Advice needed on first coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rjackh, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. rjackh

    rjackh In the Brooder

    Dec 16, 2014
    Central Texas
    I am looking to build a small coop for my backyard to house 4 hens. What I have in mind is an overall footprint of 4x8', with an upstairs enclosed coop box that is roughly 4x3'. The hens will be let out to roam a a larger pen in my yard probably daily, and sometimes have free reign of my entire backyard. I wanted a coop/run large enough to keep them shut up if I leave town for the weekend. Do you guys think this size is appropriate?
    This is a similar design to what I had in mind.
    I had also considered an A frame coop, it seemed to be really simple to design and construct. How does an A frame design compare to taller rectangle coop & run design? Is it easy to design an A frame coop with access to the upstairs portion for cleaning? Thanks for any advice.
  2. Sqwidy

    Sqwidy Chirping

    Dec 13, 2014
    Austin, TX
    Hey! I'm new too, so take this with a grain of salt :)

    We're just putting the finishing touches on our plans in Sketch-up, but as I started talking with folks about size needs I was generally told:

    • At least one laying box per four chickens
    • 4 square feet per hen in the coop
    • 10 square feet per hen in the run

    I was also told that one thing some people wish they knew before hand: error on larger side. They said it can be trickier to make it bigger later or kind of annoying to make additions. So round up if you can. (We're getting standard sized hens. I'm guessing it would be different if y'all are thinking bantams. Prolly a bit smaller works?)
  3. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chirping

    Sep 24, 2012
    That size is fine. Make sure there is about 18" of roof overhang to keep everything nice and dry inside. Your coop will last longer too if it stays dry.

    The top designs are better because they are easy to get inside to maintain and clean out.

    You want to consider the "flow" of the poop. I like the top designs because the poop gets scooped out of the sand in the top once or twice a week and tossed down below into the litter. When the litter needs changing it goes into the compost and then back into the garden.

    You don't want to have to clean it in a manner where you cant throw the poop down into the litter.

    Finally I prefer the drinker cup waterers over the nipples (I have used both) due to the wet spots that the nipples leave when the chickens drink from them. If the nipples are over wood that wood will be the first to rot.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014

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