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stand alone coop or integrated into garage coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by carriehelene, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. carriehelene

    carriehelene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are going to get chickens [​IMG] . I've been outvoted 2-1 about making a coop in the garage (I wanted stand alone). The garage is a 2 story, 2 stall that isn't used for vehicles. Concrete floors and a window in each stall. There is a door between the 2 stalls. There is obviously already electricity in the garage, however it is not heated, and is only connected to the house by a breezeway. My chickens will be freerange, we have a fenced in yard, so I don't think I need a run (do I?), but if the coop is in the garage, we will probably use a pet door for them to get in and out.
    So what my DBF and mother voted was to enclose the back half of one of the stalls and convert it into a coop. We are getting 5 hens, and trust me, it won't go over that number, I had to fight for 3 years to get them to agree to getting them at all.

    Now, for chicken health and safety, ease of use for us lowely humans, and considering cost effectiveness, which is the better way to go? My DBF is a carpenter, so the construction part itself isn't an issue. However, he's no farmer, and in this case, his and mom's opinions might not be the best way to go. I'm not looking for anybody to "back me up", I really want to know which is the better option. Any advice all you more experienced chickeneers can offer is greatly appreciated. Carrie
     
  2. kycklingar!

    kycklingar! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Linköping, Sweden
    I converted the back of my old garage to a coop, and it is nice and warm in the winter. Also, I kept the door high so I don't have to stoop down to gather eggs or clean. However, I wouldn't consider it sufficient unless there was an open run, or they were able to enter and exit freely. Mine come out through a cute little chicken-sized door I added, and can roam freely.
     
  3. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    I think both options would work. You could always calculate what you'd want your coop to look like as a standalone, then find a way to integrate one or two of the garage walls into the structure for a cheaper alternative, so you'd only have to build one or two new walls.

    As far as ease of cleaning, I think both options would be about the same.

    How high is the fence in the yard? If it is above five feet it's probably okay, but do you have hawks in your area? If so, it might be wise to have a run with netting over the top on days when they are in the area.

    Good luck with whichever design you decide to go with! [​IMG]
     
  4. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    I would advise you to have a human-sized door to the outside. That would make it sooo handy to shovel out the poopy shavings & haul them out to compost. Or, you can leave 'em in the run. In today's Michigan thaw, my medium sized flock is scratching happily on 3"+ of shavings, instead of mucking in the mud.
    And, ditto Blue-Myst on a covered run. Everyone is so groovy on free-ranging and then so aghast when a bird is taken. (Free-range often means free lunch). [​IMG]
    BTW - I am sooo jealous of the set-up you describe. Make that coop at least 6x6. Once your BF falls in love with chickens, you'll need the room! [​IMG]

    edited for spelling
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I would seriously, seriously suggest building a run even though your intention is to free range them. You WILL use it sometimes, I promise, most likely sometimes in circumstances where it'd be really inconvenient not to have it. Sometimes they may have to be kept in (loose dogs in neighborhood, etc etc). Sometimes you may *want* to keep them in (to teach new-laying pullets to lay in nestboxes not all over the yard where you can't find eggs). Sometimes you will want to keep them in til you 'fix' a predator problem. And a surprising number of people who fully intend/expect to totally free-range their chickens decide once they HAVE chickens that less or no free-ranging is really a better fit for them.

    As far as attached vs in garage, I don't see that it matters a whole big lot. If you are in a snowy climate they will stay warmer and your checking them, cleaning the coop and collecting eggs will be much pleasanter with a garage coop. OTOH it will make it harder to recapture that space for garage type use, and will spread chicken dust throughout the garage. And it may not be located where you'd ideally prefer your coop. (If it *is*, the garage coop sounds like a very tempting option, though, cost- and convenience-wise...)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. Leah-yes I know I'm crazy

    Leah-yes I know I'm crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is a link to someone who did an "in the garage coop" that may help.
    edited to add: deffinately have some sort of fenced run area just in case. There's always the potential of needing confinement just in case you have company with small kids over or simply want to bbq in the backyard. Chickens are worse than ants at a picnic.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=70111
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree wholeheartedly with Pat's suggestions and I'd like to add a thought- if you remove the garage as a listed structure on your property willit create any zoning problems or affect resale values? I think it sounds like a marvellous space and you'll save a fortune by using it. It will also feel very convenient and is sized for humans as well as chickens. You'll want a run, preferably roofed. Nothing worse than a wet or muddy chicken when they can't free-range, and when you attract predators (and you will), you'll immediately have a safe place for them...[​IMG]

    We renovated barn space...shown in BYC home page...it's so nice to have power and water.
     
  8. carriehelene

    carriehelene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry it took so long to get back here, and thank you all for your replies. After reading them, it has been decided we will build a stand alone coop with run, as there was no way to add a run off the garage. There just isn't enough space with the pond and garden being directly behind the garage.

    I have been poring over the coop designs page, and I think what we need is a medium sized coop for our 6 (yup 6 lol) hens. The one my mom and I liked best was an 8x12 foot with an 8x16 foot run. Is that a good size for our needs, or should it be bigger or smaller? We live in upstate New York, so winter is a definite consideration concerning the size of the coop. We want it large enough that they have enough room to stay in the winter, but small enough that they are able to keep themselves warm.

    Also, should the coop/run be in the shade of the trees for the coolness in summer, or in full sun to try and take advantage of additional heat in the winter? Any thoughts?

    Thank you for any advice you can give me, I'm so worried I'm gonna kill the babies thru ignorance. Carrie
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I think that is an excellent, ample size (and lets you add more chickens in the future, nudge nudge wink wink). There IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO BIG, honest, not even up North... it is so easy to knock together a hover or whatever around/over the roost, or partition off part of the structure for a 'coop within a coop', if you want to concentrate their body heat during the coldest part of the year. And meanwhile they will still have all that space available to them. REally truly. No such thing as too big!

    Also, should the coop/run be in the shade of the trees for the coolness in summer, or in full sun to try and take advantage of additional heat in the winter? Any thoughts?

    Sun. It will cool off fine at night, and you can make sure they have shade to hang out in during the day if the coop gets too toasty (lattice panel, shadecloth, shrubs, trellised vines, etc etc). Whereas there is nothing like winter sun [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  10. carriehelene

    carriehelene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wonderful! Thanks so much PatandChickens, you have been such a help to me on this strange and scary adventure I've started. Carrie
     

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