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advice of first coop

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 



I am looking for my first chicken coop. I don't really want to build it myself but so far have been steered away from pretty much all of the pre-made ones from the reviews/posts on here and elsewhere. That being said,


I found someone relatively local that makes them for a somewhat affordable price, and wanted to know opinions on what problems I might run into.


I plan on making a run (i have more faith in my abilities in making that) as well as letting the bird free-range while we are are home, but does this design seem like it would hold up well? especially through typical new england winters? does the ventilation seem adequate? I figured in the winter I would want to block up the windows/door at night, but otherwise they would stay open.


Any help would be appreciated.



post #2 of 9

Welcome!  They look better than many, but that's not a huge endorsement.  You will want at least four to five (or more) sq. ft. per large bird in the coop;  they are talking about serious crowding, never a good idea.  In snow country (like here in Michigan) a covered run, built with snow load in mind, is a huge plus.  Chickens don't like snow!  Ventilation is needed up high in the coop, preferably above roosting height.  Closing them in will be bad in winter.  Where's the roof framing?  Again, snow load needs to be considered, unless this is under a good roof.  Mary

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just realized I didn't say how many chickens I planned on getting. I am planning on 4 to start, maybe 6 eventually, and I was looking at the 4x6 model not the 4x3. Thats a good point about snow load. I guess I have to do more reading about winterizing a coop, but I figured the heat lamp wouldnt be enough.

Thanks for the info
post #4 of 9

Hello EmJayDee,


The coop looks nice but does not look like it is built to be durable. The walls look like they are built with thin rough cut siding and 1x2s used as trim. Pretty much would not provide any kind of insulation or stand up to conditions of your location. Also like folly stated, what is the roof framing like. The roof framing must be atleast 2x4 lumber as rafters to hold up to your locations conditions. I am attaching a photo sample to show you what the rafters should look like in case you are not aware of what they are. This photo is from one of my designed coops (I am an architectural designer).


Make sure if you purchase a coop it has a good frame system and the walls are atleast 3.5" thick ,wall sheathing and framing.

Hope this helps and best of luck on your new chickens.

post #5 of 9

Hi Mike, I'm a big fan of using garden sheds for coops - space for storing feed, installing new roosts for an expanding flock etc. Not sure of pricing, but a wooden shed may work out not much more expensive and be better in the long term.




Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya
post #6 of 9
Hi. I live in nh and have converted a wooden storage shed for my chickens. The shed is 8' by 10'. I currently house 12 birds and have had no problems. The run for them is 10' by 12' and when I'm home I let them wander about. During winter I use 2 heat lamps above their perches and they do fine. I've used this for 5 years and still have some of the original chicks. They are pets now!
post #7 of 9
I too live in nh and use a converted wooden storage shed. 8'by 10'. The chicks also have a 10' by12' outside run. I've had no problems with the birds and still have some of the original birds( 5 yrs old). I use two heat lamps over their perches in winter and I also heat their water. I used plastic nesting boxes from tsc and I think they work great. Currently I have 12 birds but I'm expecting more in July.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

i like the idea of the converted shed, but havn't been able to find anything for less than around $100. There are some resin sheds that are a ltitle less, but you are kind of stuck with whatever it is. What I was thinking with a coop like this, was that it was a decent base, Then I could concentrate my time on making a decent run, and i could make some improvements to it over strengthening the roof and what not, 


I have more faith in my abilities to make small modifications to an existing structure than to completely make one from scratch, especially with how my schedule has been lately. Small improvements over time are a lot easier to do, and obviously a $375 investment is a lot less to take on than buying a $1000+ shed.  I have been looking everywhere for other options

post #9 of 9
I also covered the floor with a piece of linoleum to help with cleaning. I was lucky to have a shed I could use so the only money I spent was on the run. I would also use hardware cloth rather than chicken wire. The cloth keeps out the chipmunks and other small pests.
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