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Thoughts on coop construction

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Spanishearl, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Spanishearl

    Spanishearl Out Of The Brooder

    Hi there, long time follower, but rare poster. Mostly because when I first started this account, I was living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and the city was considering allowing backyard chickens, but then didn't.

    We've moved to Nanaimo, BC now, and we're allowed six chickens based on our property size!!!

    So, in trying to figure out an area for where to put the chickens (my daughter is going mental about this already!), there is a spot on the backside of the house that is south facing, however, there is enough cover between trees and bamboo that it doesn't quite get direct sun, but it does get plenty of light.

    It's dimensions are 10'8' x 11'7" x 8"7', and there is also room under the stairs of the deck to be used. I can actually add an additional three feet to a part (making 14' wide) based on how it sits. This area is quite literally never used, and just has a few Hostas growing to fill in the space, along with rocks and moss.

    My plan is to build the entire area as an enclosed run with the coop being set off to the side where we can get to the eggs outside of the run, under the deck, which is on the second floor.

    I know that I need to remove all the plants, and rocks, etc. I need to dig down about six inches and lay down mesh to keep the rats and raccoons from digging under to get into the coop as both are living on the other side of the creek that runs through my backyard.

    What I'm curious about, is your thoughts on a coop.

    Basically, the nests need to be accessible from under the deck, but the rest can be along the length that is 10'8" long. How long and wide should I make this, while maximizing space? I'm going to raise it up off the ground as well by about four feet, which will give me additional space under the coop, as well as protection.

    How wide and long should it be for six chickens that will spend a lot of time in that area during our very rainy winters, and free range throughout the yard during the summer?
     
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyway you could provide a photograph of the area where this is supposed to go. You have a lot of options and possibilities.
     
  3. Spanishearl

    Spanishearl Out Of The Brooder

    I'll do you one better. Here's a video:

    [​IMG]

    What I forgot to mention in the video is that behind me is a fresh water creek that empties into the ocean about a block and a half away, and that the area does get direct sunlight, but only short periods. It's also protected by tall bamboo growing on the other side of the creek that acts as our fence between us and the other property.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    A few issues for you to take into consideration. First is ventilation. Chickens require a LOT of ventilation. A lot more than most realize. Second is space, especially in relation to ventilation, roosts, and nest boxes. Venting needs to be at least a foot above roosting level. Roosts should be about a foot above nest boxes. And there needs to be enough room for each bird to maneuver. Consider that the average chicken takes up about a sq ft just standing still, and they have a wing span of about 3 to 4 feet.
     
  5. Spanishearl

    Spanishearl Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks for the info, the deck is 6'3" above the ground, however, I'm not looking to build the entire coop under the deck, just a small portion where we can get at the eggs. There's quite a bit of airflow in the area, thanks to the way that the yard is designed, and the creek keeps air moving constantly as well.

    I am planning on digging down as well so I can get the household mesh buried, so I can potentially increase the distance between the ground and deck.

    I'm curious about what dimensions would be appropriate for a coop to house up to six chickens that will spend time outside and not always cooped up inside. I'm also going to build a portable chicken run to allow them to run around in the yard.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  6. Spanishearl

    Spanishearl Out Of The Brooder

    Here's a crude sketch of the area

    [​IMG]
    Where I note the creek, is a walk way, then creek bank, then creek. Water never gets up to the pathway, even during the winter.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    They will need a secure shelter of at least 24 sq ft, not including nest boxes.
     
  8. Spanishearl

    Spanishearl Out Of The Brooder

    Okay, so 6x4 at a minimum and then an additional 12" out for the nesting boxes.
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Yep.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Keep in mind too rain and snow melt run off from deck and all areas surrounding coop and run.

    There's 2 good articles linked on my signature on Space and Ventilation....nothing written in stone but good primers.
     

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