starting from scratch new coop and a new run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by syropes, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. syropes

    syropes New Egg

    Jul 5, 2011
    G'day Guys and gals from sunny Queensland Australia.

    very new to forum being doing some checking about what I need to do to build a good, safe and plesant coop and run for my future chooks..
    I have got a 10metre by 10 metre area sectioned off in my flat backyard to accomodate our chickens. According to local bylaws I am not allowed more that 16 chickens which should be more than enough for me..
    I have done very basic calculations to keep the maths simple that 1 sqr metre is slightly more that 10 sqr feet.. (10.76 to be exact nearer 11 but then it to hard for me to figure our in my head)
    now for the run if I had 16 chooks then I believe it's 10sqr feet per chook so 160 sqr feet which is (by my basic conversion) 16sqr meters..
    for the coop I believe it's 4sqr feet per chook which if I had 16 chooks is 64sqr ft so by rough maths it's about 7 sqr meters.
    now this is still basic planning at the moment, but my 10x10 area I have divided up in 1 area for the coop (I have gone for a 2mx6m coop which covers the minimum) and 4 runs 2 of 2x10m and 2 of 3x7m (all of which cover the minimum requirement) .. Initially I was going to just do 1 big run, but a neighbour had suggested splitting it up so I can let parts of it recover from a session from the chooks.. I have been warned by other members of the board that chooks live a rock and roll lifestyle and will trash an area they live in.. [​IMG] There is a1x6m area in front of the coop that I will use as an area to steer the chooks to their allotted run.
    I am probably going to cover two of these runs with sheet steel and the other 2 with bird wire (we have hawks in our area) so depending on the day I can move the chooks to a dry run if need be. (wet season is the sub tropics chucks down the rain)

    I am going to ensure that the all fence runs internal and external are dug at least 8 inches down in the ground.
    the external fencing I will use logs probably 100mm (about 4 inch) diameter and 6foot high. the internal logs for the run will be 7 foot High so I can angle the steel sheets for run off.. (from what I have read a simple gutter system would be a good call too) fencing will be chain link.
    I am unsure about the height I need to go for the coop, I am going to raise it at least a foot above the ground. We hope to get Rhode Island Red chooks, if I am correct I can set a roost bar about 4 foot up with a walk way up and this would suffice)..
    I am looking at only creating 4 nesting boxes as I from what I have read this should be enough for the 16 chooks (should I get that many!)
    Ventilation is a concern as it does get stinking hot and humid in the wet season.. what systems have people used to good affect.. (not really keen to install any aircon for them.. we don't have it in the house!)
    I aim to put a easy entry door into the coop so I can clean it inside.. I guess it would be great to get some input on what people have designed for the internals of their coops. I have picked up from the boards that a south facing window really helps too.
    I think that covers it so far..
    This is all still early stages and I will try and document it all as I go and build this.
    Any pointers, pit falls to avoid, things to add etc would be really appreciated.


  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It's easier to lay wire along the ground outside the coop and run, and secure it to the fence than do all that digging, and it serves the same purpose. Chain link has holes big enough for chicks to get through and raccoons to reach through and grab and eat a leg or head. (Are there coons there, or anything which is dexterous like coons, with their opposable thumb?) Many people add a second strip of wire for the bottom foot or two, to prevent reaching through.

    To me the simplest coop is dirt floor, at ground level. If you're going to raise it, one foot may be too little. Make it so it is easy for you to get under there to collect the odd egg or hiding chicken. It can be very hard to ventilate a small coop, and a walk in height with an open front is a breeze to clean.

    If it is pretty hot where you are, you might consider some of the hot weather designs on here. Basically they have three sides, the fourth being the run. Much cooler in the heat because of all the air, and of course it solves the ventilation problem. And because they always have access to the outdoors, the sq ft required in the coop is less, can even be down to 2 sq ft if well designed. Since you won't have power, situating it where it will get breeze and shade will be important in the heat.
  3. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:[​IMG] If you are in a hot climate a traditional coop may not be to your advantage. Mine are essentially three sided Two walls to block the prevailing wind during winter and sun during summer, and a roof. With heavy duty predator proof wire on the other two sides. I also keep my coop at ground level so the floor of the coop is actually dirt. This way no critters can take up residence underneath and I can walk inside to do maintenance. A deep layer of sand to keep things dry will let you rake or scoop when the need arises. On those days when it is cold you can put tarps on the open sides Believe me Chickens are pretty well insulated On those days when its hot you can put misters in to help cool things off and with a dirt floor no worries about getting damp.

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