trying to plan a coop need advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by coopsgirl, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. coopsgirl

    coopsgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2008
    Hi all,
    I have a few different things inmind for a coop.
    i am going to put it in a 6x6 foot dog kennel that has been also lined with chicken wire to keep nasty critters away.

    i wanted to put it on legs so the chickens can have the space under it to scratch....
    the top of the kennel is about 5' 6"
    So my first question is how many chickens can i put in it if i made it 4 ft long by 4 feet wide and 4 ft tall, and does height make a difference for amount of birds? (if i tiered perchs)

    also what size are nesting boxes normally (average) and how many do i need? would 2 be enough? i am thinking of having 5 birds to start, but i see by looking here onthis website chickens are like potato chips... [​IMG]

    how mant roosts should it have and do they have to span entire length of coop or can they be tiered? (like a ladder)

    how tall can ramp be to get in and out of coop, can they climb pretty well?

    these are all my prelimanry ?'ss Im sure i willhave more so thanks in advance for all your help.......
     
  2. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I built a hutch-type coop like you are talking about, raised up on legs. I made mine 3 feet wide so I could make the roof out of a single sheet of 4X8 plywood.

    If you made the coop 3X4, it would fit 3 regular sized chickens, which seems to be more in line with the 36 square foot run. That's a bit small for 5 chickens, in my opinion. Of course, I let mine free range, so I'm no expert...

    As far as the legs go, I used landscaping timbers, they are much cheaper than 4X4's.

    I think nest box size depends on size of chicken. Mine are 14"X14". You could probably go 12"X12" depending on the breeds you choose. One nest box would be enough for 3 hens, unless you end up with a broody hen. Then you have to get creative. [​IMG]

    I'm not sure how tiered perches would work in a coop as small as mine. It's 4 feet tall at it's highest point also. But you don't really need a lot of roost space, maybe a foot per chicken.

    You could run the roost along the back, 4 foot wall, about a foot out from the wall, and end it at the side of the nest box. Say just shy of 3 feet of roost and just more than 1 foot of nestbox, allowing for the outside dimension of the box. Give the nestbox a steeply slanted roof so they won't roost on it. Or let them roost on it and clean the poop off every morning! It's actually easy to clean off with a kitty litter scoop. Sorry if I grossed anybody out. But you see that I know whereof I speak about this slanted roof thing...

    The little ramp up into the coop can be pretty steep if you put little cross pieces of wood on it, so they can get a grip on them and don't slide on the wood. I have cut mine a bit shorter and placed the end on a concrete block. That way the ramp doesn't stick out so far. I noticed that they never got on the ramp at ground level anyway, they hopped onto it at about concrete block height.

    Well, I hope I was helpful.

    Lauralou
    Builder of 5 little bitty chicken coops
    Currently hoarding materials for another one. [​IMG]
     
  3. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I just noticed that this was your first post.

    Welcome to BYC!
     
  4. New England

    New England Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2008
    I have 4 hens and a rooster in a 4x4 foot pen right now, they are pretty comfortable. My perch is diagonal so it is longer than 4' (dont make me do math). I also have 2 nest boxes that are a square foot (one over another) and a window. My chickens are also free range, the only day predators I worry about here are birds of prey, which the rooster is pretty good about.
     
  5. coopsgirl

    coopsgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2008
    thank you,
    iam trying to make the coop bigger i would really like to do 4 x5 but have limited space int he kennel if i want o be able to move around in it to clean it....

    they will be able to walk around in the 6x6 floor of the kennel and when i am home i will let them in the back yard..... which is also fenced.....

    i have not decidedif i willput them in at night or not, definitely in the winter, but they will probably do that themselves....

    do you recomend a heat lamp in winter? i am in mass and it does get to freezing. last year we had aweek or 2 of about 20 -30 degrees but for the most part it is 35-40
     

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