New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Our first coop! Any suggestions?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Our coop is 6x4 4 feet tall in front and 5 feet in back the run is 10x6 and the 6x4 under coop is available to them as well the nesting boxes are blocked off because they were playing in and starting to roost on them and I didn't want them to think this was the reason the boxes were there I don't know maybe I'm being silly but there blocked until they get to laying age lol we started with 10 girls 2 speckled Sussex 2 black sexlinks 3 Rhode Island reds and 3 cinnamon queens but one of black sexlinks was acting funny so we isolated her one evening and she had passed by morning sad.png so our coop now houses 9- 7 week old girls. This is our first coop and we are new to chickens so any constructive criticism or ideas will be great thanks for looking y'all

post #2 of 10
Looks like a good start. I also built mine next to my garage. Water runoff might be a problem, I had to put up a gutter along that side of The garage and made sure I had a good overhang on the coop.
Maybe another window or two to let some more light in, you can also paint the inside of the coop to make it lighter.
post #3 of 10

Recommended minimum space requirements, per bird are as follows:


Coop - 4 sqft

Run - 10 sqft

Roost - 1ft


It seems that there is a lack both coop and run space (when they become adults, at least). 


I can't really tell from the photos, but making the roost higher than the nest boxes should discourage them from roosting there. 


If you could add overhangs on the roof of the run, and assuming the coop is located in the lea of the worst of the weather, you may be able to get away with not having sufficient coop space, as the flock will be protected outside, even if the weather is not so pleasant. It would be good to extend the run. You do not mention if you intend to free range your birds - if so, then what you have will likely be fine. If not, then certainly more run space would result in a more contented flock.


I would imagine that increasing ventilation may not be a bad idea - I understand that your summers are not exactly cold? :)



Edited by CTKen - 5/5/16 at 12:52am
Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah I had thought about extending the run to the end of the garage but not making it 6'6 like the existing run just making it like 4 foot tall as far as the roosts being higher than the nesting box the highest roost is but the other roost is level with the boxes but they seem to all like the top roost now expect one of our speckel Sussex she likes the floor still. So I need to extend my run add a gutter to my garage and try and find another spot to add a window and yes our summers lack in the cool factor smile.png
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh and the girls are coop and run confined during day until I get home from work and then they get let out into the yard and on weekends they are let out when I'm home. I try to make sure they get 2-3 hours min. Per day of yard time
post #6 of 10

You have clearly researched things and did some good work there as far as fitting it out.


A few things to consider. In days of old, site selection for a poultry house was very high on the list. You wanted it high and dry and preferably on light, well drained soils. Moisture and wet conditions being a huge problem in keeping a healthy and sanitary flock. Depending on how much rain you get, tucking that under the eaves of a larger shed and having water dump on it may lead to problems. Not saying it may. Something to watch aware of.


If not so already, expect your run to turn into a wet, smelly mud hole......both from the birds themselves and if you are getting extra runoff from the roofs, from that as well. Start planning to add some litter in there to get the birds up off the ground and out of the mud. Be thinking 4 inches or so to start and maybe deeper. If really wet, the coarser the better. 


Is that a short ramp leading to your inside roost bars? If you have chickens that can't hop up to / fly up to that roost, you need healthier chickens! (or maybe they don't need the ramp?)

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for inputs much appreciated! Yeah I have been looking and researching a lot before we started and also for the best run litter/bedding but haven't made a choice yet. Any suggestions? The ground there doesn't hold water that much because my yard had a slight grade down away from my garage but I will be adding a gutter on the garage roof for added measure. Yes I know the ground is muddy in the pictures but that's because when I started building Mother Nature decide to unleash the worse rain we've had in years but I wasn't gonna stop working lol so me walking back and forth in the rain made a muddy mess which is finally drying up. As far as the ramp to the roost inside the coop they don't need it they hop and fly up just fine they play on it more than anything I added thinking they needed it because I've seen so many pictures online with people having it but come to find out they use it to play and not to assist them in getting on the roost. I will probably remove it after awhile just to give the extra floor room. I built it with the specs of floor room and run room from the book raising chickens for dummies lol they said 2-3sq ft per chicken inside and 3-6 sq ft outside space and if no outside space double inside space but I have outside space so my coop has 24sq ft divide by 9 chickens = 2.66 so just over 2 1/2 for each girl and if you take away the nesting box they have 2.22sq ft per chicken and outside has 84sq ft divide by 9chickens =9.33 sq feet per chicken so I thought I built with enough room but it isn't?
post #8 of 10

Would be curious to know the source of that books numbers on space, etc. I have some books that go back at least 100 years and even back then, the base number was 4 SF per bird, and that generally for leghorns, which were the predominant bird in most growers flocks......leghorns being more prolific layers and smaller birds that what most of us are raising. Modern numbers you may see quoted are 4 sf for heavy breeds.......3 sf for lighter breeds (like leghorns) and 2 sf for bantams.


Pack them in much tighter than that and you start having social problems. BTW, the more birds you have and more space you have, the more you can cheat that number up a bit as space opens for a stressed bird to retreat too.


Taken to the extreme are the commercial laying houses where birds have to have beaks clipped, etc. to keep from killing each other. I'm not sure what their SF numbers are per may be 1 SF per bird or less, but even in the newer "cage free" houses, they are packed in pretty tight......2 sf per bird or less.


One of the worst offenders of this size thing are the many folks who are making small coops to sell to backyarders. They routinely overstate what their houses are capable of. Not sure if it's ignorance, marketing or what to chalk that up to.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah I've seen what your talking about some of the ones we looked at advertised that it could house 10-15 chickens and was smaller than the coop I built and I was thinking how lol but I guess some just want money and not anything else. As far as the (raising chickens for dummies) I don't know there source but the information is in Chapter 5-choosing your housing type under sub-section- Enough space to move about normally but that's all I know like I said we're new to all this and I refer to this book quite often so I hope it doesn't end up being a book full of junk so to say
post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by Howard E View Post

Taken to the extreme are the commercial laying houses where birds have to have beaks clipped, etc. to keep from killing each other. I'm not sure what their SF numbers are per may be 1 SF per bird or less, but even in the newer "cage free" houses, they are packed in pretty tight......2 sf per bird or less.

Traditional battery cages area about 3/4" sqft,
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: