Last spring we rented some chickens and I started this thread. http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/962852/ideas-for-an-odd-coop-design
It wasn’t the right time to keep the hens but one of my daughters and I have really missed them. For Christmas I rented 2 week old chicks and 7 eggs to hatch from the same program. I’m sure you can see where this is going. LOL 3-4 will end up staying and I can return/trade any roosters later. We lost one of the older chicks and 5 hatched over the weekend (1 was never fertilized and the other quit developing at 10 days) so I have one 4 week old confirmed hen that we adore and 5 baby babies. The rental period ends this weekend so I need to make some tough decisions.
Anyway, the coop is set to be finished on March 1, weather permitting, and we will try to move them out to the playhouse (with a heat lamp) as a transition before then. The problem is I’m still struggling with what to build. My husband can make anything but he wants a solid plan and I keep going back and forth. He also says my “budget” is for a very nice coop OR a Fort Knox outdoor enclosure. I can’t have both right away. They will get some free ranging time but one of my dogs is not trustworthy with chickens and it was a real hassle last year to round them up so she could pee, and there’s always the chance she could slip out the door.
Option 1 is to have a great 4X8 coop built onto the back of the playhouse with 24 hour access to the underside and add the outdoor enclosure later. I could probably sweet talk him into sooner but it’s not a given.
Option 2 is to build the actual coop under the playhouse and have a nearly 100 sq. ft outdoor enclosure this spring.
Option 3 is something in between but I’m not sure what that is. Food, water and the nest boxes can go underneath along the back wall but I would sure like to have some storage and an easy to clean roosting area. I could probably talk him into a 4X4X6 tall, double decker addition plus the outdoor space if I cleaned the house or something, but that seems a little small for a roosting area.