2 small coops or one large?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by glenstorm, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. glenstorm

    glenstorm Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2011
    Malvern, PA
    I am looking to expand my flock this spring and am planning on building another coop. Currently I have a 8' long chicken ark/tractor that can house 6 hens. The ark has served me well and I really like the design. I am planning to go to 10 chickens and am deciding between building one big chicken house/coop to house them all or another ark that I will split the flock between.
    Does anyone have any insight into this choice?

    These are the pros/cons off the top of my head:

    One big coop will be only one coop to clean and maintain.
    There will be ONE food trough, ONE water bowl, ONE winter light etc.

    Two arks give versatility for flock separation for breeding, illness, troublemakers
    Two arks are mobile and can be moved around the yard.

    Thanks for the input!
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oh by all means get one large coop!

    At one time I had 11 small hutches/handmade coops/shed coop going at once. I was so tired from all the waterers and feeders every day that needed filling.

    It is so nice to be able to have the ability to quickly do your chicken chores, should events in life make time limited.

    Also for if you take a vacation, the chores are smaller for the one who does them for you. You can even get one of those automatic coop door openers, and do your chores just once a day!

    The very best kind of coop is a shed coop with external nest boxes, IMO.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  3. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Personally I would go with one large coop and run, however if you're planning on breeding you may want them seperate. I have a small flock of 10 and one coop works best for us. I have mixed breeds and mixed ages.
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    One large coop can later be sectioned off if need be. Always make it larger than you need at the time. Never know when chicken math will strike ;)
  5. junglebird

    junglebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I've been hashing out a similar question. Part of my conundrum is that I'm resisting building one big behemoth of a coop that is stationary and creates a biological nightmare in the soil. The design I'm working on uses a large, secure caged yard with "pods" inside it. The "pods" that I put inside can be open (just whether shelters), since the the yard itself provides the security. I'm planning a number of smaller OPEN domes or hoops within the *secure yard* to function as roosts, nesting houses, feeding stations, brooders, mating pens, etc. This gives both the chickens and ME a bunch of options. This feels more flexible to me than one big block of a CLOSED structure.

    I'm planing the *secure yard* to be a roughly 100' x 50' space enclosed by a welded wire perimeter with 2 or 3 strands of electric fence wire. I'm still working out whether the top needs to be wire or whether I can get by with plastic bird mesh. Our current electric fence boundary has prevented wildlife attacks (along with proximity to our home), but my poultry is still in a *secure coop*, so I haven't yet TESTED the efficacy of the electric perimeter to the extent I'm imagining. I'm in the process of building an open "pod" to test out inside the current yard that is protected by electric netting fence.

    I'm designing the *secure yard* to have separate openings into rotational garden plots, and free range woodland beyond that.
  6. mpruett

    mpruett Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 4, 2011
    I too am struggling with the idea of a larger stationary coop or build another movable ark like I have now. I like to move the coop so I can spread the nutrient load across the yard and I don't have to manually haul it. Being portable, I can't set up a permanent water line or a place to store the feed. My solution (that is only on paper now) is to build a larger permanent coop with a yard that is divided into separate "pastures" so I can make sure the areas aren't over-used and can recover. I will also use a deep litter system to minimize the clean out.
  7. FarmingForFun

    FarmingForFun Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2012
    I have one large coop that I keep all 12 of my RIRs in, and love it that way it makes feeding watering and cleaning a breeze. It is much larger than a standard large coop because I just converted one of the large side rooms of my barn, but the birds love it. I say go for the big coop, and keep the ark if you need to do flock separation for illness or breeding it will be easy!
  8. glenstorm

    glenstorm Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2011
    Malvern, PA
    Thanks for all the input!! I guess I overlooked the fact that I would still have two coops if I did build a big one.

    Junglebird - I am intrigued by your pod idea, although I am not sure I totally grasp it from your description. I'd love to see some pics of your pods as they evolve.

    I'm off to peruse coop designs!

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