Thoughts on coop/run options please!

coldcazzie

In the Brooder
Mar 21, 2015
14
0
22
I traded some work for a covered run a couple of years ago and have just finished putting it up (we knew we were moving house shortly after getting it and wanted to wait until we were in the new place before setting up - we've now been here about 7 weeks). However, we have no coop and are currently debating what will be the best option. We're in the UK so the weather is variable and unpredictable - there's no regular extremes of heat or cold but it is wet and I need to cover all bases.

This is the run I traded for:



It measures 12ft by 5ft, and as you can see the roof slopes, but there's no overhang. The previous owner had an eglu inside and kept a trio of bantams, but I have bigger things in mind. I'm inheriting a lone guinea fowl from a friend and want to start with 4 hens. I already know that in all likelihood I'll get a bit addicted and want more so I'm trying to think bigger rather than smaller for when that inevitably happens!!

We are planning to use the rest of the area surrounding it as open run eventually. Imagine yourself standing where the little black bucket is on the grass opposite the door. There is 8' of space to the left of the run and 7.5' of space in front of it. To the right will be a tool shed, water butts and wood store so ignore that bit.

I'm having a "there's so many options and I don't know what to do!" crisis... any thoughts (even if that is that I'm waaay overthinking it!) would be appreciated!

Option number 1:
8'x6' shed on the area to the left, which would be partitioned so that 4-5' would be coop and the other 3-4' would be food storage, egg collection, etc. Would be expensive because I'd have to source a shed, very possibly a new one as it would need to be one with the door on the 8' side not the 6' side, and also sort out that big heap of crap/weeds (which is largely bricks and other hardcore which the previous owners couldn't be bothered getting rid of and then a bunch of grass and weeds has grown over it) before I could put the shed up, and I'd probably need a concrete base. Also, it would mean that that bit wouldn't be able to be made into turf/dirt/scratching area which I'm really keen to have considering that there's more than a fair bit of concrete.

Option number 2:
Some kind of homemade coop on stilts, either on the left or on the front to the right of the door. Could do that relatively cheaply - there's a couple of building supply companies locally that do great prices on wood and also a reclaimed wood yard just down the road. Also means I can get set up quicker. Downsides: firstly, it wouldn't have anywhere for me to store food etc, which means I'd have to store them elsewhere and I have almost no outdoor storage areas and genuinely don't think I could fit them in the house! Secondly, it does not have the same flexibility for expansion!

Option number 3:
Build an integral coop inside the run, at one end, starting from half way up so they could still roam underneath. Same advantages and disadvantages as option 2.

Option number 4:
Buy one of those little coops with integral runs and use that for the time being until I can figure something out.

Option number 5:
Convert this covered run into the coop by adding ply to the outside, divide it in half leaving the right side as the coop section and the left side as work space/food storage/etc. It'd be possible to add a place for poorly/broody hens as well. Then have the uncovered area outside as the run.

Option number 6:
Do nothing, and stare at the covered run bleakly for a long time.
 

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