I had that I put on it's side, double or triple the floor space of the henhouse. The girls are tiny, and don't care for stepping in snow, and we get drifts. I keep the side pophole open all the time; although ventilated, the cage is not drafty. I have insulation board covered by vinyl floor mat (and shavings) on the floor, plexiglass on front and end panels so I can enjoy seeing them, and choroplast (corrugated translucent plastic) on back panel and fashioned as a "lid." This way they can come out into their weather protected pen as soon as they wake (food and heated dog-bowl of water in cage section) before I get home from the night-shift. A small fluorescent fixture on a timer inside the henhouse gets them back in there, where it is warmer, before dark hits. Ditto for when they are outside in the big pen--the light draws them in and I don't have to round up any stragglers who will roost outdoors otherwise. I can leave the side pophole open at all times because there is welded rabbit wire on all sides of the cage in addition to the removable weatherproofing panels, and the pophole to the large pen is closed EVERY night in case a predator makes it past the first line of defensive wire. Also, rats can get through VERY small openings.
The whole set-up is raised almost 2'; this keeps rodents from burrowing, and also provides a shady and/or rain protected spot that is easy to net a bird from if necessary (since my henhouse and cage are both only about 3' deep, front to back. When I get home, if the snow isn't too deep and it's not too windy (winter can be bitter here) I open the front pophole door that leads from the henhouse to the big pen, so they can come and go at will. They are ALWAYS locked up at night.
Hawks LOVE banties; they're so small, and easy to carry....and hawks have LONG memories (from year to year!) about where to find them. If you are out of sight, even if only 10' away, your girls are in danger, especially after the migratory birds go south in the fall, through when the wild birds are plentiful again.
Hanging feeders. They love to kick up shavings. Forget that heated plastic water fount; it's a piece of engineering garbage!
READ the BYC page on ventilation. It's REALLY important. NOT draft--ventilation. Keep the coop floor DRY--CHECK under the dry shavings--even if you stir them daily, dust can hold water at the bottom and go unnoticed. Damp causes frostbitten combs, wattles, and toes, among other health problems.
My roost isn't tall, because of the small size of my henhouse, and my desire to keep their heads away from the ventilation section. I'd say it's about 7" high, and removable. One long 2x2 that I rounded the sharp "corners" off of, nailed onto a 7" high piece on either end, and two pieces (also about 7") nailed on either side of the upright, at each end, to provide stability. VERY simple to make, and easily removable for cleaning the coop.
I like the vinyl floor runners I use in henhouse and cage areas; I can remove most of the shavings, and then roll up the mats and remove them easily for cleaning, containing the used shavings until I get to the compost with the roll.
Good luck, and have FUN!
Thanks so much yall. a lot of good info! I live in North Texas so winters are mostly mild here. its summer that Im gna be worried about keeping my sweeties comfortable. I have a large 2x4'wire fenced in back yard with the back of it lined with really nice shade trees. that's where I have my rabbits hutch and run i was hoping to do a 4x4 coop and attach a 6x10 run. I have 7 bantys and 2 golden sex links and what i think is a brama of.some sort 10 in all. is this space going to be big enough? And what is.best to use on the top. I'm.afraid chicken wire will be flemsy??
Unfortunately, that's not really big enough, especially if they are going to spend most of their time in their coop/run. If you plan on letting them free range at least an hour or so a day you might can live with that size. But given the birds you have, you need about 12sq.ft of coop and 30sq.ft of run for the GSLs and Brahma and then 21sq.ft of coop and 56 sq.ft of run for the Bantams. So your goal is a 33sq.ft coop and an 86sq.ft run. An 4x8' coop will give you 32sq.ft and an 8x10' run 80sq.ft, this size would work pretty for you I'd think.
Edit: Forgot to mention the chicken wire. Chicken wire is designed to keep chickens in, it is not designed to keep predators out. The best thing to use is 1/2" Hardware cloth, it's strong enough to keep just about anything less than a grizzly bear out, and the holes are small enough that no raccoon, opossum, or stray cat is gonna get even a paw through.
Ok great those sizes are not too far from what i was estimating so we shoukd beable to adjust. thanks so much this was very helpful