vacation hen house surprise

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by purechaotic, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. purechaotic

    purechaotic In the Brooder

    Sep 8, 2011
    Hi all my wife is on vacation right now. Planning out a hen house for her, ran into a question. the 4 sq ft just the hen house? or does that include the run? We live in the city and she has 5 hens but they are talking about raising limit to 10 and if I know my wife she will get 5 more lol. I will give a run down of my plan the run is 8ft wide 16ft long 6ft tall, it is running along a 6 ft fence and was going to put a roof on half and a full wind block on the same side. They will have full run of the pen except if it gets extremly cold at night then we would shut them up in the house, this would be a rare event. I was thinking I would go 4ft wide by 3ft long 5 ft tall, with two nest boxes off to one side, basically an extra area on top of that measurement with a lid for easy access to eggs. She also wants to use buckets for nest boxes so she can easily change out the straw. Planning on keeping the bucket whole except a window to reach in and get eggs. Let me know what you think, I would rather make it only once lol.
  2. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    General rule of thumb is 4 sq ft per large fowl in the coop, 10 sq ft per in the run.
    As for the rest, I am a 'gotta see the pics' type person. I use buckets for nests as well, but my coop is walk-in, so I just go in & get them, no extra holes in the bucket.
    Gotta say though, she's lucky to have a man like you! Is this hen house going to be a surprise for her?
  3. wren

    wren Songster

    May 27, 2007
    St Augustine, FL
    Each hen needs 4 square feet of inside room.
  4. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Songster

    Dec 21, 2010

    What an awesome thing to do. If possible, it would be good to make the coop larger - especially if your wife may want more hens (seems you have a good handle on chicken math already). [​IMG] I think the 4 sq. ft. of floor space is for the coop only. Also, I highly recommend locking them up EVERY night in case of predators. We let ours out every day but they are locked up tight each night. Having a roof over some of the run is a great idea too! Good luck with the construction.
  5. Are they bantams or standards? You could get away with a 12sq feet if you have 5 bantams, IF you are free ranging them. If you have an enclosed run, you really need to have the space required to keep them happy. SO, thats going to be 20sq ft coop floor space. That does not count roosts or nesting area. Thats 20 sq ft uninterupted space. 50 sq feet run... That is for 5... If you are going to do 10, then I'd just go with an 8long x 4widex 4high. Placing the roosts at differing levels... Some chickens, like silkies and other bantams don't get up high, and if you're clipping wings, it makes it harder for them to get up. You wouldn't really need but maybe 2 nest boxes for 10 hens. They'd more than likely use only one if you put in more than that. I have 12 hens, and they use 1... I had two, but they use 1. YEAH! Silly birds. Make sure you have good ventilation under the roof... SO, have the roof hang over enough so that fresh air gets in but NOT drafty. Need the vents to keep humidity down in the winter, and coolage in the summer. Put windows where ever possible, that open, so you can cool the coop in summer. Use hardware cloth instead of screens.... Um... Also, have to coop up off the ground. Keeps dampness at bay, and it will also give a dry place to put the food when its spring summer and fall... Again use hardware cloth to enclose it...
    Oh and the nice thing about using buckets, is you can take them out and clean them when needed!

    Have fun!
  6. nickie

    nickie Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    north central KY
    I don't want to see pics of the coop (actually, I do) I want to see pics of the look on her face when she sees it!
  7. No kidding right!
  8. purechaotic

    purechaotic In the Brooder

    Sep 8, 2011
    Yep it's a surprise, and I will probably get flogged for this but they have a full time 120lb protector. That thinks they are his babies and nothing gets close to their enclousure without his permission except mom and dad, the other dogs know how close they can get without getting a beating. He has always been this way with anything he thinks is his babies. Obviously the pen is secure even for him we know he is a dog but I really I'm not concerned with anything getting to them without him alerting us or dealing with it himself.

    I already planned on windows with hardware cloth for cross ventilation that could be closed in winter. I was also eventually going to do some solar tubes in the roof to light the inside abit during the day, if the windows are closed up to let in light, something my dad did in his hunting cabin. If I raise it off the ground I won't be able to go 5 ft tall. Height important at all?
  9. cluckinthecity

    cluckinthecity In the Brooder

    Aug 20, 2011
    Portland Oregon
    Personally I would double check with city codes, and be sure the size of the "shed" is under the size that requires a permit and the lovely building inspectors. [​IMG]
  10. purechaotic

    purechaotic In the Brooder

    Sep 8, 2011
    I have as long as its not more then 100 sq ft floor space no permit needed. I will try and post pics when the wife gets back obviously she has the camera. I also I'm going to just stay with the smaller design but go 4x4 instead if they are too crowded I will add another wing.

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