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Chicken coops/pens??
December 6, 2011
8:57 am
Kat43082
Central Arizona
Mighty Chicken
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Our coop is technically movable, I built it in panels for easier moving if needed but it doesn't move. :) It weighs to much, the moving was more for when we move from this house. We can access the egg box from outside the coop, this was a must feature for us.  I had fun planning and design our coop, I hope you do as well.

December 6, 2011
9:06 am
BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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It IS possible to have room for lots of birds in a mobile coop if you have lots of room to move it around on and can pull it with a tractor… larger farms do that for the summer, and since they just go in it at night really, and under it for shade and shelter from rain in the day time, it's doable, but NOT for something they're going to live in for the winter.  That's the time you need the square footage really, they get crabby when locked up together and start picking and pecking at each other when they're in close confines for very long… you remember your college roommates don't you? laugh  chickenchickenchicken

Located in N.E. Ohio
December 6, 2011
11:07 am
Leah's Mom
Northern Indiana
Super Chicken
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A note on 30 chickens….

My original intent is to only have 5-10 at the most.  However, when I look at the possibility for the future, I can imagine having as many as 30 at some point (probably a long way off!).  The idea of having a moving coop also is very attractive to me. 

I wish I just had an old shed available that I could use as I get started so I have something to try out without having to make a decision!!!!

My plan is to totally free-range during the day and lock 'em up at night.  There is fencing on the larger property so we should be able to accomplish that.  I had hoped to be able to move the coop from time-to-time for various reasons.

 

As a side note – I have even been looking for old "yard barns" that people may be getting rid of that I could haul in a pickup truck and bring home to repurpose as a "first coop".  There are a couple of neighborhoods where the state has purchased the houses for road widening that have yard barns behind them I've had my eye on…

December 6, 2011
2:49 pm
SarahGrace
Super Chicken
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I can totally understand ending up with 30 chickens!  We started out with 12 and now have 44!  I have a very good excuse, really!  cool

I think you could do a movable coop for 15 birds, but a coop large enough for 30 might be tougher, especially if you want to walk in it.  Of course I'm thinking along the lines of moving it by hand.  Moving by tractor or vehicle would open a lot more possibilities for you.  I saw an article one time where a man had taken an old travel camper and turned it into a nice coop. Very movable!   The coop you linked to was gorgeous!

December 6, 2011
3:11 pm
BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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That's called 'chicken math' SarahGrace!  It means that when you are building a coop, and plan on getting 6 hens, always build the coop large enough to hold at least 20 or 25.  And then plan on where you will be building your second coop, because you will need a brood-house, an isolation pen and a place to put the next batch of pullets where they can get away from the bullies in the older flock… and then of course come the ducks or geese, or maybe turkeys!!!

Located in N.E. Ohio
December 6, 2011
3:18 pm
SarahGrace
Super Chicken
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Chicken math indeed!  You'd think that 44 would be enough, but I'd love to get some fancy footed ones!   We put in a "penthouse" this year to separate out chickens or use as a place for a brooding hen.  Next year we hope to enlarge the coop or build a second coop.sun2    We're thinking of doing meat birds next summer (all depends on how often dh can get home) and if we do will use chicken tractors for them.

December 7, 2011
8:53 am
Leah's Mom
Northern Indiana
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Wow – chicken math reminds me of "baby math" around my house in my younger years…  bug-eyedyes

December 7, 2011
8:59 am
SarahGrace
Super Chicken
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Leah's Mom said:

Wow – chicken math reminds me of "baby math" around my house in my younger years…  bug-eyedyes

Baby math is the ABSOLUTE best!  happy-flower

Now, back to chickens.  lol 

LM,   do you know what type of chickens you want?

December 7, 2011
10:31 am
Leah's Mom
Northern Indiana
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I'm SURE I want to try a few buckeyes.  Besides the buckeyes, I'm not sure yet.  I do like the idea of the heritage breeds. 

April 18, 2012
11:29 am
littlebird
NC
Big Chicken
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April 18, 2012
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Awesome thread and tons of great links and info. I love everyone's unique ideas for chicken coop and house building. We are wanting to get some chickens in a bit and have been mulling over designs. Most of our barn buildings are wooden so we want something wooden and old timey looking that will flow with the rest of the farm.

The backyardchickens coop pics are awesome. I love the log cabin style coop in the medium coop section!!

don't wait for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain
April 20, 2012
3:04 am
fairwindsfarmgal
Big Chicken
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March 12, 2012
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http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

This chart has been instrumental to me in choosing breeds of chickens. Since small scale farming is a challenge to make a profit or even break even, I knew that the breed I chose had to earn its keep by producing enough eggs. They will all eat and eat whatever is placed in front of them…in large quantities thus I looked for the breeds that produced the most large eggs and were easy keepers…tolerant of free ranging or captivity, not flighty, good setters, etc. Another criteria was that it had to be a dual purpose breed meaning that it would be large enough to fill the stew pot…for certainly, if you hatch eggs, you'll get 50/50 males/females…and who needs a mess of roosters harassing the hens. Those bad boys hit the freezer/stewpot hopefully before their first crowing attempt.

I chose Black Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Americana- though the rooster newest black pair is really mean to the pullets of different breeds. I'm thinking his next destiny is the stew pot. 

A friend of ours says her White Leghorn is the scrawniest hen she has but consistently lays eggs rain or shine. She said those two gals laid most every day all through the winter…whereas the Brahmas and Wyandottes were very sporadic in their laying.

April 20, 2012
7:05 am
CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
Super Chicken
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August 30, 2008
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Check out craigslist for large dog houses, dog run, sheds.  I have been able to put together a nice setup using dog houses attached to the outside of a dog run.  I cut holes in the walls of the run and put the dog house door up to it, stapled it with a staple gun to the run.  I reinforced the run with hardware cloth.  There are buried railroad ties around the perimeter, against digging. I have seen 'free' for the pick up sheds and dog houses on craigslist…. I like a run for rare times I have to go away over night, or winter, when they don't want to go far, but need a safe place to get out a little bit. 

May 23, 2013
8:46 pm
Snelly
Hatchling
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May 23, 2013
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Pete said
Anyone have any ideas about where I get information about building a chicken coop? Or pen, or some sort of protective enclosure/s?

We have the land mass for having some chickens but are surrounded by woods with some nasty critters in it. So, we stop when faced with having to build something completely enclosed. If it's going to become that involved, I really want some guidance about square footage needed per chick, etc.

Have thought of a building of some sort that can be secured from the outside with an open yard of some sort. Yes, I've been around chicken coops of all sorts over the years, but don't remember any which needed as much protection as we need here. And there could be some really easy way to accomplish this if we only get a couple of chicks…

Thanks for any ideas you may have, everyone. Or websites which might help.

 

Hi Pete, I have been interested in having my own backyard chickens for many years. I found some good information on this site if you are still interested – http://chickencooptips.com

May 24, 2013
11:17 am
BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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There are some good examples there Snelly, but much of that site wouldn't work well for me so I never got to the plans themselves.  If it's a site to sell plans, I don't know that I'd go that far really.  Most any kind of shed or outbuilding can be used or sectioned off for chickens, and those little short buildings can be very difficult to get into to clean, unless maybe the whole roof comes off so that's not an option for me at least!  Still even from the illustrations given there are some good ideas there!

Just need room for some nest boxes, some roosts and a place to hang feeders and place waterers and good ventilation options for a chicken coop.  chicken 

Located in N.E. Ohio
May 24, 2013
3:41 pm
Pete
WV
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December 28, 2008
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Thanks, Snelly, but if you look at comment #71 you will see a pic of what we built.  Looks rather excessive, but it was actually the best and cheapest option for us – using an existing pole building.

As an update – we are very glad to have the second door leading into the covered 10x20 area.  It increases the possibilities of keeping the assorted chickens separated when necessary and we still can use the pen area for the dog housed at the other end of this building, if/when.

No, we have not yet installed wall sconces!   happy-flower

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
May 26, 2013
7:42 am
chickenhead
Big Chicken
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April 28, 2012
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May 27, 2013
10:17 pm
BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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That's another nice link mpoling!  Thank you for sharing it, even though Pete's coop is long finished, this discussion will be useful for other folks along the way! 

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