Run expansion - existing coop ideas

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mcclucker, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. mcclucker

    mcclucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    So I inherited this coop and run from the previous owners of the house. He built it way at the back of the property against the trees so I don't have a lot of expansion options without taking out some trees. I'm wondering if this looks doable. Two pictures - one is the coop now, the other is annotated with what is there now and the only possible way I can think to expand the run.

    Right now I have inside this shed a very well insulated 5X7x6' high coop with three nesting boxes. There is a pop door to an outside run that is about 10x15 x 5.5' high. There is a door inside the shed into the coop and a cute nesting box checking door too. No insulation in the rest of the shed. The coop has one big window for ventilation.

    He told me when I bought the house that he had 6 chickens max for comfort. We are in a very cold snowy climate. He did not free range them.

    I have five in there now and they've been happy but 1) the run is completely shaded in summer by trees - they get basically no sunlight 2) I have attempted to free range them during the day but have no fence w/neighbors and have already had dog, fox, and hawk attacks and have a low tolerance for chicken loss.

    I am guessing I can fit 3-4 more in the coop itself (total of 210 cubic feet with two long roosts if I can give them more winterized space outside. They seem to be fine in very cold weather as long as there isn't snow in the run.

    Proposed new run expansion is the green -it's the only way I can avoid all the trees. I am thinking hardware cloth on 2x4" frames set on posts. What's there now is chain link buried under ground and attached to all the trees. It's not ideal. I can have that current door into the run open or closed depending on weather for them to get into the extra space.
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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  2. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your coop can take about 8 to 9 birds total assuming there's enough roost space for them all which it sounds like you've accounted for. A bigger run would be fantastic especially with new birds.

    If possible you might want to see about adding more ventilation to the coop since you said there's only one big window. Maybe a window that can be popped open during nicer weather and closed when it's cold, since you mention your climate tends towards cold.
     
  3. mcclucker

    mcclucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    That is good advice. There is probably 12' + of roost space inside. As far as the vent, I have the window open at the top (it's an old double hung slider window) with a wire screen right now for winter but it doesn't get any cross ventilation. The opening right now is about 2' x 6". The difficulty is the opposite wall borders the main part of the shed, not outside, and all the coop walls have 4"+ of insulation inside so it's hard to cut a vent. I tried last fall and didn't have a saw big enough to cut all the way through. It's super warm in there compared to outside - a good 15 degrees warmer when its sub zero out and the pop door is closed. I only had moisture problems this winter when I had a leaky half frozen waterer. I switched that out and haven't had problems since. I do deep litter to keep them warmer.
     
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah ok I didn't realize there was that much insulation built in (and chickens love to pick at insulation, so you definitely wouldn't want to just cut a hole and leave it like that). I suppose you can prop the newly proposed side doors on nicer days to provide some air flow if needed and worry about adjustments in the future, if you do decide to add more vents.

    The additional benefit with having a second runs is you can shuffle the chickens into one while doing maintenance work on the other. I have 2 runs side by side and it ended up working out great. No chickens in the way while I clean up or do gardening work!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    5x7 is about right for 6 chickens in a cold climate, previous owner had it right.
    More possible with good winter run kept free of snow cover and with wind breaks.
    While a tall coop is much easier to ventilate, the cubic footage isn't as important as the floor space.

    What is your climate/location?
    Summer shade in the run can be good.
    Ventilation is important all year around....get a longer saw blade.

    Good info on Space and Ventilation:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1048597/ventilated-but-free-of-drafts
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  6. mcclucker

    mcclucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Climate is cold, long winters, moderate summer. Northern vermont. The new run would also be covered and have wind blocks. I use dry shredded leaves in the run- we get dozens of bags of them every fall from maple trees. They stayed dry for the most part this winter - lots of room for scratching and dust bathing.

    I will definitely be putting that 2nd vent in - even if I have to hire some help.
     

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