Will this coop work well? Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by truebluexf, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. truebluexf

    truebluexf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are trying to finalize up our coop plans, woohoo! I'd like some final feedback. The coop will be 5x3 including nesting boxes, and a little over 3ft at the peak. We plan to have an attached run that will be about 9x6.

    The whole setup will be along the back of our house, next to our patio. We are trying to keep it by the house to a) keep it out of sight (though most of our neighbors know it will be there and it won't be illegal) and b) for shade, since our yard has zero shade except for the house. We have no fencing so true free-ranging can't happen, I don't think. We wanted to try a tractor, but the logistics of making it easily moveable and parkable where we want it to go, and also big enough for 5 chickens, just wasn't working. We are going to essentially copy this coop [forum won't let me add in url]

    Does the a-frame run work well? Do you wish you'd made your coop higher off the ground so they could use the space underneath? Looking for pros/cons.

    Also, we are thinking of some kind of portable a-frame tractor run for mock free-range time so they can have more access to new grass, bugs, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  2. truebluexf

    truebluexf Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    More space is always better, and if it is a couple of feet off the ground it will be a lot easier on your back to do things in there. I don't see a problem with being near the house, and they definitely need shade. But, you might find yourself cleaning or adding a few shavings or whatnot a little more often, to keep odor and flies under control, so its being raised would be that much more convenient.

    You only need one nesting box, BTW. They will only use one anyway.
     
  4. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our coop is 4x4 and about 2 ft of the ground. I wish it was higher because bending to clean out the coop or add food and water kills my back. We don't have the run finished yet but I believe its just under 5 ft tall. I'm 5'2 so I know I'll be stooping in the run as well. We don't have an A-frame just four straight walls and a slanted roof (no peak line). I decided against an A-frame because I didn't like the idea of the coop directly on the ground. I think if you are going to have 5 chickens, an A-frame still might be too small for them. They need at least 4 sqft per bird. I agree, trying to have a tractor that will fit 5 birds will be really hard to move. I hope that helps. Good luck!
     
  5. truebluexf

    truebluexf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I forgot to add that one of my reasons for wanting it lower is so I don't see it from my big living room window, LOL. We go back and forth on this one. I'd like them to have more space, but I also don't want to see it from inside. [​IMG] Of course, if we had it with space underneath, then we could make it two pieces and the house could be the tractor. I'm so indecisive on this one. Also, will the 15sqft work for 5 birds? We are planning for australorps. The winters are not so bad and there is little snow, so I don't imagine they'd be shut up in there often. The summers are hot though, which is why we are placing it where we are. Someday our trees will grow and provide some shade but I think that is still a few years away.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  6. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Honestly I'd go with more room than 15 sqft for 5 birds. The more room the better. Others on the board will advise the same I think. More room means less conflict between birds. We will be able to see our coop from all windows on the south side of the house. I, personally, would be worried if I couldn't see them. But everyone is different. Is there another location you could put the coop where you couldn't see it while allowing it to be a little bit bigger and taller?

    Also, you'll go back and forth more than you have been. This coop project has enabled more "discussions" between DH and me than ever before. He has one idea and I've done all the research about what a chicken needs. His ideas and my ideas didn't match. LOL! My word of advice...take a break from researching for a day or two. Come back and visit it again.
     
  7. truebluexf

    truebluexf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL. Well, I think we will have our birds soon! [​IMG]

    It's not that I don't want to see it, it's that I'd prefer not to see the top of the house a foot away from my window...does that make more sense? Though I'm thinking I'm going to lose that battle. We started thinking about making the coop bigger, 4x4, but then we realized it would harder to reach all the way in for cleaning, etc. Maybe we should go 3x6, and have it was wide as the run? Unfortunately, this is our best bet for location right now. If the yard had more privacy it would be different, but the neighborhood is new, this side of the street is more like old farmland so no trees and privacy. We are working on that, but big trees are expensive so our little ones just need time. [​IMG] Ideally, it would be towards the back of yard with a run twice the size. Maybe in a couple years we will have the opportunity to move it. [​IMG]

    The other biggie is the shape of the run. A-frame or square?

    ETA: If we decide to raise it up, how high off the ground does it have to be?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  8. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the design you chose.

    You could make the run a bit taller by adding legs like the ones on our coop. It would still keep the style of the one you liked.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. truebluexf

    truebluexf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, that's a good idea! It would increase usable space in the run if it had a little frame like that. I was always worried if we were really getting the same square feet with the angle of the A.
     

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