Will this work? Measurements and ideas for coop and run - PICS ADDED

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pixiechic, May 9, 2008.

  1. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
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    Our current coop and run house just 2 birds -- one cockerel (Earl) and one pullet. Both the coop and the run are very small, and there will not be room there for our 17 babies, who are currently about 2 weeks old and will be ready to leave their brooder soon.

    Here's my coop idea: We have an old hay shed near where our small coop is. It has three sides, a roof, and a floor. The floor needs some repair, but everything else is still solid, and it's perfectly dry inside. So we'd just need to build a front on the shed, fix the floor, add a door and hopefully a window to let in some light, and they'll all have a safe place to stay at night. Some roosts, some nest boxes, food and water...and it'll be home. [​IMG]

    My first question: Will a 12' x 12' coop be big enough for 19 chickens? It's about 6' tall at the back and about 8' tall in the front.

    The "chicken section" of the yard is already fenced in, and is mostly grass but has some trees (pine, oak, maple, sweetgum). The fence is 10-yr-old twisted wire fence, rusty in places, but the posts are still solid and it's been dog-tested daily since last summer. It's mostly 2x4 wire but some of it is 6x6, and there are 2 gates for easy access. If we check the wire for breaks (and re-staple it to the posts where needed), and then line the entire thing securely with 4' high chicken wire, we should have a pretty good pen for the chickens to wander in during the day -- right?

    This leads me to my next question: is 130' x 70' a big enough run for 20 chickens? Is it too big? I envision it as being a semi-free-range sort of thing, if that makes any sense. We'll need about 400 feet of chicken wire total, but still cheaper and easier than building a whole new pen. We could even keep the existing small coop and pen in there for an infirmary if needed.

    My last question (for now): Can you experts think of anything I've overlooked?
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2008
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    First; your 12x12 coop would be heaven for 17 chickens. You could have double that in there and should be fine (hint.. hint.. hint...[​IMG]) The run can't possibly ever be too big.. chickens love to free range so the more space the happier they'll be.

    Are you saying that the fence is only four feet high? Or, are you just adding four foot high wire to that? If you're adding the wire to that it should be great. If it's only four feet high then it's possible that you will have chickens 'flying the coop' so to speak. Some breeds/individuals will easily fly over a four/five foot fence.

    Your coop sounds perfect and relatively speaking, easy to make into a wonderful hen house.

    Have lots of fun .. sounds like you have everything under control.
     
  3. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, thanks for your quick reply!

    The existing fence is about 5' high - it was originally used for horses. I was going to line the inside of it with chicken wire, which I think is about 4', so the existing fence would extend up past the chicken wire by about a foot. The existing fence would probably keep the chickens in just fine all by itself; I'm adding the chicken wire layer to make it more secure against predators.

    I'm happy to hear that 12x12 is big enough for potential expansion! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2008
  4. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's the hay shed we are converting to a chicken coop:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More info here.

    Our next step is to rip up the floor of the shed, replace that cracked joist in the front, and lay down a new floor -- we have all the stuff to do it, now we just have to find the time.
     
  5. chicks for better health

    chicks for better health Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    West Glenville, NY
    How high does the fence need to be around the coop so the chickens don't fly out?
     
  6. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    My chickens had to be prevent from jumping/flying up to the top of my 6ft coop so they could jump off the other side. My fence is now 7ft with the last foot leaning in. so they bump into when they try to jump over.
     
  7. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our two adult chickens are doing fine with just a 4' chicken wire fence - haven't escaped yet - but 5' is probably safer.

    Edit: - CoyoteMagic, those are some high-flying chickens!
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2008
  8. BaronRenfrew

    BaronRenfrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens can "learn" to fly. If you clip the wings they "should" stay in. Don't underestimate a motivated chicken. I once saw a scared japanese bantam hen go 45 feet straight up into the rafters of a barn. This was at a bird club auction and she hung out with the pigeons until the guys hit her with a stick. She flew down and was caught. Normal chickens will stay within a 4 foot fence, especially if they have the type of roaming space you describe.
     

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