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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by yomama, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    I have only had chickens less than a year and thanks to this website of enablers, I am addicted!!! We started off with 4 hens, and a coop only big enough for 4 hens, 3' x 4'. (plus a FULLY enclosed and secure 10' x 40' run, that they have 24/7 access too.) Well needless to say, I wanted more chickens. So in March, I added 5 more chicks and a duckling to the equation. Therefore, I got my wonderful and ever so tolerant husband, to help me build a much bigger coop. This coop is 4' x 8', with complete 24/7 access to the fully enclosed and secure run. I ended up rehoming one of the chicks (turned out to be a mean roo) and now I have 8 chickens, and 1 duck, that all share the same coop. I wanted to add some more chickens in the spring, 5 - 8 chicks, and was wondering, how do most of you accomodate the ongoing additions? Do you just keep adding on to your existing coops?, do you build more coops? I know that many either cull or sell some of their chickens to make room, but I don't want to do that at this time.

    Also, if I were to take advantage of the original coop, which is 12 sq ft, plus the additional room I have in my larger coop, I would most likely have enough room for some possible additions come spring. I don't lock my chickens in the coop at night, because the run is SUPER DUPER secure. It is fully fence and framed on top, bottome and sides.(They have complete 24/7 access to it, so it is almost like an extension of their coop. Because of this,I actually follow the 10" of roost space per bird rule, and about 2sq feet per bird inside of the coop, more than I follow the 4 square footage per bird space.) I'm wondering how will, or would, the chickens divide themselves up so that there is (apx) the right amount of chickens in each coop? Will they possibly all try to cram in the same one, or will they seek out more room? Kind of silly questions, but I am really debating whether I want to take on the job of adding on to the existing coop.

    Thanks so much for any replies!
     
  2. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

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    I would build another coop and make it twice the size of what you plan for.

    Several years ago I had a new group of young ones ready for a coop, but the adults were not going to allow them in. This resulted in a new coop on the far end of the large lot. I section off a piece of the lot for them so that each group had a lot and coop. They could get close to each other, but not the adult could not pick on the growing ones

    After they were fully grown I removed the divider. This setup made the introductions easy and kept the fighting way down. There were only a few pecks the first few days after the divider was removed. The flocks intermingled during the day, but at night the younger group went back to their coop. After a few weeks it was the same, but a couple of the lower ranked adults had moved in with the young ones and a couple of those moved to the henhouse.

    I now use this same setup each year.

    Matt
     
  3. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2010
    Seattle
    I'm a beginner like yourself, but I'm thinking ahead to next spring when I hope to get a bigger coop. One advantage I see to have more than one coop with run of various sizes is that if you need to isolate a bird or birds because they're injured, you want to breed specific ones, you want one to brood eggs, or introduce chicks, you have the smaller coop and run for that. You could even keep it as a bachelor pad.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  4. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Well, it looks like I will be planning on building another coop, come spring. Not sure how to break the news to my husband. [​IMG]
     

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