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Room to Expand or No?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chickenlady1028, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Chickenlady1028

    Chickenlady1028 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have had chickens for about a year now and I absolutely love it. My husband and I built our own coop. Its a 4x8x8.

    We started out with 10 chicks but I ended up with 2 roosters and one had to go live somewhere else so now we have 9. Anyways, the point that I am trying to reach is that I want to expand my flock. I have ordered 7 more chicks that are supposed to arrive in mid April. My concern is that my original coop isn't big enough so I really don't know what my next step should be.

    Would it be easier to just buy a simple coop because I know that my husband is not game for building another coop ( I feel bad investing in those cheap things) or could my coop be sufficient enough? Help Please!

    Thank you!

    Here are some pictures to give you a visual of my coop to maybe help with giving me advice.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  2. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    for the coop you have 9 is too much it should only fit about 8 chickens you would have to double the size for the amount of chickens you have a min of ft per bird inside a coop is 4 sq ft per bird.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. jallen062

    jallen062 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ordered a 12 sq foot coop for 6 chickens. After spending time here, I now know it's too small and am going to be setting it up in the garage as a brooder and building a larger coop. If I were you, I'd bite the bullet and expand it. My husband is ****** too, but I just told him if he doesn't want to build it, I will. That made him agree since he KNOWS I will screw it up. LOL!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Chickenlady1028

    Chickenlady1028 Out Of The Brooder

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    True! I don't know exactly what to do, I may have to cancel my order if I can't get my husband on board.
     
  5. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Instead of buying prefab, try hiring a local handyman if your husband doesn't want to build it himself. You'll get more bang for the buck that way. I can see that you could easily add onto the front, leaving the doorway to connect the two halves.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Chickenlady1028

    Chickenlady1028 Out Of The Brooder

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    That's a good idea! I will ask around and see :)
     
  7. garryc

    garryc New Egg

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    [​IMG]

    I think you could easily add a second coop to to opposite side (internally) of the run. It seems you already have two 4x4 posts sunk into the ground. You could choose to sink two more where the red lines are illustrated in my 2nd grade level photoshopped pic (HA!!!) -- even that would be optional. You could just attach two 2x4 from the bottom to the top vertically. From there you have something to nail into for a header and footer; which then gives you something to nail planks or plywood for walls. In my experience, chickens aren't very picky. They don't care about paint, yard decorations, bells and whistles. They just want something safe, dry, well ventilated and comfy temperature. I think you could do a nice an easy DIY for around $40 to $50 if you purchased the materials new at your local hardware store.

    Edit: Granted you're reducing your run space; however, that isn't too big of a deal if you're letting them free range.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Isn’t it interesting when people tell you that you can’t do something that you are currently doing? I’m not a believer in magic numbers for anything to do with chickens. There are just so many variables no one number can cover us all. At best they are just guidelines to point us in a direction. Flock make-up, management techniques, climate, and so many other things make us all unique so different things can work for us.

    That looks well-built but I agree it is really small for 16 chickens. You may or may not have enough nest space, but roost space will be pretty limited. It looks like you don’t have a top on your run so I would not feel comfortable leaving the pop door open at night. Way too risky. That means if you are not out there pretty early every day of the year they could be locked in a too tight area. It’s not guaranteed but you could easily have behavioral problems to deal with. I’m convinced most of the behavioral problems people complain about in this forum are due to not having enough space.

    I think your run is about 8’ x 19’. That’s probably big enough for 16 chickens, but it’s not going to have a lot of extra room. You would almost be doubling your poop load. Are you ready to deal with that increase? You could run into issues with that many chickens pooping in that space.

    I think that is a great set-up for 9 chickens. You could add on, just watch the roof so it doesn’t leak. I’d probably knock the entire wall out so I could run roosts all the way across. That will give you a lot more room to work in there too. If it were me I’d either cancel the order or expand the coop and consider expanding the run. And since most building materials come in 4’ and 8’ sections, a 4x8 addition makes a lot of sense.

    Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Chickenlady1028

    Chickenlady1028 Out Of The Brooder

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    If I did add another coop it was going to be on the end. I would probably extend my run as well. My run is currently 8x20 and the chickens do free range just about every day depending on the weather. Thank you for your idea, since I am still new at this, I am open to ideas.
     
  10. Chickenlady1028

    Chickenlady1028 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey! Thank you, I know everyone has different situations and different things that work for them. My run is actually covered, that is a picture from when we were building. It is partly covered with tin and then the rest is covered with chicken wire. My chickens only stay in the run on days when my husband and I aren't home to allow them to free range. I like the idea of adding on to my existing coop if possible but I am open to suggestions and other options. Its hard for me to get an idea, but once I do I'm pretty good from there on. I just wish that I would have considered adding to my flock while we were building our coop. I didn't know that I would love raising chickens so much! Haha
     

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