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Ummm how many chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Rae Scott, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. Rae Scott

    Rae Scott Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2017
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    My fiance and i have decided to build our first coop. We figure we can keep meat and layers seperate and when we are done with having meat chickens in a few year we can use that coop and run for brooding or as a bachelor pad. Overall size would be 6x8 with it being divided into two 6x4 coops with bunkbed style roosts and nesring/brooding boxes on each side with an auto waterer and auto feeder on either side of the boxes. Now we are stumbling trying to figure out how many chickens that would be. Help?
     
  2. tinakevin

    tinakevin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The preferred ratio is 4 square ft per bird so you have a 6 x 8 = 48 so that's 12 birds. And 10 square ft per bird for the outdoor run.
     
  3. Rae Scott

    Rae Scott Out Of The Brooder

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    So even with it being 6ft tall and doing bunk bed type roosts we could still only do 12 in each?
     
  4. tinakevin

    tinakevin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No 12 total. So 6 in each. It goes by floor space. The height really doesn't matter too much. To avoid pecking at each other and fights due to overcrowding. If they were going to be out free ranging all day and only rousting at night you could maybe add a couple more but if they are confined to the coop and run I wouldn't do more than the recommendation.
     
  5. Paganrose

    Paganrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree! Think of it this way- Each full grown bird occupies 1 sqft, plus room for food, water, to move around a bit, and to escape a bird higher on the pecking order. Chicken spend most of their time on the ground, scratching- looking for grains and bugs, so that is where the space is needed. There will be times due to predators, weather, or family emergencies where you will need to leave the chickens locked up in the coop. Having at lessthan 4sqft per bird inside the coop means the chickens will be overly stressed causing issues such as pecking, bullying, and feather pulling.
     
  6. Rae Scott

    Rae Scott Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2017
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    I was just hoping that by making the roosts like bunkbeds on roost then a bit higher a poop pan and another roost would help maximize the actual livable space in the pen as we really are just kinda going gaga with the numbers. 4 meat birds seems to little 8 or 12 may be to many... 2 layers doesnt sound right 9 sounds more realistic... etc. All this while trying to figure out how to PAY for the materials for the coop build AND the chickens and all the other accoutrements that go with having them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  7. Paganrose

    Paganrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To be honest you would want to have more than 2 layers- chickens are very social, and do best at minimum as a trio, but more is better.

    Have you thought about building a main coop for the layers, and then a chicken tractor for the meaties? Meat birds tend to not need as much cold protection or nest boxes, and produce enourmous amounts of poo, so a different type of housing may be better.
     
  8. Rae Scott

    Rae Scott Out Of The Brooder

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    Nope havent simply because we dont really want to build two seperate structures. I said 2 layers because thats what someone who is supposed to be an expert told i would need to feed 2 people eggs. Only problem is we want3 different breads of layers. Lol

    We are hoping to raise to coop 24-30 inchs off the ground for 1 predator protection and 2 to enclose the underside to give the chickens somewhere to go during not so nice weather yet still get some outdoor time.

    We are honestly also trying to make this as easy to manage long term for both of us whe still being done on a shoestring budget. (Weddings cost a arm and leg!) We looked at prefab and went hell no! So now doi g our own and the math is giving us fits. Lol
     
  9. Mr Pink

    Mr Pink Out Of The Brooder

    So you have done the chicken math ....Now exactly what is a "shoestring " budget ? Am assuming you can to this site for realistic answers - if your talking about trying to do this project on say $100 dollars I hope ya'll are good at scrounging used materials
     
  10. Rae Scott

    Rae Scott Out Of The Brooder

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    We were hoping to spend no more then 400-500 on coop and run building materials (thats buying new but hoping to find stuff cheaper) around 75 for food and waterers, feeder,grit etc. If we can we REALLY REALLY want to keep total cost of everything combined under 700.00 realisticly.

    I have been told its NOT realistic for that budget and that i shouldnt even consider it if i cant invest a MINIMUM of 2500.00 for startup. We really want chickens and free range isnt an option and the birds we are looking at arent overly expensive either but if it come to it we are willing to make compromises such as starting with maybe 4 layers instead of 6 or 9. Maybe taking chickens off craigslist that are free instead of buying,maybe putting the meat chickens and layers in one coop instead of a divided one which would save a small amount on materials, maybe DIY feeders and waterers and such.

    I know its not going to be easy to do but we are willing to do it.
     

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