square footage for hen house

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by littlelune810, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did
     
  2. Zinniah

    Zinniah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, didn't notice it somehow. It is a lot smaller than I had thought. I personally would not put more than 3 chickens in there, that's if you let them out in the yard. Just 2 is better. For the future when you and your hubby can make time, for about the same amount of money you could buy 5, 4x8 plywood sheets (cutting 1 in half for the end pieces), and screw them together to form a rectangle. You could leave one of the end pieces off and cover with hardware cloth for ventilation then use left over end piece for nest boxes. Paint well with weather resistant paint, you can build a roof over it if you have time, or just go buy a cheap $20 canopy to build over it until you get time to build a roof. You could fit 7 chickens at 4 sq ft per bird.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  3. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm. Maybe I will look up some plans and consider those after all. Maybe my husband can get some of his friends to help and knock it out in a weekend. Its totally vanity on my part but it has to look nice. We don't really have a back yard rather two side yards with just a thin strip of yard running behind the house, and we have a chain link fence. The coop will be visible from the street and it can't be an eye sore. I also need ease of use for collecting eggs and cleaning because I plan to have my 5 year old help with those things. Thank you all for your input. I'm saving the link to these coops because I do think they would work for us and our very small flock, but maybe we can make something better. Thanks!!
     
  4. izziebean

    izziebean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree. That is so expensive for what you get. They had these at the local feed store.. I'm not sure if it is the same make/model/manufacturer.. but the wood is going to be thin. I would definitely replace the locks on it to make it more secure. Racoons are very smart at figuring out locks. I would not put more than 2 chickens in there. If you are raising them from babies, then you'll probably want to raise more than two because if one dies.. the other one.. well it's just better if there is more than 2. Babies are very fragile and even if you do everything right. If you go with this coop, I would buy 2 pullets.. at least 12 weeks old from a local dealer.

    I do think that if your husband is handy at all.. actually scratch that. If you want the chickens... there are plans out there that make it very easy for even a girl to do (I'm a girl too!). I decided to design my own coop so it's been a learning experience because I didn't even have any tools or any know how. There is a video on youtube.. if you type in 'build your own chicken coop professor'.. the professor shows you how easy it was for him to build one. He makes it look fun too. BUT! If I had to do it all over again, I would buy some chicken coop plans. I read on here NOT to do that.. and I certainly understand why. If you are starting to build from scratch.. there are some nice plans out there that will tell you what wood to buy so you buy it all at once. They tell you how long to cut each board.. where to put the screw.. what size screw. I think the more expensive chicken coop plans come with videos to show you all along the way. My favorite is the daisy coop, but since I didn't buy it and I haven't seen the product, I cannot actually recommend them. I did go to the library and there are books with chicken coop designs with pictures and how to build them. Those are free plans. Weird.. libraries still exist! hehe.

    The other route would be to buy a coop from craigslist. There are usually some local people who make them.. some around here are really nice that cost just a little more than that little coop and gives 24 square feet. Even better, I had a friend who kept checking the free ads and got her first coop free off of craigslist. They did have to haul to their house and put new flooring down and sanitize.. but it was cheap.

    Anyways.. good luck on the new adventure. Please message me if you have questions. It's a bit overwhelming at first.
     
  5. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so confused! Haha! The coop that I posted a link to is made by local people and I did find it on Craigslist. I guess it is so inexpensive because the wood but looking at the close ups on the pictures it looks like a decent width. Anyway. I'm looking at some Ark plans now, although I'm not sure I want to move it around everyday and if I don't move it, I don't know how easy it would be to clean underneath. Is it even possible to make a coop for less than $500 that looks nice and will be the right size (for 3 to 4 birds which is what we plan on) and isn't overly complicated?!
     
  6. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Call me a cynic but those look just like the cheap Chinese crap coops with the same price points. Way over stated capacity. will not hold up to weather or predators. Save the money. Keep your eye out for a small shed on CL that can easily be converted to a coop.
     
  7. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah I am thinking we will make our own coop. I'm kind of liking the look of some of the a frame and ark style coops.
     
  8. izziebean

    izziebean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The thing is.. I saw the cute little things in the store for $3. They called them chicks. I called them my babies. I was standing next to a nice lady and she said 'do you want to come look at my farm. it will help you know about the journey with chickens'. I went and learned a lot that day. There are so many different styles of coops out there. This can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Like the previous poster said, buy a shed off of craigslist and convert to a chicken coop. Just make a bookmark for craigslist with the search result of 'shed' or 'coop'. Just keep clicking the link every day until you find one you like. Have a price point set that you won't go over and when it's there.. and the size is good and it's in good shape.. buy it.

    The truth is.. chickens need room. The coop is the main sleeping area and if they have access to a large space during the day then they don't need as much room for the coop. If they are confined most of the time.. they will start pecking on each other. They also are more prone to disease. The little coops that are sold in stores (or like the one you posted) isn't really predator proof and probably won't last more than a year or two. Check out the predator section on these forums if you want to know all about the creatures lurking outside that will wipe out your flock in just a few minutes.

    If you want to keep going down the rabbit hole.. err chicken hole.. have you chosen what type of chickens you want? Do want them for laying eggs? Pets? Meat? Do you want pretty ones that are fun to play in the yard with?

    Even further down the hole.. what color of eggs do you want? What size? Bite sized or big omelets? LOL

    Sorry.. it's been a long six months. They are worth it. You will not be getting 'free eggs' unless you find a free coop on craigslist and someone gives away their laying hens. That might be a solution. I did have a friend who found a lady on craigslist who could no longer take care of her chickens as she was moving. She got 4 free laying hens. They were two years old and they didn't lay everyday but were in good health and she's had them for about six months and loved them.

    I happened to like the little bantam breeds and polish. The bantams give tiny eggs, but you can fit a boiled one in your mouth all at once. They don't lay everyday though. The polish are known to be skiddish, but are so much fun. My mottled houdan hen that just passed away was so friendly and gave an egg everyday, but again.. it was of the smaller egg variety. The silkies are little poof balls but are very poor at laying eggs. Good pets though. The bigger birds.. ya.. might want to order a catalog from mcmurray hatchery or mypetchicken. They can tell you what size the hens will be (or roosters if you want one.. but you need at least 8 hens for every rooster) and what color/size eggs they will lay.

    Oooo and have you checked with city ordinances to see if chickens are legal in your area? Some cities don't allow them at all.
     
  9. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my area chickens, both rooster and hens, are allowed and there is no limit to the number you can have. That being said, my husband and I want 3 to 6 (depending on the coop), hens only, and I would like a mix of Ameracauna or EEs, Plymouth rock, Australorp and Welsummers. We primarily want eggs (of all colors obviously) but we also want pets. I have two boys age 5 and 2 and I want them to learn about caring for animals and where their food comes from, and we plan to raise them from chicks and handle them daily to socialize them. I did find these plans and its a local company so I like that. http://www.thegardencoop.com/chicken-coop-plans.html

    I have family that runs a small poultry farm as well as several friends who have small farms. I've been talking to them and am pretty confident I will be able to get the breeds I want from local farm stores. If not I can go in on an order with a friend from a hatchery. What do you think of the coop plans I just linked to?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  10. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very nice. Incorporating vines that they will not eat will produce nice shade and make it an attractive addition to the property. Having a structure tall enough to walk around in is very helpful. I would put only 5-6 hens and that's pushing it.
     

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