When we decided to move ahead with getting chickens and bought our first chicks, we knew we’d soon be needing an outdoor home for them. We were looking at several different plans and idea about what we wanted in a coop, but we had some specifics we wanted to make sure we had based on our newly-learned chicken facts.
In hindsight, some of these requirements turned out to be absolutely essential, and others weren’t really necessary. As they say, live and learn! Below are the requirements we now know are essential to having an enjoyable long-term chicken coop.
- Plenty of ventilation to keep things disease-free and non-smelly
- Ability for the coop to protect chickens from blowing snow and wind
- Very easy to clean the coop–as in 5 minutes or less easy
- Simple to fetch eggs from every day
- Lots of room for at least five chickens to stay in their coop comfortably if we are away for a few days
- Safe and enclosed, to keep the raccoons from slaughtering them all
- Must be kept under 120 square feet in order to avoid a building permit requirement in our county
What we ended up with was a mashup of lots of coop ideas we found as well as other sites we stumbled across on the Series of Tubes. We basically took all the ideas we liked the most, threw them in a blender, and hit frappe. So far we’re very happy with it, though there are some things I’d change if I had to build it over again. The plans at the end of the post have those changes incorporated already. I’ll touch on the particular changes made at the end of this post.
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