The golden question: is my coop too small?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by churchillcoop, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. churchillcoop

    churchillcoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2010
    Innisfil Ontario
    Hello there! I just made made my first coop and picked up 6 hens yesterday. I made the coop 4' x 8'. Do I need to build an addition onto their nesting house? The hens will be free range. Thanks!!

    Pics of coop: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

    Jeff
     
  2. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Jeff, you need to go to your profile and put in your city and state because where you live makes a BIG difference as to how your question can be answered.
    Also, what shows in the picture is a coop AND a run. How large is just the coop, i.e., much more information is needed.
     
  3. HarryBun12

    HarryBun12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a nice looking coop. I have one similar- the playhouse coop you see frequently on here. It, too, was 4X8 and I had 4 bantam hens. They didn't get to free range much, but I did add on another four feet so they could have more space. I didn't notice where you were from, but if the weather is bad or during winter, they may need more space. If you can, I would add on. More is always better since you'd hate to have your hens develop any picking issues.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. churchillcoop

    churchillcoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2010
    Innisfil Ontario
    Haha this is how "green" I am. The coop would be 4'x4' the run is the entire 8'. I am in Ontario, Canada about 40mins north of Toronto. Cold winters. The source where I bought the hens said I should be fine with this coop and wont need to heat in the winter since their body heat will keep them warm. She had a real nice farm but once I started to do more research....

    Thanks for your help.

    Jeff
     
  5. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yucaipa, CA
    Hey Jeff, your coop/run looks like it will serve you well especially since the girls will be free rangeing during the day.
    I would suggest you lock them in for a few weeks so that they imprint on their little brains that this is their safe place. They will return every evening on their own. Great job on the coop/run!
    Good Luck and welcome to this addiction. [​IMG]
     
  6. HarryBun12

    HarryBun12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop portion is only 3x4 with an exterior nesting box. Last winter I had 3 bantams and 2 big girls in there without a problem and I'm in Wisconsin. I had a flat panel heater that I turned on only in the coldest weather and had put plastic around the run to keep the snow put. It worked fine; great even, but my chickens were all pretty calm birds.
     
  7. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Jeff, your coop area is only large enough for four hens, and that's with all other factors being ideal. Any coop in Canada should be well insulated too, have no drafts, and have good ventilation at the top so that hot, moist air can escape during the winter.
    Your 4- X 8-foot run area is slightly smaller than the ideal ten square feet per chicken run area, but it will suffice for four hens if they're allowed out of the run daily to free range. Really, it's better to have four happy hens then six unhappy, crowded ones.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  8. churchillcoop

    churchillcoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2010
    Innisfil Ontario
    Thanks for the advice I will go back into construction/addition mode. What would you suggest for ventilation? A few doors on hinges perhaps?

    Jeff
     
  9. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    If it were I, just going by the picture, I'd put a cheap, used, small window at the highest point of the coop inside the covered run. Doing that, you could control how wide/how often you open and close it, and rain could not get in.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Hey there, I am just north of Uxbridge, so not far from you! [​IMG]

    I would sure be building something bigger before winter time. They can get reeeeeealllly crabby when they're not wanting to go outside much and don't have much indoor space. I have 10-15 sq ft per chicken indoors plus an equal amount of roofed and windblocked run, and it works pretty well for me; you may not need *quite* such comfortable quarters for them but I wouldn't really suggest going with just what you've got, either. It's not like you're going to be able to enlarge the coop or roof the run in January very well, so I'd do it now [​IMG]

    As far as ventilation, see my ventilation page (link in .sig below) but basically what I would recommend is to have openings high on at least the E or SE wall, no less than 3-6 sq ft total area of the vents for your six chickens (more is always better), tucked up under the eaves of the coop (so they are as high as possible on the wall, and protected by roof overhang), with hardwarecloth to predatorproof them and flaps (or whatever) to cover them partly or totally on the rare days when that may be needed. You will need additional ventilation for summertime, I'm just talking about winter.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010

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