Last month was my wife's birthday and for some unknown reason she decided she wanted chickens. After initially being reluctant I soon came round to the idea and started thinking ahead to building a chicken coop. I soon stumbled upon this website and while I gained alot of inspiration for building a coop I also learned that it's not as straight forward as first thought! Since time was not on my side (she wanted chickens for her birthday, not Christmas!) I bought her a small coop to start with and figured we'd build something bigger & better before winter comes. So with the chickens (3 silkie hens & 1 silkie cockerel) content enough for now in their temporary home we're now working on the design of our first coop.
After a week or so of different ideas and sketches, below picture is what we've settled on for now. This will fit on the corner of a 9' x 12' run and has been designed with the following in mind:
1. Shelter - 90% of our bad weather comes from the south and there is no natural shelter. The coop will therefore face north with the roof mainly sloped to the south to fend off the wind and rain. The underneath of the coop is closed in for the chickens to take shelter or shade if they need it. The pop door is sheltered by the adjoining wall.
2. Size - while we only have 4 chickens just now I think it's inevitable that we'll have more in the future. The floor space of this design is 40 square feet. The height is determined by the height of the existing run (6ft)
3. Practicality - nest boxes positioned on the north facing wall, nearest to the house. The east facing wall will have a large door for cleaning out.
A few days ago that was the final, frozen design and we went ahead and ordered materials. But now, while waiting for the materials to arrive I'm continuing to look at other designs and am starting to have doubts about ours!
So...does anyone have any comments on this design? Any obvious downsides or considerations that we haven't taken into account? All comments (good & bad) would be greatly appreciated. The last thing I want is to go ahead with the build and then realise we've missed something important.
Thanks & Best Regards,
Edited by PeterW - 1/25/11 at 10:33am