Questions about building a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by OrganicEggs75, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. OrganicEggs75

    OrganicEggs75 Mottled Rosecomb Heaven

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    ***Edit*** Post I made earlier did not make a ton of sense cause I was tired...[​IMG]
    So I am building my babies a new coop. So what I have planned out so far will it work?

    What I am planning to do

    1. Use sand for the run bedding
    2. Have the coop raised
    3. Use shavings for the indoor part of the coop
    4. Will make small door so they can get out if they want to
    5. Put lights in the covered run
    6. Have square nest boxes put them 3in above the ground with circle openings
    7. Have a mirror in the coop.
    8. Paint the walls on the inside a nice... PINK!!! (Oh my roo's will just LOVE that xD)
    9. Each of my babies will have themselves painted on the wall so I will be like a mural
    10. Have a sitting area in coop to watch my babies enjoy their coop
    11. Outside Of the coop Will be a John Deer Green
    12. I will have signs that will say ''Spoiled Hens Lay Better Eggs'' And ''Spoiled Roos Make Better Watch Dogs''
    13. Coop will be about 6' tall
    14. Run will be about 7' tall
    15. Run will have LOADS of branches aka Playtime roosts
    16. Run will be covered
    17. Will have plenty of ventilation
    18. And finally I will put in LOADS of... WORMS!!![​IMG] (In the run of course)

    Questions

    1. So, I have 13 chickens how big will my coop have to be? (Planning to add more letting broodies hatch soon)
    2. With 13 chickens how big will the run have to be? (Planning to add more letting broodies hatch soon)
    3. How many nesting boxes will I need for 11 Hens?
    4. How big will the nesting boxes have to be?
    5. How tall will roosts have to be?
    6. How many roosts?
    7. What kind of bedding for Indoor/ Outdoor?
    8. How to keep opossums,raccoons,mice,rats,dogs,cats Out of my coop?
    9. How do I install a poop tray under roosts?
    10. Any Ideas for a watering system?
    11. Any ideas for a feeder?
    12. How to keep bedding out of food/water?
    13. How to chick proof it so the babies are safe
    14. What bedding to use inside of nesting boxes?
    15. Am I missing anything?

    Adding Blueprints later and pics of the new coop after built [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The general rule of thumb is 4 sq ft of floor space per bird in the coop and 10 sq ft for each in the run. And, more is better if you can. I'm wondering, given the problems you had with a soggy run, if you could cover at least part of your run this time so you don't end up with quite as big a mess. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. OrganicEggs75

    OrganicEggs75 Mottled Rosecomb Heaven

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    Yay Chicks! :

    The general rule of thumb is 4 sq ft of floor space per bird in the coop and 10 sq ft for each in the run. And, more is better if you can. I'm wondering, given the problems you had with a soggy run, if you could cover at least part of your run this time so you don't end up with quite as big a mess. Good luck! [​IMG]

    The new coop I am building will be 100% waterproof and dry, that's why im putting in lights it will be covered at all times and if it is nice out i will take the cover off (It will be off at all times in the summer except at night)

    And I am going to try to cover the run I have now but it is just really yucky and smelly. Thank you for your help [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  4. pawprint2104

    pawprint2104 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You're leaving "4 mean turkeys and 4 chickens", and you expect your renters to feed them? Huh? [​IMG]
     
  5. OrganicEggs75

    OrganicEggs75 Mottled Rosecomb Heaven

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    Quote:You're leaving "4 mean turkeys and 4 chickens", and you expect your renters to feed them? Huh? [​IMG]

    Im soo tired haha, you misunderstood what I said they are not mine I am renting this place and they belong to the people that own the place... And I don't really want to take their chickens and turkeys so Im leaving them They are going to give them away if they don't come back and stay here. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  6. pawprint2104

    pawprint2104 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ohhhhh?! That makes waaaaaay more sense to me. My mistake for mis-reading. [​IMG]
     
  7. OrganicEggs75

    OrganicEggs75 Mottled Rosecomb Heaven

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    Bump... [​IMG]
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Chickens LIKE rain, it makes the bugs and worms come out.

    A 100% waterproof coop sounds like an unventilated coop, which will absolutely not work, will make them sick or worse.
     
  9. OrganicEggs75

    OrganicEggs75 Mottled Rosecomb Heaven

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    Quote:The coop and run will be water proof to keep it dry but it will be ventilated and I will let them out on my 5 acres for as long as they want, exept if it if flooded or stormy. I am buying the melworms and putting in the run so they can find them in there to [​IMG] Cause it has been extremely stormy here and it is flooding. that is why I would like the coop water proof but the can go out whenever they want except at night Well at least that is my plan [​IMG]
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:There is no magic number. The more space, the better. Personally, having TRIED it at 4 sq ft per hen indoors (plus ample run) and at up to 15 sq ft per hen indoors (plus ample run), and SEEN how differently they behave with the larger space allowance, I will never be keeping chickens at less than 10-15 sq ft apiece (plus run). That would mean something on the order of a 12x12 coop for your 13 chickens... except that if you say you plan to have more, you'd need to build bigger.

    OTOH if your main goal is just to avoid excessively-high risk of cannibalism, 4 sq ft apiece (indoors, plus run) is a reasonble ballpark figure, which would be something like 6x8; except, again, if you plan on enlarging the flock you need to build for the EVENTUAL number, not just the initial number.

    I would not recommend building less than 8-10 sq ft per chicken as run space, and again, more is better.

    Really, "more is better" is the only sensible thing anyone can tell you. Especially if you want to expand the flock.

    So IMHO the best advice is simply to build absolutely AS BIG a structure as you can possibly manage, and then adjust your flock size to suit it and to suit your priorities of how you want to be keeping your chickens.

    3. How many nesting boxes will I need for 11 Hens?

    Three is plenty, you could do four but at least two will probably never ever be used.

    4. How big will the nesting boxes have to be (Heavy breed hens)

    16x16 is nice, but you can go a bit smaller if you have to.

    5. How tall will roosts have to be? (Ok well I lied I have one bantam and one leghorn rest are Heavy)

    Whatever works for your setup and tastes. I would not put the roosts more than 4' high, or so, if you have REALLY heavy breeds like Orpingtons.

    6. How many roosts?

    You need at least 8-12" linear feet of roost per chicken. For 13 chickens, a 10' roost would be fine unless there are major social stresses in the flock... but again, see above about "if you intend to enlarge the flock"

    7. What kind of bedding for Indoor/ Outdoor?

    Indoors: IMO shavings work best but straw (especially chopped straw) is another popular alternative, or sand if you are in a warm-winter climate, and other possibilities certainly exist. The material needs to be nontoxic, nondusty, not mat together, easy to clean, and not inherently damp.

    Outdoors: lots of people just have bare dirt runs (the chickens exterminate the grass real fast unless the run is *vast*), sometimes chucking in leaves or garden weedings or whatever to give the chickens something to do. If you anticipate a mud problem there are other things to consider (see my mud page, link in .sig below)

    8. How to keep opossums,raccoons,mice,rats,dogs,cats Out of my coop?

    Appropriately strong construction of coop and run, DO NOT USE CHICKENWIRE, and remember that many predators climb (especially at night). This is too big a question for one little part of a reply, do a buncha reading here and you will get a sense of what kind of construction you'll need for a safe coop and safe run.

    Lotsa luck keeping mice outta the coop, btw. The best you can do is not offer *too* much of an all you can eat buffet, and prevent them from actually *breeding* in the coop. Ditto with rats, which are a much more serious problem than mice.

    9. How do I install a poop tray under roosts?

    Plenty of ways to do it. Mine are just fixed boards (16" wide shelving). I scrape them off every morning. Works great, takes about 10 seconds.

    10. Any Ideas for a watering system?
    11. Any ideas for a feeder?

    Do some reading, you will see what your options are.

    12. How to keep bedding out of food/water?

    Have feeder and waterer up at the height of the hens' backs, preferably either hanging or on a *narrow* platform so that drifts of bedding aren't as easily kicked up against them.

    13. How to chick proof it soo the babies are 100% safe

    There is no 100% safe. However, that said, put hardwarecloth on all mesh surfaces near the ground (to prevent heads or chicks from going thru mesh), and don't have rats or other predators, and you will be reasonably good.

    14. I am putting a pretty big covered run for the chickens so do I need to insulate the coop?

    Where do you live? Very few people "need" to insulate, but in cold-winter areas it is often very *worthwhile*. Not so much in warmer areas, except in a few very specific cases.

    15. What bedding to use inside of nesting boxes?

    Whatever you use on the coop floor is fine; shavings, chopped straw, even shredded paper (not so good on floor, ok in nestboxes)

    16. Am I missing anything?

    Do a bunch of reading, you'll discover there's more [​IMG] The only advice I can give offhand that I think it's real important for you to have at this point is: cut your popdoors at least 8" above what you expect to be the topmost level of the bedding. This may be a foot or more above the actual coop floor. Otherwise you will constantly be having bedding kicked out into the run. Oh, and it is highly advisable to shut (and predatorproof-latch) your popdoors by dusk every night of every week of every year, no matter HOW secure you THINK your run is. Cuz usually it someday turns out it wasn't so much.

    2. Put stall mats used for horses in there and cover the floor with them before I put the bedding on

    Probably not worth it unless either a) you anticipate BIIIIG problems with mud or rising damp from the ground, or b) you have a bunch of spare stall mats hanging around that you can't figure out what to do with, in which case, I can send you my address LOL

    5. Put lights in the run for the rainy days so it is not dark

    Don't need that.

    6. Have square nest boxes put them 3in above the ground with circle openings

    Many peoples' chickens prefer higher nestboxes, and if you do mount them higher, it will allow the chickens to walk aorund UNDER the nestboxes, thus giving you effectively more floorspace in your coop for them. Just make sure the nestboxes are *considerably* lower than the roost.

    7. Have a big Mirror in the coop.

    Be careful. Chickens sometimes fly into mirrors or large unprotected windows and get injured or killed (mesh or netting several inches in front of it can reduce this risk, but is OTOH a real dust catcher); also I don't know bout other peoples' chickens but mine were never really very interested in a mirror.

    17. They Will Wear Chicken diapers outside... (Maybe)

    Why on earth?

    18. Going to bathe all chickens before they go into the coop

    Why? It will not get rid of mites or lice. They would need to be actually treated for.


    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     

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