run size question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by vanridge, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. vanridge

    vanridge In the Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2010
    We are in the process of designing a coop. We need it to be predator proof, as well as warm enough for a canadian winter. We were thinking of putting nesting boxes on the inside wall of the coop so that we can access the eggs from the storage room. We were planning on having the nests were the eggs roll away from the chicken.... any thoughts? Plus, hubby was wondering if we can make the run outside 3-4' high or do they need it to be 6'? We have GLW and SLW. We are planning on making the runs quite big because we live on a farm and we have the room to do that.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:If it is going to be "quite big" then I VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND making the run tall enough for you to walk comfortably inside it. It won't cost much more, and will save you VAST amounts of aggravation when you have to chase chickens, retrieve chickens or eggs, remediate footing, clean, add sand, etc etc etc.

    Make sure that you don't sacrifice ventilation when you are shooting for "winter warmth" btw -- even up here, you do need ventilation pretty much all winter, and probably a lot more of it than you might think. Well-chosen well-kept chickens are pretty cold-tolerant, but humidity gives you frostbite pretty quickly. You might check out some of the links in my .sig, below as food for thought.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. vanridge

    vanridge In the Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2010
    Thank you, we'll look into that, we haven't started to build yet so we still have a lot of different options to choose from. I'm assuming that insulating the walls is a good idea, with some big windows? And can/ should chickens be able to go outside in the winter or should we leave them locked up in the chicken coop. I am assuming they won't budge if they think its too cold so, its probably not worth opening a door? Just asking because the snow can pile up pretty high here....
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Definitely insulating is a good idea; windows are fine but if they are too big they get to involve a lot of heat-loss and condensation (which creates a humidity problem) so you don't want to go overboard, and the WINDOWS are not the best way of ventilating the coop in the wintertime (see my ventilation page)

    Some chickens are wussies, others are more Arctic-spirited, and you won't know what yours are like til you go through your first winter with them -- but I would certainly not assume they won't want to go outside. Some Alaskan BYCers' chickens go outside regularly down to like -35 C or lower. Mine are more on the wussie end of the spectrum but still go outside "some" even down to like -25 C, given that they have a roofed and wind-protected run. If you are not able to provide a well-protected run, it becomes all the more important to have AMPLE indoor space so they do not get grumpy from confinement and start eating each other alive (which yes they *can* do)... I have had good luck with 15 sq ft per chicken indoors, plus run, but you may be able to get away with somewhat less than that without needing too much in the way of luck.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. vanridge

    vanridge In the Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2010
    Thanks, I'll pass on the info to the master builder.
     

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