Square Footage on Run and Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by caj1985, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. caj1985

    caj1985 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know this topic has been beat to death, but my husband is the one building/designing new coop.

    I currently have 7 LF of various breeds. I wanted to add some white egg layers and added 5 Hamburgs of various colours.

    If the new coop is 8' X 4' with a 20' X 20' run, will this be of sufficient size for the chickens I have?

    I will still have my smaller coop/tractor which is 4' X 4' with a 10' X 4' attached run. I will move the Hamburgs into this as soon as they outgrow the brooder.

    Fencing for the new run will be 6' and covered by poultry netting.

    Thanks in advance for the info.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I think it should be OK.
    I have a 6X8 coop and slightly smaller run. I have 10 LF (JGs, BOs, and Rocks) but think it would hold 5 more.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Good to hear from a neighbor, but I'll admit I had to look up Ratcliff. I do like that name.

    I think you will probably be OK, but it depends on how you manage them. In my opinion, too many peope get hung up on coop size only. What I think is important is how much total room they have available, whether that is coop, coop and run, or something else.

    If you leave them locked in that coop very much, especially if you add the Hamburgs later, you might have problems. That''s probably too small for that. But if they have access to that run most of the hours they are awake, that should be plenty of room.

    I always promote giving them as much room as you can stand. It's not to pamper the chickens, it is to pamper me. I find the more room I give them, the less work I have to do. For example, I fully believe the less often I have to clean out the coop, the better. And if I have extra room, I have a lot more flexibility in how I can handle them when things happen. Integration is a lot easier and it is a lot easier for a broody to raise the chicks if she has room.

    I don't know of the type of coop your are planning on, a walk-in or one of those elevated ones. If it is a walk-in, I'd make it a little bigger to give myself room to work in there. If it is one of those elevated ones, you need to keep it a reasonable size so you can reach each corner.

    Building materials generally come in 4' and 8' dimensions, so it is a good idea to keep those dimensions in mind when designing a coop. But don't forget the roof materials. You can build an 8' x 8' for very little more than a 4' x 8', except you have the roof span to consider. If you are building a walk-in, a 6' x 8' might be a real good size for you. Use 24" centers for your wall studs on the 6' side and use 8' long members to span the roof and give you a little overhang. Depending on what materials you are using to cover the coop and how many shingles are in the packet or how long the metal is, you could maybe get a 6' x 8' for the cost of one sheet of plywood. Of course, that depends on what materials you are using and what style of coop you are building.

    20' is a long span for poultry netting. You'll probably need to support it. And 6' does not give you a lot of headroom. I bounce up and down when I walk and that stuff can sag. I like the total square footage, but you might consider making it longer and narrower so it is easier to span and support the netting.

    You may notice I'm talking mostly about your comfort and convenience. I think they will be fine spacewise as long as they have access to the coop and run.
     
  4. caj1985

    caj1985 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will have access to the run at all times. The location was chosen for access to both sun and shade at all times with our weather not to mention high ground to keep the run from being muddy during 5 months out of the year. We have a high water table.

    We are located at an equal distance between Paris and Charleston, Ozark and Booneville, just off Hwy 22.

    Do you have a better suggestion than poultry netting for the cover? I know that Hamburgs fly and am afraid they will get out when I don't want them to if we don't have something over the top.

    Coop is going to be elevated with room underneath to store feed, etc.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I covered my run with metal and used wood from a shed roof failure in one of those straight line winds of 70 mph we occasionally get up here.

    If they are going to have access at all times, I'd suggest using 2" x 4" welded wire fencing as the cover. That will keep them in and will keep all flying preditors and almost all other preditors out. Raccoons and such can tear up chicken netting. Another Arkansan over next to the Mississippi River had some photos of what dogs did to her chicken wire several months back. It was not pretty.
     
  6. caj1985

    caj1985 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We will use welded wire fence for the sides. Didn't think about the cover because I have an 85 lb GSD and a part Aussie that patrol the area at night. We don't have much that gets past those two.

    Do raccoons pose a danger to chickens? Never had anything except weasels, owls or hawks get ours as a kid.
     
  7. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raccoons pose a real danger and they like to stand outside the fence and wait for the chicken to get close and just reach in and pull off body parts. If you are talking about the 1/2 inch hardware cloth you will not have problems. If you are talking about the 2" X 4" welded wire, you can have problems with raccoons and of course, snakes and rodents.
     
  8. ChickenMan77

    ChickenMan77 Out Of The Brooder

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    I totally over built my coop to prevent loss from anything looking for a meal. I even buried 1/2 inch hardware cloth under the whole run just to be sure nothing could dig under. With all the time and effort I spend building the coop and raising the chicks I couldn't risk loosing them all. I have a friend who caught a bear popping his chickens like candy and that story alone caught my attention. I have raccoons that I have seen getting close to my yard but my dogs and cat keep them at a distance. If they did get in I am confident they wouldn't get past my run and coop. My advise is to take every precaution to protect the chickens and they will make every effort to give you great eggs.
     
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    As long as you shut their pop door at night (and have hardware cloth over window/vent openings), they will be safe. But even with dog patrols, I would be wary of leaving a pop door open at night if your run is not covered. I can't say for your area, but the majority of losses I know of personally are due to raccoons getting them at night (including dusk).
     

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