Need advice on coop and run from a converted stall

Andy

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Howdy,

I am looking to add 6 laying hens to my herd this year. I have lots of land and a very large barn. I am thinking down the road as these hens stop laying I will slowly add replacements. I want no more than 12 hens at a time. I would consider a multi-purpose bird down the line (layer and meat) as opposed to a strict layer.

I bought a coop and run online and frankly I wouldn't let the mice live in it. Poorly constructed and I think it would fall apart in a bad thunderstorm. It's going back.

It seems I should be able to convert a stall in the barn and provide a chicken door to an outside run. After a bit I would want them to be able to range. I have to options:

1. This stall is large, at least 9 d x 10 l x 7 high, with one window. It is on east side of dutch gambrel barn. I figure if I make a door (it has sliders now) and fence it with hardware cloth from rafters to floor (which is concrete) it should be safe and suitable. And place a run that is say 3 feet wide and about 2/3 length of barn which is about 30 feet. The narrowness is because my loader/tractor gets parked in the back and I don't want to mess with the hill.

2. Smaller stall at 9.5 d x 8 l x 7 h at the front of the barn. So south west side with one window. Again hardware cloth from floor to ceiling add some nest boxes and roosts etc. Located at front and to west is the parking for truck and trailer, despite all of my land (almost 11 acres) I have no other paved section for the required width and length. My rig is the exact length of barn so it works well there and unless I win lotto it will stay there.

3. Build a separate coop and run set up. If so where? I have electric at barn and one post near a small paddock that also has a water spigot. But it is in full sun in the summer from 7 am - 8 pm.

I have electric in the barn and water available outside the door. I'm pretty handy with drill, hammer and saw but I am one person. I might be able to convince the dog to help but he isn't the most reliable worker. ;) Tomorrow when (if?) the rain stops I will try to get some photos of the stalls.

I'm looking for wisdom and sage advice. I am trying to head off issues for winter (upstate New York) and I am well aware of the perils of stock in cold, wind etc so want to avoid problems that I haven't thought of. My horses are currently blanketed as it feels more like late November than May!

Thanks everyone!
 

Mother Hen

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Hi, Andy. I live in Central New York so I know and understand how you feel about this weather.
When the chicken coop got built here my Uncle spent $1500 on the wood and fencing for the run which we have taken out and just let the chickens free range during the day.
 

21hens-incharge

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Option one is the most logical. The only issue I see would be that the run is narrow and chasing down a chicken in there or cleaning it could be a bit challenging.

I am thinking you should not need to line the inside with hardware cloth. If they have four walls and a roof you should be in grand shape.
:thumbsup
 

Andy

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Option one is the most logical. The only issue I see would be that the run is narrow and chasing down a chicken in there or cleaning it could be a bit challenging.

I am thinking you should not need to line the inside with hardware cloth. If they have four walls and a roof you should be in grand shape.
:thumbsup
The walls aren't solid. I built the stalls for horses who live together so they are open from 4.5 feet up as well as have 3" spaces between the boards. I'd need to add some predator protection as the barn is far from tight. A racoon, etc could easily get in. While I plan on making it 'tighter' I would still want their roost area to be super safe etc.

I also thought a door at one end would allow for shoveling the run straight into the bucket loader, while coop could be removed to wheelbarrow and/or bucket.
 

Andy

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Hi, Andy. I live in Central New York so I know and understand how you feel about this weather.
When the chicken coop got built here my Uncle spent $1500 on the wood and fencing for the run which we have taken out and just let the chickens free range during the day.
What do you do for them during winter? And what breed(s) do you have?
 

Mother Hen

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During the winter if it's too cold the coop stays shut but if it's a nice day like some we had this past winter then the coop gets opened. The chickens don't really belong to me, they belong to my Uncle. I just stay here to tend to his animals seeing how he drives tractor trailer for a living. They are Buff Orpington and Rhode Island Red. I am going to be getting a Buff Orpington rooster and a Easter egger rooster here soon.
 

Mother Hen

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I think you misunderstood seeing how I wasn't very clear in my one post the chicken coop still stands but we removed the fencing for the run.
 

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I think you misunderstood seeing how I wasn't very clear in my one post the chicken coop still stands but we removed the fencing for the run.
So his coop must be large enough for them. I want them to have a place outside (if they choose) with no snow or rain. The big stall would be big enough for probably 10 or so but this way they can decide.
 

Mother Hen

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Oh yes, the coop is big enough. We have about 40 hens and a rooster right now.
There's plans on expanding the coop but it's not set in stone yet.
 

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You idea for the bucket loader shovel out is good.

I understand your barn configuration now and agree the hardware cloth is also needed.

Here in Colorado we can get deep snows and temps well below zero. In the winter I only keep them cooped up if the wind is whipping and we are below 20 for the high. I have to shovel the run and I did put a "roof" on one end so they always have a dry and or shady spot.

I know you get more snow then we usually do but thought the info may be useful. Oh and I do not heat my coop.
 
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