As has been mentioned, we ended up getting some chickens. Now at this point two of the chickens will be moving into the duck yard to be their friends. This means that I need to come up with a home for 6 more chickens at this point. The choices seem to be a stationary coop and a mobile tractor. A stationary coop may be easier to lay out and set up but could lead to a bare patch. The mobile option would mean fresh grass and no area gets torn up too much. But the planning must begin.
To do this we need to consider some size. I’ve seen where chickens need between 3-4 sq ft of coop space. Then some places say that they need at least 10 sq ft worth of run. I’ve also seen that if the tractor is moved daily you can get by with closer to 8 sq ft worth of run. Also, I’ve seen that if some of the run is covered from rain and snow you can move down closer to the 3 sq ft in the coop.
With 6 birds for this tractor at 3 sq ft we are looking at 18 sq ft of coop space. I one dimension is 4 ft, the other will need to be 4.5 feet. Then for the run. If we look at 8 sq ft, again for 6 birds, we need 48 sq ft. If we bump it up to 10 sq ft we will need a total of 60 sq ft. For the 48 sq ft if the one side is 4 ft the other side is going to be 12 ft. Making a total length of 16.5 feet. If we go the full 10 sq ft, we are going to add another 3 foot in length. Of course, if we bump the width out to 5 foot wide, then the whole length would be about 13.5.
I’ve seen some options with an A frame, others that look like a hoop house and some that look like a shed on wheels. While the A Frames really do look nice in researching it seems that once you get to the upper end of the A the birds don’t really have a whole lot of room in their coop. I think at this point I am looking to do a rectangular type coop room and then a hoop house style run. This should keep things going fairly well.
As far as nesting boxes I’ve seen where one should be good for 2 to 5 birds. Some others have led me to believe that it might be possible to get by with a single nesting box. But I think that 2 nesting boxes is going to be the answer for this set up. As I get closer to building and all I’ll post some updates.
Though, if any of you have experience that you’d like to share, please let me know.