Raised coop dimensions for 40+ birds?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Lanfear, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. Lanfear

    Lanfear In the Brooder

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    I am new to chickens (and the chicken craze that goes with it). My mom and I are building a coop that will eventually house the chicks/keets that hatch from the 56 eggs we're getting Saturday... nothing like a deadline to make you decisive and get to work!

    **Important thing to note: Temperatures range from around 30°C to sometimes as cold as -40°C! My winter plan is to move the chickens into the greenhouse that's built into the barn and build a coop within the greenhouse, as well as utilize some of the barn itself for additional roaming space during our annoyingly cold winters. This coop we are building does not have to be insulated as we plan on using it during spring-summer-fall.

    We both really both raised and walk-in coops, but prefer style of a raised coop. I want to plan for a coop that'll house 40 birds at 4 sq ft per bird (160 sq ft coop). *Most* coop plans for this many birds are walk-in coops... I understand the deeper the coop is, the harder it is to clean (reach the back of coop). Does anyone have a raised coop that is 8' deep? I'm worried we will regret making it 8' deep if we go with a raised design... I know many raised coops are only 6' deep. Does the extra 2' make it that much harder to clean? In order to decrease board wastage, my thinking is to build a 8' x 20' base coop. Alternatively, we could build a few smaller coops side by side as we will have 6 or so heritage breeds that at some points I would like to get pure breeds from rather than letting them all free range together....
     
  2. Chef JimmyJ

    Chef JimmyJ Songster

    There is a large assortment of Rakes and other tools with Telescoping Handles. That wound take care of the clean out...JJ
     
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  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    Any reason you prefer a raised, non walk-in coop versus a walk-in? Just asking because IMO nothing beats a walk-in in terms of convenience, everything from cleaning up to cleaning out, and being able to get in to help encourage birds onto roosts or grabbing a bird that needs medical treatment. The height of the walls also helps to add air volume which is probably beneficial when you're talking about a large quantity of birds being housed. Yes it takes a little more material to build but I think it's worth it.
     
  4. Lanfear

    Lanfear In the Brooder

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    It's conflicting. We like the raised coop because it offers a place to hang feed/water underneath the coop, and give them shelter in the runs if it's raining and they don't want to be in the coop. You can sweep the litter right into a wheel barrow (we plan on deep clean method). Better deterrent against ground predators like snakes... and overall just really like the look. Also decrease in wood materials. I really like the California Coops that can be bought for painful amounts of money ;) But on the other hand a shed-like coop you can have a safer place to store feed bins, and less challenging if you make it deeper as you can walk right in to stir bedding around.
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    Yeah I was thinking the "best of both worlds" would be a raised walk-in, though that can get pretty tall! My coop is slightly elevated on skids to keep it out of the muck and peaks at 8.5', so the peak of the roof towers over me at around 9'. I don't use the space underneath (too short for anything but chicks) so it's aproned with hardware cloth to keep chicks and pests out.

    Well a partially or wholly roofed run would give you the rain shelter you were mentioning (of course that would be additional cost).

    I rake the coop litter from the coop straight into the run so the height of my coop has no bearing on that... then again I set it up that way for easy clean out and "recycling" of litter.

    As far as aesthetics and material cost, well, can't argue with that. :)

    I don't think there's a wrong or right way to do this but just giving you some food for thought. Like I thought I wouldn't mind bending over to maintain a coop or to put chickens on a roost but after doing it for 2 years, I sure was glad to transition to a coop where I could stand up straight inside!
     
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  7. Lanfear

    Lanfear In the Brooder

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    Well just to update, after considering the advice given on here and calculating costs of building vs buying a 10' x 20' pre-built building, we ended up going for the latter (we also have to move, then fix up/clean our previous house for sale, so time is already crunched). Found a building on sale that will serve as the barebones of our coop! Just need to build on the inside, probably add sprayfoam insulation (might not winterize in greenhouse after all) and add some extra ventilation on the sides :) Roof has a ridge vent and windows open up, so a decent start!
    67284598_10216607522675380_6347806348880642048_n.jpg 67302316_10216607524075415_6169904401138843648_n.jpg 67450299_10216607524355422_6319849547757518848_n.jpg
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    Excellent choice! You won't regret the advantages of a walk-in structure!
    What is your location? It helps with knowing approximately for the best advice about managing birds in your climate.
    Add much more ventilation! Look at aart's recommended article about ventilation, and consider big hardware cloth openings on the south side of your building especially.
    Chickens love to eat any type of insulation, so it must be covered, and that gives rodents a wonderful home! Maybe insulate the roof, but walls, maybe not.
    Mary
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Pretty nice!
    Plenty of space for 40 birds!

    Too bad it doesn't have eave ventilation too.
    This is a mod someone here did years ago, I've always thought it was brilliant.
    upload_2019-7-21_9-3-28.png

    Oh, and....Welcome to BYC! @Lanfear
    Where in this world are you located?
    Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
    upload_2019-7-21_9-6-23.png
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Excellent choice! Since you mentioned -40, I'll give you a link to this by a member that shares your climate.

    Alaskan's Article

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/cold-weather-poultry-housing-and-care.72010/

    Pay attention to what Mary said. Chickens like to eat insulation and it is not good for them.

    Your goal in cold weather is not to give the chickens a warm place to stay. Your goal is to give them a place they can keep themselves warm with their down coat. That basically means give hem ways to get out of a direct breeze blowing on them and keep the coop dry. Your challenge is to give them good ventilation that will remove moisture from their breathe, their poop before it freezes and as it thaws, and evaporation from water not frozen without creating breezes that hot them. I find the best way to do this is to have openings well above their heads when they are on the roost. That allows stale air to be replaced.

    That ridge vent is great but how much snow do you get? Will it be blocked by snow? Since that building has overhang I'd open up the top of the side walls under that overhang for a few inches and cover the opening with hardware cloth to keep predators out. That should keep rain and most out but the wind may move some snow inside. Hopefully not much and with good ventilation it should evaporate.

    In my opinion it is very important that you be able to access all of the inside of your coop. That access should be as comfortable to you as reasonable, otherwise you will hate taking care of them. You never know where you may need to make a repair or change, or retrieve an egg or chicken. I think you managed that.

    Welcome to the forum, glad you joined. Now go read Alaskan's article.
     
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