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Starting to think chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by shannonpixie, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. shannonpixie

    shannonpixie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    CNY
    Hi! It's been awhile, I'm sure no one remembers me. But that's ok, I wasn't here long.

    I was thinking about chickens last year, but was living in a rented house, and then we were houes hunting all summer. We have a lovely house now, with almost an acre of land now, and so I'm thinking chickens again. My hubby is on board. Sadly, I'll be a rebel, since the town doesn't allow chickens (insert an eye roll here, we're a little country town with the nearest shopping area being 45 minutes away, outside of a super Wal-Mart on the other side of town, but whatever.) I did talk to an official of the town who said they are technically illegal, but as long as no one complains, it would probably be fine. I do know someone in the same town who has a bunnies and swans in their yard...anyways, yeah...this could all be for moot if one of my neighbors hates my chickens.

    Anyways, my husband and I have no carpenter skills, so we're searching for a coop to buy online. For awhile we liked the Eglu, but that's far above our budget. Now I'm thinking of this one:

    [​IMG]

    Chicken Coop Dimensions
    Outside:
    82 in(L)x52in(H)x27.5in(W)
    2100mm(L)x1330mm(H)x700mm(W)

    Inside:
    Coop/House Inside Area is 25.5" x 25.5"
    Approximately 4.5 sq.ft
    Not Including Nest Box

    NEST BOX Inside
    21" long x 11" deep

    Run Area Inside Measurements

    Total Run Area Is About 64" long x 25.5" deep
    Approximately 11.3 sq.ft

    I'm only planning on 3-4 chickens. Do you think this will be big enough? I plan on extending the run, or giving the chickens free range since the yard is completely closed in.

    This would also be somewhat temporary as well. I have a garden shed that is huge and unused, and I'm hoping to find someone who can help me convert it to a coop, one that would be good during our extra cold winters.

    I'm super excited, but totally terrified of making stupid mistakes with my chickens. I want them to be happy and have enough space.
     
  2. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    [​IMG] wow! I love the coop! Are you talking about keeping bantams or standard size hens?
    The coop I have is 4ft x 4ft x 4ft and it holds 7 bantams and 1 stardard hen in it could even hold a few more if I wanted.

    Where did you find that coop? [​IMG]

    AC
     
  3. shannonpixie

    shannonpixie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    CNY
    I actually found it on ebay, which worries me a tad. I'm thinking standard size. I don't think bantams are cold weather hardy enough. [​IMG] (and I'm wrong, someone tell me!)
     
  4. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    It depends on the breed you want. For up were you are I'd go with a small combed bird like pea or rose comb. It got pretty cold here in the minus digits and my bantam wyandottes were fine with it. Had to put bagbalm on my leghorn hen to keep her comb from being frostbit.

    Take your time and look up some breeds that interest you [​IMG] and see if they are cold hardy. Most of the single combed birds wouldn't be a good choice but some breeds come in both combs. [​IMG]


    AC
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Sorry, but no, really really not, not for central NY state. The indoor part especially (the run would need to be much larger too but you did mention going to enlarge it)

    If you don't want to build something, I would recommend finding a child's playhouse AT LEAST 4x4' and preferably larger (even 4x4 is real tight for 3-4 chickens in a CNY winter), just add a roost and popdoor and some extra ventilation (quite easy!) and there ya go. Oftentimes you can get used playhouses for pretty cheap on craigslist as long as you have (or can borrow) a truck and/or trailer to move them.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2010
    If you are planning on getting chickens but havent actually gotten them yet, why not spend the money you would pay for the prefab coop on your shed and just get that ready? If the shed is already empty, you have a nice place that will take a little money to convert it to a coop! I am sure that you could find someone local who could do the job reasonably if you didnt feel up to it yourself. Look up some of the shed conversions on the forum and see what other people did. Its worth a try and would be less conpicuous since your neighbors are used to see it as a shed and not as a coop.
     
  7. shannonpixie

    shannonpixie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    CNY
    This is actually a good point. I talked to my husband, and we both decided it would be better for us to upgrade the garden shed. We've even decided to make it a project and do what we can on our own. But it did seem silly to buy a coop and then renovate the shed later. I was thinking more "I want them now" and not with any sort of logic. Well, that and what if we do all this and one of the neighbors decides they hate my chickens.

    But maybe someone can give me their thoughts here...the garden shed has a cement ground. That's not going to work, is it? Will I have to change that? Can I just put sand and hay down?

    [​IMG]
    In case you are wondering what the garden shed looks like. You can also see it's near some of my neighbors houses, although their entire back yard is between the shed and their house. There is a wooden fence behind the shed, and the most immediate neighbor has a a garden with grapevines that go over the fence and our garden shed.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:No no no, a cement floor is WONDERFUL for a coop! (Using a slab-floored larger shed for a coop will also give you good thermal buffering in midwinter). The slab will go a long ways towards preventing predators and rodents from digging in. You are in real good shape there. You will put bedding down on the inside ANYhow, slab doesn't really require any deeper bedding than a dirt floor. Most people use shavings for the coop floor; hay sometimes causes impactions and is hard to clean out (and a waste of useful feedstuffs IMO); other options exist too. Do not use sand in your climate b/c it will freeze like cement in the winter and give you filth, unhappy chickens and frostbit feet.

    You will need to add a buncha ventilation (and window) to the coop part of the shed; and consider a solid or mostly-solid-with-a-closeable-vent partition between the chicken part and the storage part, as chickens create vast quantities of fine greasy dust that will schmuck up everything else in the shed.

    You can also see it's near some of my neighbors houses

    Make sure that you are allowed to have yer chicken housing that close to the property line and that close to neighbors' houses. (Or that if you're not allowed to but decide to do it anyway, you at least KNOW that you could find yourself in hot water and have a plan B prepared)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  9. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Nice shed! Lucky you! The shed is sitting on a cement pad? Or does it have a poured cement floor? Either way, just make sure there are not gaps between the floor and the walls that critters can get in. No reason to change the floor. You could do sand but I would do pine shavings. I suspect that you could easily build a wall or two inside the shed, cut a pop door, put in a window and/or venting (or both) and a nice run and you are all set! Your chickens would be very happy to live there!
     
  10. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I think you will be soooo much happier revamping that shed, as will your chickens. While the coop pictured is cute, it is super tiny with the dimensions listed. Keep us posted on your progress (what a lovely back yard!)

    Edited for typo
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

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