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Country Discussion Topics
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What size for a chicken house
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week N warrior / MO    Posted 11-10-2003 at 10:01:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm planning to build a chicken house to get the birds out of the cold.
Right now I only have 9 birds.
But plan on that number growing.
I don't think I'll be keeping more than 25 to 30 birds.
So 25 to 30 is the size I would like to build for.
How many square feet should it be?
Any hints on building one?

Carl


CountryMaritimer    Posted 11-11-2003 at 08:35:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have up to 25 chickens including two roosters. They get out on the weekends when we are home and have an outdoor caged in area (8' x 16'. The coop is an old pump house that was left on the property from years gone by. I built a door with a large chicken wire window that is overlain by plexiglass in the winter. I would recommend this feature. There is a 1'x1' square opening opposite door that leads out to caged area. The caged area also has a people door from outside for maintenance reasons mostly but also to rescue sick or dying birds etc.. I have built 8 nesting boxes in coop but they only use 2 -3. I hung their feeder from the ceiling (less mess). I went corner to corner inside with a 1" diameter hardwood tree (birch) for a roost, actually two of them so there are two rows of birds in the corner and a row on top of nest boxes. All in all my birds are not crowded. Coop is 6' x 12' plus outdoor area...plus 15 acres to roam. There are foxes but the rooster takes care of them. They can and will lay eggs most anywhere. A lot of fun. The coop is not heated in the winter and I live in eastern Canada so it gets darn cold!! Good luck.


Lazy Al    Posted 11-10-2003 at 15:56:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here's a place to down load some plans or order
some .
Al


buck    Posted 11-10-2003 at 15:35:39       [Reply]  [No Email]

May be worth your while to do a search for Chicken Tractors before you settle on a chicken house. If you are not familiar with it, the concept is really simple and sure does help cleaning up after the chickens.


Bob in CO.    Posted 11-10-2003 at 12:30:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We have 10 chickens at the moment and run as many as 25. We have a 10 X 14 Shed that has an area about 4X10 at the back separated for storage of feed and straw etc. So basically there is about 100 sq. for the girls (and Mel our Austalorp rooster - the silent one). I have read that a minimum is about 1.5 sq.' I wouldn't house 67 birds in there - but it is roomy for up to 30. There is a "doggie door" that allows them to exit to an enclosed outer area - but we almost always let them run around our property - they stay pretty close to home and we keep some older ones that seem to know how to avoid chicken hawks and coyotes - they seem to be examples for the young ones as well. There is a lot less feed used when they can free range. I can post a couple photos on my server if it would help. We have a good roost and laying box setup. Hope this helps. - Bob


Danny in CO    Posted 11-10-2003 at 13:49:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Bob,

I'm in Colorado also, between Denver & Colorado Springs. I have been considering getting chicken next spring for eggs. I would be interested in seeing how you are set up.

Where in CO are you?

Thanks,
Danny


Bob west of Pueblo    Posted 11-10-2003 at 15:35:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dear Danny,

I will dig up some photos and/or shoot a couple shots tomorrow. We live on 80 acres about 14 miles west of Pueblo; between Pueblo and Westcliffe. We are about 60 miles southwest of Colorado Springs. The chickens are great! We are always looking for things to make with eggs - with 9 hens and about 4 eggs a day. We have a few older birds as we are vegetarian's and don't eat chicken. Our birds are like pets. They have terrific personalities and are easy to maintain AND we LOVE those free range chicken eggs ;-)


cowgirlj- hey neighbors    Posted 11-12-2003 at 05:53:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My hubby and I live in Falco (Peyton). Just southeast of COS.


Bob in CO    Posted 11-10-2003 at 17:14:22       [Reply]  [Send Email]
OK here are some photos with comments:
http://www.thinkcia.com/earthship/chick2.JPG
Long shot of chicken setup - the chicken shack is a TUFF SHED with bought used. The penned area is 8' sections bought at Home Depot.

http://www.thinkcia.com/earthship/chick3.JPG
looking inside at the roost area.

http://www.thinkcia.com/earthship/chick1.JPG
opposite side where the laying boxes are located. They all like to lay in one or two boxes, even when they have to share a space - go figure.

http://www.thinkcia.com/earthship/chick5.JPG
a few of the Dixie Chicks with Mel their male manager ;-)

http://www.thinkcia.com/earthship/chick4.JPG
long shot looking towards our house and carport from the chicken yard. Had to show the clear Colorado sky ;-)

http://www.thinkcia.com/earthship/Nest2.JPG
laying nests just after we built them.

http://www.thinkcia.com/earthship/Nest3.JPG
back side shot. This was done with one sheet of 3/4" plywood - a MAJOR expense at the current plywood prices ;-(

http://www.thinkcia.com/earthship/Nest4.JPG
My wife & I showing off our work. The front plate is removable with wing nuts for easy cleaning of the boxes - see better look next photo.

http://www.thinkcia.com/earthship/nest5.JPG
fill with straw and chickens = EGGS!

There you have it Donny. - Bob



Danny in CO    Posted 11-11-2003 at 07:24:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks for the pictures! We have been considering chickens for a couple of years. I may have to bite the bullet and get some. Years back there was a ski area southwest of Westcliff called Conquistidor. We enjoyed it because it was out of the way and not crowded. They closed it down about 12-15 years ago.

Good looking place you have there!

Thanks,
Danny


deadcarp    Posted 11-10-2003 at 18:02:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
yeah that's right - you're the couple with the off-grid domicile. that reminds me - i kinda had a question about aliens of spanish descent but don't know how to ask it - heh heh


Bob    Posted 11-11-2003 at 04:36:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]
"yeah that's right - you're the couple with the off-grid domicile." We have grid power and some solar. Not sure how this relates to our chicken house.

Also, not sure what this means? "...question about aliens of spanish descent but don't know how to ask it - heh heh"

Bob


deadcarp    Posted 11-11-2003 at 09:40:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
in left-handed compliment terms, i was thinking your house resembles a sorta spanish spaceship - didn't mean to wander off the subject but i admire your place - stuff like that takes guts, determination and a lotta work :)


Bob in the dirt house    Posted 11-11-2003 at 10:22:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
OK Gotcha. House is an earthship made with tires filled with dirt and beer cans ;-). It is quite energy efficient and certainly not your standard stick framed unit. Some years ago I spent 11 formative months in and around Song Chai Valley checking out the tunnel quarters built by the Vietnamese. I loved the Central Highlands and appreciated the earth buildings. The last ride on a dust-off out of there I decided I would have myself an earth house one day with a whole bunch of idependent living wrapped up in the package ;-) Here I am living "the dream." These days I am building things with papercrete (lots of recycled newspaper).



sdg    Posted 11-10-2003 at 11:05:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Check out...Backyardchickens.com...It might have your answer, or there is a forum there too. Hope it helps


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