building a coop this winter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hutchchicks, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. hutchchicks

    hutchchicks Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Dec 7, 2014
    Michigan
    Hi everyone,
    I am finally ready to start my own flock this next spring. This winter I am planning on building a coop. Reviewing all the coops on the sight I found that the purina mills coop is just what I was planning. I can not find the plans on there sight and looking for help if anyone has the plans. It would just speed things up a bit. I am planning on starting with 6 hens. I live in Michigan what are everyone s thoughts about insulting this coop?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,695
    6,794
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd advise you to go larger than the purina coop...there are much better plans out there.
    Do lots of reading in the coop building forum for a couple months, then work up a coop plan.

    Insulation can help, more so against summers sun than winters cold.
    Adequate space and ventilation are key to more pleasant chicken keeping for both birds and keepers.
    Reading the articles in my signature just below my post would be a great place to start learning.

    Happy Planning!
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    18,810
    6,157
    526
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    I recommend planning your coop to be at least twice as big as you think you need. For 6 birds, the recommendation is a MINIMUM of 24 s.f. Also make your coop plenty tall to allow lots of head space above the perches. If they're roosting close to the ceiling, they'll be more prone to frost bite. And in a tiny little coop, it allows very little room for the birds to safely jump on/off those perches. They'll also need a minimum of 10 - 12 linear inches of perch/bird. Again, when going small, this makes it difficult for the last birds to jump up on the perch when the rest of her flock mates are taking up all the available room. And that last bird on the perch may very well be the bottom pecking order bird, so when she jumps up, she'll get a rap on the head (or worse) from her flock mates for "disturbing them". More space will keep your flock happy. So, if you're planning on having 6 birds, plan a coop for at least 12 birds. I've never heard anyone complain about having a coop that is too big. But, I'd say that if you did a poll, 75% of the BYC folks would tell you that their FIRST coop was too small. One coop that I admire is the "Woods coop" It's an open air design which is/was used in New England. Be sure your coop has plenty of light, and is well secured with hardware cloth instead of chicken wire.
     
  4. hutchchicks

    hutchchicks Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Dec 7, 2014
    Michigan
    Thank you for the advise. Seems the consensus is go bigger. I was just thinking about the purina mills coop for the design simplicity. I am not a carpenter by any stretch of the imagination. I may do the same design style but make if a 5x5 as suggested. But I am open to persuasions so will keep looking:p:p
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    18,810
    6,157
    526
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    If you're open to persuasion, go at least 4 x 8! That shouldn't be any harder than building a small coop and will utilize full sheets of plywood. Same amount of detail work. If this old lady can build a coop, green house, several tractors, I'm sure you can manage it!!!
     
  6. hutchchicks

    hutchchicks Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Dec 7, 2014
    Michigan
    Okay thanks! I will look at some designes and get some idea's
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by