Will this build work for safety? Didn't read the fine print and used chicken wire...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by smplejohn, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. smplejohn

    smplejohn New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Sep 8, 2016
    The Woodlands, Texas
    Hey backyardchickens! I'm new here and have a beginner question on coop building...

    So, my wife and I have been working on a coop build for a few weeks now and wrapped the majority of it in chicken wire. Come to find out, that's not recommended for holding out predators and we have raccoons.

    [​IMG]

    We do have a 4'x7.5' raised area that currently has 3 walls. Can I just add a forth wall and have that be the area the hens sleep/lay eggs and the rest be considered the "run"? We're planning on picking up 14 hens total so I wasn't sure if that area would be large enough to keep them in at night, then let them in the run area and yard during the day.

    I'll re-wire if I need to, but I'd rather just build another wall. Thoughts?
     
  2. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,083
    245
    161
    Mar 12, 2016
    NW Arkansas
    My Coop
    Sorry but you don't have enough room in the run or the coop for that many chickens. Run looks like its perhaps 12' x 7.5'? I would not trust just the chicken wire. You might consider putting something like 2x4 welded wire over the chicken wire. The danger with the raccoons is that they would reach through the wire and grab a bird. That possibility is going to be compounded if they are overcrowded.
     
  3. smplejohn

    smplejohn New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Sep 8, 2016
    The Woodlands, Texas
    The run is 7.5 x 15' and from what I read should be enough for the amount of chickens we're looking at getting. I guess my main question is would stowing them in the enclosed area at night at 3ish sq ft/chicken be ok or should I look at expanding?
     
  4. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,083
    245
    161
    Mar 12, 2016
    NW Arkansas
    My Coop
    In my opinion, 14 full size birds will not work in a coop that's 30 sq.ft. Your run space works out to about 8 sq.ft. per bird which is less than what is generally accepted but might work if there is some free ranging involved. I'd say it's possible that you will have some behavioral issues and the amount of poop that 14 chickens are going to produce will be interesting to deal with in that amount of space.

    Have you a plan for waterer, feeder, nest boxes and such? They take up more room that it first appears that they would. You'll also need about 14 feet of roost area. What is your climate? It is very helpful to add your general location to your profile so those reading questions have some idea of weather conditions.
     
  5. smplejohn

    smplejohn New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Sep 8, 2016
    The Woodlands, Texas
    Alright, so we've decided to stick with 10 chickens and I am working on expanding a bit more to give them more room. Thanks for the help!
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,849
    4,068
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    The coop is the secure shelter area. What you have is a coop/run combination. You need a minimum of 4 sq ft of coop space and 10 sq ft of run space per bird. And that's just a rough estimate. Some breeds need even more room.
    Make that whole structure a coop, with siding and tons of ventilation covered in hardware cloth and then set up a 'for daytime only' run. As is, you'll need to take down that chicken wire and replace it with welded wire or hardware cloth. And the coop area is only big enough for 7 at most. Best to have room to spare, then to try and cram more birds into the space and end up with overcrowding problems.
     
  7. smplejohn

    smplejohn New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Sep 8, 2016
    The Woodlands, Texas
    So, we did pick up hardware cloth, but if I expand the top coop area to give the birds more space and leave the current open area as the run would chicken wire be sufficient daytime protection for the run area?

    That would make the run 7.5x15 which would be 112.50 sq. ft. and plenty for 10 birds right?
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,849
    4,068
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Chicken wire isn't really good even for daytime. A stray dog could take it out quickly. Welded wire is a stronger option. And the run area is fine for 10 Leghorn types, but if you get a very large breed like Brahmas or a very active breed like Barred Rocks it's going to be a bit small. Also, it means no cockerels, long term. Having males, especially young ones means you need about double the space so that the girls are too stressed out from having to dodge teenage, hormonal boys.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by