Questions on planning a coop and run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Real McChicks, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Real McChicks

    Real McChicks Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2011
    We are finalizing our plans for the coop my husband will build. (the chicks are 2 weeks old- I told him he needs to get busy!)

    We are planning a 4x4 coop for our 4 chicks. Then we will have a covered run that is about 4x10 in the corner of our yard under a tree- two sides of it are pre-existing fence. We dont plan to free-range due to a small yard, large hawks and a desire not to have poop on our patio furniture.[​IMG]

    Since we are new to all of this, I have a few questions:

    Does the food and water go in the coop, or out in the run?

    If the run is enclosed, do we need to also close the chickens into the coop at night?

    How often would we need to get into the run? (to catch chickens or maintenance or something?) We arent sure how tall to have it.

    Will 1x1 welded fencing be sufficient, or should we go for the hardware cloth? (We have roof rats, blue jays and possibly racoons)

  2. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    Hello, sounds like you are planning a nice little coop-

    I have food in my coop, and water out in the run- of course many people have both food and water in the run, or both food and water in the coop- so it is really up to you. I like keeping the water in the run so that it doesn't drip in the coop and make the pine shavings damp. Moisture isn't good for chickens respiratory systems. (I have a bucket waterer with chicken "nipples" so it does drip a bit occasionally)

    I would recommend making the run tall enough for you to comfortably walk in- you don't want to be hunched over while you clean- and chickens poop a lot! I rake out my run about every two weeks.

    My run is enclosed with welded wire also, and I don't lock them in the coop at night. The welded wire keeps out raccoons, opossums, foxes, dogs, etc- ours is buried a foot deep too. My cat keeps down the rodent population, so we have not had any problems with mice or rats. My girls free range, so in the evening I put them back in the run and close the run up, and once it is dark they go into the coop themselves.

    You can see pics of my set up on my page [​IMG]

    You might want to make your coop and run a little bigger to take into account chicken math! I started with three but now have five... it is a slippery slope! [​IMG]
  3. Yashar

    Yashar New Egg

    Oct 18, 2010
    Oak Hill, New York
    I think the more time they spend out of the coop the better. So as long as the food won't get wet when it rains, I would say keep everything outside.

    The only reason to close the chickens in for the night is for safety. If you are confident nothing can get to them I see no a reason for closing them in. That will make things easier for you if you want to sleep in...

    Personally, I like to go in my coop and run regularly. And I like to have space to let the birds get some exerciser. Using vertical space gives more room on the ground. I put my feeders on tables and have different structures for them to jump and flutter to. With all that said, I think the taller the better. And having to clean a 4 foot high coop will not be fun. I think of coops as being just as much for the human as for the chicken.

    A 1x1 welded fencing should be plenty adequate. Be sure to go down into the ground a foot with the fencing to make it predator proof.
  4. VelvettFog

    VelvettFog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2011
    Yakima, WA

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