Where to even start? Reworking our entire coop and run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HeatherLynn, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Ok so this is our first really good year going at this on the new farm. The first year was a dud so I am ignoring that one. Ok so here is what we have. Right now I have a mini coop that is like 4x8 for 5 bantam birds but my son wants more. We have a HUGE cattle barn that we converted over to a coop that now houses my 11 layers, 4 roo's and 4 geese. The geese are being kicked out because they killed a couple of my layers. We are getting 25+ chicks in january. All of this is contained inside a very large fenced in run.

    The geese are not a huge issue because we have a pond that is fenced on 3 sides already and we are just going to run that 4th side and build them their own little barn to sleep and have babies in. Knowing my mother it will not be so little but thats on her plate, not mine.

    The bantams I was thinking maybe of building a new coop that is closer to our building site. ( we are building a house next year too) That way next winter getting heat to them would be easier. I was thinking one of those all enclosed types with the coop up top cover about half the space and then the bottom being all run. Very self contained. Egg box located on the outside to make it easier. Access door to make getting into the coop area easier for cleaning. I think that might work maybe.

    The current bantam house I am trying to figure out how to make it into an outdoor baby brooder because there are too many of us in this house right now for me to really deal with babies inside. Its insanity. It is wood floor on one side and hardware cloth on the other. That might have to change. This large box standing on 6 legs/ slanted roof. Front in hardware cloth but the rest is done in wood barn siding. The hubby is trying to figure out how to do a solar heater for them since its hard to run electric to where they are now, although I guess I could move it closer.

    The calf barn converted into a coop is going amazingly well. The birds are warm enough even without a heater and it seems pretty secure so far. What I am not happy with is the nesting boxes. They seem to hate them anymore. I have only a couple now that will use them. I provided a few with a small galvanized trash can with bedding in it to lay in since they refused to use the nesting boxes and now they are all fighting over the stupid can. My hubby followed plans for them but these seem to not meet their needs. Its in a dark isolated corner sort of, as dark and isolated as anything can be in our coop. I don't know what else to offer them. I guess they could just keep using the cans. Lord knows they are super easy to clean.

    Any ideas on all this. I really need to rethink how everything is done right now because we want to get more birds and seperate our smaller ones and try to not use electricity so we do not have to run extention cords. ( little mini electric fire prompted this one)
     
  2. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Sounds like you have your hands full building chicken coops and a house! Then, on top of that, you are getting new chicks! I would be pulling my hair out. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  3. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Ahh see the chickens are to keep me from pulling my hair out. I get frustrated I tell everyone I am going to my office. Which is really the chicken coop. The girls sing to me and give me presents which is much better than arguing and fussing. So before all the housebuilding stress my hubby is going to be a wonderfully sweet man and build my son his own coop so he stops trying to mix bantams in with my larger breeds and then convert the old bantam house to a brooder so I don't have to smell them inside and then he wants to do more work on the current cattle barn coop to remedy this whole nest box situation.

    It seems the cattle barn coop is keeping them comfy enough even in this super cold weather though because I see no signs of frostbite at all and the girls are becoming laying machines. No heat or added light either. Lots of natural draft free light though soo. 11 layers and i got 11 eggs today. I only got 7 yesterday but still. With such freezing temps them laying and acting pretty content and looking good I think this coop is at least meeting the basic requirements. I would like to add maybe egg boxes I can get to from the outside and maybe ones they would use. That would be loverly. I was thinking maybe of adding a solar attic fan in too. Might help with summer issues. Its so much harder converting than building from scratch it seems.
     
  4. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

  5. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Good thing your husband is handy. I really envy you the barn situation. The neighbors down the next road a bit built a brand new big red barn this summer. All I thought when I saw it was, "wow, how many chickens could I fit in there!" It's a sickness.

    It's weird they prefer the trash cans. Who knows what goes on in their minds. I have two coops that share the same fenced in area. My two faverolles prefer to lay their eggs in the other coop from where they roost. "Why" I ask myself [​IMG]
     
  6. BigIslandChicks

    BigIslandChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG]

    how many chickens could we fit in there?!?[​IMG] a sickness of [​IMG] lol

    also i have been doing some work on our coop being a new chicken owner of 5 months now...and i think that it is always a work in progress...we need a bigger run...for more chickens...it's the sickness...like i was saying a work in progress to add on to get different kinds of chickens [​IMG]
     
  7. theblackridge16

    theblackridge16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 9, 2010
    Pintura, Utah
    we are also new to raising chickens and agree that it is always a work in progress in the coop and run area and we have only been doing this for nine months. we are about to add on another 12x12 to the 10x12 run we already have in prep. for hatchings this spring! i have a 6x12 coop and would like to know if ya'll think we will need more coop space for 5 more hens that will give me a total of 21 chickens?
     
  8. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    I am starting to think the trash can thing is because of the geese. One was in the nesting box today and a female goose came over to investigate. She is a sweet girl and would not have hurt the hen but she is nosy. Hopefully when she can lay her own eggs she will be less nosy about the hens.
     

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