Brand new to chickens (any advice with my Coop?)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Noobie, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Noobie

    Noobie New Egg

    Jan 26, 2014


    So I'm looking for any feedback? The Coop will rest underneath a large shed I have in my backyard so I'm not worried about weather getting to the chickens. I installed two 4" vents on either side of the coop. I'm only looking to house three chickens. My wife was concerned that it may be too dark for the birds once the doors are shut. I plan on leaving the far left door open all the time because it will lead into their chicken run.

    Please advise me with any insight. Thanks.

  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    They don't mind dark. I would not leave the door to the run open all the time unless you have a very secure run (top, bottom, and sides). Chickens can't see at night and nighttime predators can get into really small spaces. I suggest 1/4"-1/2" openings at the most for the fencing you use. Is that the roost above the ramp? If so, you might want to reconsider because they will poop on it at night. I like poop boards under the roost for ease of cleaning. Most of the poop will be there.
  3. bluefrog87

    bluefrog87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 17, 2013
    Dallas, Tx
    Friendly suggestions of the top of my head

    Safety features

    1. hardware cloth on the windows maybe for predator concern.

    2. Double locks on doors for raccoon concern and digging proof non rot foundation. (concrete/cinder blocks/ what ever is cheaper but make it very durable)

    Easy features

    3 For easy cleaning- pvc lined walls and pull out litter draw

    4 If you cover the back make it a large door

    5 nest box x 2

    6 easy door into nest box

    Separate note
    Hardware cloth is your friend, most birds can fly to that height. They love to poop. Your nightmare with that coop would be cleaning. If you predator proof the run thoroughly (sky/ground and all 4 sides), you can get away with the coop open but predators love free meals with unsecured coops. You also may want to look into the automatic solar chicken door but strong predator proofing is your best bet.

    They mostly go to the coop to sleep lay eggs and possibly food/water depending on placement of those. General exposure to light does affect their ability to lay eggs tho but you should be fine if you let them out. Some use artificial light during the winter
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    A little confused about the 2 pics, is it a front and back view?

    Waaayyy too small.
    That ramp is not really navigable.

    Do some more research before buying chicks.
  5. WoodenCoyote

    WoodenCoyote Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 18, 2014
    Sir Ceredigion, Cymru
    The run doesn't seem very easy to access. Where are you planning to put the nesting spots, in the top? How many birds are you getting?
  6. FrozenWings

    FrozenWings Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 20, 2013
    The best part about being a backyard farmer is that you get to learn from experiences. My experience says that you think about raising the coop above the ground, perhaps on some blocks. In addition depending upon how many birds you have, making the roost a little larger wouldn't hurt. Put straw in the area you wish to have the birds lay, and cover the rest of the bottom with some cedar chips. I would also make sure you are able allow the birds outside the coop where they are safe from predators above and below. As long as you can lock them up at night in their coop, they should be safe. That being said ventilation in the coop is very critical, the birds can get respiratory illnesses and frostbite from an improperly vented coop. Do some research before you make decisions, this forum is a great place to get that, even if sometimes the criticism seems a little tough. I think everyone here is a proud chicken owner that means well. Good luck!

    -Frozen Wings
  7. Noobie

    Noobie New Egg

    Jan 26, 2014
    Well aart that's why I am here asking you all for advice. This is my research along with the book I just purchased.

    The first picture is to show you the inside while the second picture is showing the coop completed.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There is a lot of things I don’t know about your location, how you will manage them, or how it is set up. If you stick around this forum, it would help a lot if you modify your profile to give us a clue as to your climate. I don’t need your street address or social security number, just a clue to your weather.

    It looks big enough for three hens, but part of that depends on how you manage them. You might follow the link in my signature to get some of my thoughts on space requirements. A lot of that won’t apply to your unique situation but some will.

    A lot depends on that shed it is going in. How dark is it in there? How much wind protection does it offer? How predator-proof is it? How hot does it get in the summer? What is stored in there? Will a thick layer of chicken dust harm whatever is stored in there?

    What is the purpose of that floor on the left? Where is your nest going?

    Unless you have Silkies or some chickens that can’t fly, you don’t need that ramp as long as they have enough room to spread their wings. Most chickens could just jump up there, but they like to spread their wings for balance. A perch half-way up and maybe a foot back from the top would help and not be in your way cleaning as much as that ramp.

    Those 4” diameter holes are not going to give much ventilation. I also don’t know what all those openings are other than that pop door. If your shed gives adequate wind protection, I’d get rid of those two doors and just cover them with hardware cloth for predator protection if that suits the way you are setting it up. Or cut more holes, especially if it is hot in the summer. Heat is more dangerous than the cold.

    Chickens create a lot of dust. Some of that comes from flecks of feathers and dried skin. Some comes from the bedding they are scratching in. Some comes from the dried poop they are scratching in. Will the stuff inside that shed be damaged by that dust?

    You need to have access to all parts of that coop. Part of that is for cleaning, part is because you never know where one will decide to lay, part is you may need to retrieve a dead chicken or an injured chicken that does not want to be retrieved. I’m not sure how you plan your access.

    I can tell you have put some effort into it. Good luck!
  9. Noobie

    Noobie New Egg

    Jan 26, 2014



    So after some thought, I'm considering turning my shed into the coop instead of my smaller creation. I figure I can install a small door on the right side of the shed that seems to get more sunlight.

    I live in Colorado. My house sits at an elevation of 7200 ft. I'm surrounded by Oak brush and Juniper trees.
  10. bluefrog87

    bluefrog87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 17, 2013
    Dallas, Tx
    That makes a better coop most my earlier suggestion stand.

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