Beginner coop for 4 hens...to build or buy? That is the question lol

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by konachicks, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. konachicks

    konachicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aloha! We are just entering the backyard chicken world and are trying to decide if it would be better to buy a coop for around $300 or less or build. We are only going to have probably 4 hens. We plane on free ranging during the day so it would mostly be for nighttime. I like the simplicity of the one pictured. I'd love to hear advice, or ideas
    Mahalo!![​IMG][/IMG]
     
  2. konachicks

    konachicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Haha plan not plane^
     
  3. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    The problem with a lot of the bought ones are they are good for three or four young chickens not full grown. To give you an idea our supposed three hen eBay coop with separate egg laying area actually fits three hens as a nesting box if they use the entire coop as a nesting box. No way could three hens have slept on the tiny perch or fitted two deep into the area allocated for laying eggs.

    If you look across the middle there is what appears to be the roost partially blocked by the nest box. Now picture four of those hens in the photo side by side trying to sit on it. Also take into account that they often use bantams and young birds in their photos making them appear bigger.

    The other possible problem with that coop is the roost is the same height as the nesting box which will encourage them to sleep (so poop) in the nest. If you get a breed that goes broody it gives you no way to keep her out of the nest at night making it harder to stop the broody behaviour.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. konachicks

    konachicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    @appps thank you! A lot of great info to keep in mind. What do you think would be good dimensions for four larger sized birds ?
     
  5. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    I think the thinking is 4 sq.ft. per hen of floor space.. There will be days they can not go outside because of weather. It is also better to go larger due to chicken math. You wil always just want one more.[​IMG]
     
  6. konachicks

    konachicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Bwahaha! Yes my other half had said 2, then my daughter talked him into 4. We haven't even gotten chicks yet but I'm already obsessed!!
     
  7. 11mini

    11mini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definitely build, do not buy. Whatever you could get for $300 would be way too small for 4 birds, even if advertised as big enough. The coops I see for sale under $500 would hold two large birds.
     
  8. konachicks

    konachicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ya reading all the reviews for the coops under $300 that say 4 birds and that's the number one problem they all say that it's "smaller then the pic shows"
    Now off to the coop design to try and see if there's something similar to what I want in my head lol
     
  9. 11mini

    11mini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
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    I built this for around $300 by the time I bought all kinds of hardware, hinges, latches, screws, etc. It is 10x3 and the hen house is 3x3,5' tall. I now want to go bigger, like 10x5. It is on the small side for 3 birds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  10. konachicks

    konachicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nice @11mini
    I have a empty fenced in garden area in the back of our house that I used to grow veggies in. The soil is a earthworm haven and I was thinking about turning that into a run! We let it get overgrown with elephant grass but are clearing it out today! I was gonna post some pics to get some ideas of how to enclose it
     

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