Jump to content

chicken coop question


Recommended Posts

I see coops from really fancy to stone simple little A-frame with one open side, fenced in to just a little box, what I had in mind was an A frame coop with a run incorporated into it what do they want or need? I see 3-4 feet per chicken in a coop being a standard minimum, the intent would be to have them free range around here, hopefully inside at night, with a swing open door on the "gable ends" to access nesting boxes. and a set of swinging doors in the center to clean out. I will include a picture of what I am talking about, my thoughts are sheet metal roofing, much larger so there would be at least 2 nesting boxes on each end and the whole thing movable... dunno how often I would, but I could, I would intend to have them free range most of the time, but it would be nice to contain them if I had to for some reason. 

thinking half a dozen chickens, how many nesting boxes do they need? how much free space do they need if they were to spend a day or 2 in the fenced in area? is this a crazy idea? 

042226efbe52402e61952fdb7052527b.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, lorenzo said:

Looks great,  might be a bit small though.

I intend to enlarge 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Chickens are easy to raise.  They don't care about fancy, the fancy coops are for the owners to look at.  We usually have between 10 and 15 hens depending on the season and mortality.  Our coop is 6' x 8' and is big enough for that many birds.  Outside fenced area is 15' x 20'.  I think one nesting box per 2 hens is plenty.  A 2x4 running along one side of the coop about a foot off the ground will give them a perch to sleep on.   Now when they are of laying age you will get about one egg per hen per day, so take that into account.  A dozen eggs per day is a lot of eggs, unless you are a big egg eater.  Our flock keeps most of our extended family in eggs. 

The most important advice I can give you is the floor of your coop should be the ground.  As in dirt.  If you put a concrete or wood floor in your coop you will have to buy shavings and clean it out frequently.  And it will stink to high heaven.  On dirt the birds scratch and dig and basically bury and compost all their droppings.  Because of this it will not have much smell.  I add a thin layer of shavings about once a month and only have to shovel out the coop once a year.

 Lots of other critters like to eat chickens too.  Raccoons, weasels, coyotes love free range chickens.  We have lost more chickens to Bald Eagles and hawks than anything else.  That's why we have netting over their outside run.

Well that got kinda long....good luck and enjoy!   

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though it's fenced in and the sky is netted here they need to be locked in at night for protection from predators. I have a little coop that my wife got from someone else for free but I have plans to build a shed approximately 20'x72'  . I will make 12' bay post to post and one bay should be good enough for the miniature horses and the next bay to put big squares along with the tack type things. I am thinking about a two story thing incorporated between those two bays for the chickens. My biggest concern is leaving me 4 bays for putting inside my bigger Farmalls ...... :)

 

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW. I had 100 laying hens in 16 laying boxes. It was 4'x4' with 12"x12" boxes. I put a piece of old base trim along the bottom and a roost pole in front for them to hop in. For 15 hens you could get by with 4-8 boxes easily.  The issue I see with the portable pens is how do you keep critters from digging in. My coop has a run with buried rr ties to prevent that. Remember everything wants to eat a chicken. My coop is huge but it's part of an old barn I dont use much. I think its 20x15. So make where they sleep tight from critters and a door to pen closable. Leave them pinned up when your not around the best you can. I had critter issues so bad I got rid of mine. Or they did atleast. Plan is to get more this spring. Moving the pen is great so they can pick around in the grass. Moving them once a week is what most do I think. If not movable then bury the wire in dirt or a tie or landscape timber. 3-4' a chicken is plenty. The pen should be larger than coop. They only go in at night to sleep, and will like roosting poles as high as you can put them. They usually fight for the top. Mine are the width of the coop and start a foot from the ceiling and come down at a 45* angle leaving a pole every foot. I just ripped some 2x4's in half and beveled the edges with table saw. A catch pan for poo would be nice to empty. I didnt think that far ahead and pitch fork it. Chickens poo alot. Any kind of sexed link like a red or black star will be your best egg layers. They have lots of names. Cinnamon queen, red star etc. Feed a good layer pellet and dont be afraid to get your hands on some greens and veggies from somewhere. They love it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

any chance of predator ,move to another project,

only way we could keep those filthy critters, was locked in barn,horses hated them and they spent 90 % of the time OVER the waters ,chased everyone save the fox and coon.

now when someone drops off their "pets" at night  ....1 call and they go to the city for korean delacisie  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Electronet.    https://www.deerbusters.com/more-fence/farm-fence/chicken-fence/electric-poultry-netting-10-40-3-5-green-164-ft/?_vsrefdom=googleppc&gclid=CjwKCAjwgbLzBRBsEiwAXVIygN6Dib6ZShHeT6Nji4aQH5FPcUjPLcTorCBF3VSBMG9lNPiUjxC0LBoCUAIQAvD_BwE

As an example, mine is a different brand available in various lengths .  It cut my predator caused mortality rate by 90% worth every penny. keeps dogs out , keeps predators out and the chickens in. Chickens fyi  are insulated by their feathers from the shock. Owls are bad but they should be locked in by the time they are out looking for a meal.

 

My coop is 8X8 foot "garden shed " which is good for 40+ hens so the one you pictured will be fine for 6. Figure at least 100 Sq feet of space and use the netting if you can to allow them to free range.  What about the Guineas?.....

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, TomH said:

Electronet.    https://www.deerbusters.com/more-fence/farm-fence/chicken-fence/electric-poultry-netting-10-40-3-5-green-164-ft/?_vsrefdom=googleppc&gclid=CjwKCAjwgbLzBRBsEiwAXVIygN6Dib6ZShHeT6Nji4aQH5FPcUjPLcTorCBF3VSBMG9lNPiUjxC0LBoCUAIQAvD_BwE

As an example, mine is a different brand available in various lengths .  It cut my predator caused mortality rate by 90% worth every penny. keeps dogs out , keeps predators out and the chickens in. Chickens fyi  are insulated by their feathers from the shock. Owls are bad but they should be locked in by the time they are out looking for a meal.

 

My coop is 8X8 foot "garden shed " which is good for 40+ hens so the one you pictured will be fine for 6. Figure at least 100 Sq feet of space and use the netting if you can to allow them to free range.  What about the Guineas?.....

 

 

Guinea are on the list too. They won’t be here till June. The old .22 will remain next to the front door. Amazing how much a black cat looks like a raccoon in the wee hours.....🤔👹

Link to post
Share on other sites

When the wife had laying hens I just laid 5 gallon buckets on their side. Hens used them fine and they were easy to clean out when wife wanted to put fresh hay in them. 

Had a permanent block built coop that kept everything out but bullsnakes. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes chickens get confused and lay eggs in the dirt. To train them my grandma would put one of those old white porcelain door knobs in the nest box. Looks kind of like an egg. Anyone else do this?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, MarkG said:

Sometimes chickens get confused and lay eggs in the dirt. To train them my grandma would put one of those old white porcelain door knobs in the nest box. Looks kind of like an egg. Anyone else do this?

I’ve read about golf balls. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, MarkG said:

Sometimes chickens get confused and lay eggs in the dirt. To train them my grandma would put one of those old white porcelain door knobs in the nest box. Looks kind of like an egg. Anyone else do this?

 

3 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

I’ve read about golf balls. 

That's your generation gap right there LOL😁

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

So the electronet, are you just fencing in to give them a safe area from predators on foot? It’s not covered on top? I guess I’m a little foggy on that

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dad and I walled in a section of the barn where the milking stantions were for the chickens. Insulated walls and heat lamps for winter heating.  Installed a nest on one wall for clean egg gathering. Used a pig creep feeder to feed them.  Used dog kennel fencing for the pen and chicken wire over the top to prevent flying out.  Shut them in barn at night against predators. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

So the electronet, are you just fencing in to give them a safe area from predators on foot? It’s not covered on top? I guess I’m a little foggy on that

Yes, I  really don't have a flying predator during the day. I have plenty of hawks but very rarely have I seen them attack chickens. Maybe they are a bit big for them and small easier prey are abundant. ( at least here) Owls like to show up at dusk or dawn, to get some of the stragglers headed in or the first out in the morning. I open my coop right before I leave for work ( which is black dark again thanks to DST) and hope things are ok. If you find a dead chicken that is minus its head, that was Mr.Owl. You can see some electric net here I have 330 feet. I move it around to keep some fresh area for them.

 

IMG_1220.thumb.jpeg.a3d7f2611a3734eb5131d055941e4078.jpeg

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TomH said:

Yes, I  really don't have a flying predator during the day. I have plenty of hawks but very rarely have I seen them attack chickens. Maybe they are a bit big for them and small easier prey are abundant. ( at least here) Owls like to show up at dusk or dawn, to get some of the stragglers headed in or the first out in the morning. I open my coop right before I leave for work ( which is black dark again thanks to DST) and hope things are ok. If you find a dead chicken that is minus its head, that was Mr.Owl. You can see some electric net here I have 330 feet. I move it around to keep some fresh area for them.

 

IMG_1220.thumb.jpeg.a3d7f2611a3734eb5131d055941e4078.jpeg

 

Don’t they flutter up over it? I mean I know they aren’t stellar flyers but they can flutter up to roost and such

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

Don’t they flutter up over it? I mean I know they aren’t stellar flyers but they can flutter up to roost and such

Some do, mainly the white and brown leghorns as they are light weight hens. The dogs usually chase them back in. Chickens learn where they live and like to stay there. The others are all "heavy" breeds and would fly out if they could perch on the top first but they can't so they stay in. Also I have about 3 or 4 that routinely get out through a hole in the netting that some guy with a lawn mower caught the netting.......and um....

If there is no choice then you can always clip their wings, I prefer not to as flying may help them escape whatever is chasing them.

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...