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Remodeling Coop, Can I have some Math Help Please??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by crossgirl, May 17, 2011.

  1. crossgirl

    crossgirl Day Dream Believer

    Mar 15, 2011
    Lakeland, FL
    Currently I have a 4x4 coop. We live in Florida. It's hot as hell. Or will be, it's actually a bit on the cool side here lately. After reading patandchickens big ole ventilation page, I have cut out as much of my walls as possible and replaced them with hardware cloth. The floor is already hardware cloth with pine shavings over it. Then I realized there is no where for the chickens to take cover in inclement weather except the roosts. You can see the coop's progress on my page. It aint pretty but it's functional.

    I currently have 9 chicks from 12 weeks to 1 week. I doubt I'll keep roosters but then you never know so plan for 9. 2 are LF, 4 are banties and 3 are polish so in between size. What does that make for math's sake, 6 chickens?? I want to replace three walls entirely with hardware cloth and add on an addition to the back of the coop with no windows where the chickens can retreat when we have our afternoon rains. There may be the infrequent day when they'd need to stay cooped up for 8 or more hours if we go off. How big will this addition need to be? I'm really hoping patandchickens will weigh in here but I'm happy to take advice from any and all!!
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    This is not math help -- your stated issue isn't really math, it's just "how big do you want to make things" and that's up to you [​IMG] -- but my suggestion for remodelling would be to include LARGE porch-roof type extensions in some or all directions. Even if the area under them is technically run rather than coop, if that makes sense?

    What I mean is that a) the larger a pool of shade, the cooler it'll be, and b) the larger your roof overhangs are, the less rain will blow in to where the roost is. If you feel they also sometimes need wind shelter, you can make a panel that you hook or bolt on to the relevant side(s) of the coop when circumstances seem to warrant.

    Or actually, I suppose if you want to keep things smallish and simple-ish, even if they may not last "forever", you could simply attach a piece of plywood on the upwind-in-storms side(s) that would be "hinged" at the top and flip out (attach to fixed posts in the ground, perhaps) to be a porch roof type shade-and-rain thing for normal circumstances, but could be hinged down to become a *wall* in very very windy or rather cold-breezy weather. It wouldn't last forever but OTOH it'd be cheap and simple. If it were me I'd be inclined to use something flimsy like baler twine to do the hingeing-on, so that if a gust of wind caught it the wrong way it would simply leave rather than damaging your coop (whereas a permanent porch roof you could construct to *withstand* wind)

    Just a thought anyhow, good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. crossgirl

    crossgirl Day Dream Believer

    Mar 15, 2011
    Lakeland, FL
    Thank you for answering. I like your idea of the hinged awning type arrangement.

    I didn't explain my question well. I'd like to know the minimum space to allow for the 9 chickens to take shelter in. I already have 16' square foot which I want to remodel to hardware cloth on three sides. I want to add a sheltered area to the fourth side, the back, for winter nights and stormy days making a sort of open air coop. They spend most of their time out in the yard at large or in their chicken paddock. There is plenty of shade.

    Do I start over with the 2ft per chicken rule in the back since there will be times that they will all be huddled there? Ideally this space will be as small as possible. Could I get by with expanding by 2ft making 8 sq ft for the 9 chickens or should I make the back part the same size as the front? I know the saying to build bigger but money is an issue and they don't use the coop much.

    The big girl roost is in the rafters so it's out of the rain. The little ones are too little to get up there so I plan to put roosts in the sheltered back part also.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Oh! <lightbulb>

    It seems to me basically you just need roosting space for them, then. Minimally, anyhow. For 9 birds, some of them bantams, I would say that 6 linear feet of roost (total) should be fine, you could probably squeak by with a bit less if they get along real well, 9' would be the maximum you would be likely to possibly need. could be a single roost or two parallel.

    If you want to *also* give them more walking-around space that is sheltered, it wouldn't be a terrible idea I suppose but that is kind of discretionary it seems to me.

    Does that help?

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. crossgirl

    crossgirl Day Dream Believer

    Mar 15, 2011
    Lakeland, FL
    Thank you for responding!
     

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