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Hello,

I am a new homesteader. I have recently decided to add chickens as my first livestock animal. I plan to use these chickens for eggs and fertilizer. I am looking to add a chicken coop to the property with a small run.

A little information about my potential flock. I plan to start with 6 - 8 Barred Rock hens locally sourced. I currently have a large household and we consume about 50 eggs weekly. I have a few questions before I start this endeavor. How large of a coop do I need for this flock? It may one day expand to twice this size. How large of a run do I need so the birds have ample space?
 

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If you have the space, make the coop at least 12' x 16'.
some day you will realize that it still is not large enough.
people will try to tell you that you need X amount of square footage per chicken. forget that. Just build a large coop. some day you might want to add meat chickens. then you will be glad you have the room.
don't expect 6 to 8 chickens to keep you in eggs. hard fact is that chickens do not lay 100% all of the time.
and after their second season of laying, the production drops off. A chicken is endowed with a cluster of just so many eggs. when that cluster is used up ,, no more eggs. besides your laying hens, you will always need a young flock growing up to take their place.
don't depend on buying laying hens each year. People are scoundrels and they will lie and sell you worn out hens.. BTDT//
......
 

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HOW do they DO that?
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If you have the space, make the coop at least 12' x 16'.some day you will realize that it still is not large enough.
Yes, go as big as you can same for run.
Think about sectioning inside coop for ease of integrating new chicks annually.
Lots of ventilation and large roof overhangs to protect vents and windows from rain.

A chicken is endowed with a cluster of just so many eggs. when that cluster is used up ,, no more eggs.
Nope, they are born with more eggs than they could ever lay. Even is use use lights to keep them laying year round they won't run out of eggs but their health will deteriorate from non-stop laying and then no more eggs.

Even if you hatch, or buy, new layers every year egg production can be feast or famine, so look into storage or eggs during times of excess.
 

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Yes, go as big as you can same for run.
Think about sectioning inside coop for ease of integrating new chicks annually.
Lots of ventilation and large roof overhangs to protect vents and windows from rain.

Nope, they are born with more eggs than they could ever lay. Even is use use lights to keep them laying year round they won't run out of eggs but their health will deteriorate from non-stop laying and then no more eggs.

Even if you hatch, or buy, new layers every year egg production can be feast or famine, so look into storage or eggs during times of excess.
What he said.... I would suggest you think about adding a second chicken tractor to your property. You mentioned fertilizer as a appealing trait. Manure management is easiest if you keep your birds in a floor less chicken tractor. Just move the tractor forward when you think that piece of dirt has had enough fertilizer.

I personally have a traditional coop like your taking about too. It’s best to keep my birds though the winter in that “normal” coop in the winter since I have 20 amps of electric run to it. Keep water open for them all winter would be a challenge through the winter in my chicken tractor. Also for 50 eggs a week I would lean more towards 10-12 birds, they should provide that many eggs at there peak plus some. But yea as they age and winter rolls around you will be buying eggs
 

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Here is a simple and fairly quick design chicken tractor. You don't have to be a master carpenter and you can add wheels to make it mobile and size it to suit
. It is as simple as some arched cattle panels, a few pieces of lumber, chicken wire and your own door design of choice.
 

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Here is a simple and fairly quick design chicken tractor. You don't have to be a master carpenter and you can add wheels to make it mobile and size it to suit
. It is as simple as some arched cattle panels, a few pieces of lumber, chicken wire and your own door design of choice.
This is what I have for a tractor, works great and I can pull it around the farm with my old Honda four wheeler. 8-12 if I remember right, three cattle panels.
 

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I have a hoop tractor similar to that one. Only mine is smaller. It was a rabbit cage when I got it, but I took the floor off and used it for babyish sized ducks and geese.

remember , you have to move a tractor, so don't make it too heavy.

I have one made out of dog kennel panels . I slide that one around with a farm tractor.
It is about 7feet x 14feet. I have chicken wire over the top and chicken wire from the ground up 2 feet.

...jiminwisc.....
 
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