Building a Coop???


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
I am getting one black star, one plymouth rock, and one easter egger hen soon and I need to build a coop. I have no idea how big it needs to be or what it needs to have in it. I live in South Florida so it doesn't too cold but it gets really rainy and hot during the summer. Any suggestions? All help is greatly appreciated.

How big should the coop be for three chickens. And I don't need extra space in case I get more because there is no way my dad will let me keep anymore.
How much space will they each need to roost?
How many nest boxes do i need?
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11 Years
Jul 26, 2008
Bagdad KY
Hello,For everone I say the same:
If you have the room and the budget is not ver tight, build a good size coop at least 10x10', because you never know in future yomight want more chicken.

You need the basic things for the birds: Roost and nestng boxes, and you will need to by watere and feeder.
In Florida the weater is very nice,but for the Rain make sure you hve a good drainage around the coop, that way you don't get the coop all mudy.

good luck, I am sure you will be ok just look around.



In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
I want to spend as little as possible, but if necessary I can spend more.


11 Years
Aug 17, 2008
Abiquiu, New Mexico
Try using recycled materials from contractors' constructions sites, freecycle if there's one near you and Habitat for Humanity stores have good stuff too. This helps keep expenses down and also helps the environment.
Lots of good pics and plans on the Coop pages here.
Good luck!



12 Years
May 24, 2007
Welcome to BYC!

As Omran said - you want to build that largest coop you can afford because you will want more chickens!
In your case, your dad will likely fall in love with them and he will want more.

What you need is at least 4 sq. feet per chicken inside the coop and 10 sq. ft. per chicken outside in the run area. So, for the three chickens you will start with (
) you need a 12 sq. ft coop. Now, actually, you need more than that because you can't count the floor space taken up by their feeder, waterer and possibly their nest boxes. So you should plan on an inside coop space of 3x5 sq. ft.

They will need about 10" per chicken on the roost. That's what you want to allow them, they will most likely scrunch together and use far less of the roost than that.

You should allow one nest box for every four hens. So, you only need one nest box.

Even though you don't need the warmth of a coop for lots of snow you do need a secure, rain proof and predator proof coop. You will want to lock up the hens every night to keep them safe. Due to the hot summer you will want plenty of cross ventilation to coop your girls cool.

You're doing a great job already by researching and planning before you bring home your girls.

Have fun!


Froths Milk for Hard Cash
11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
Tacoma, WA
Go on Craig's List. Look for things that can be converted into coops. Dog houses, sheds, play houses, etc. For 3 standard hens you'll need something that measures at least 4' x 3'. (You want 4 sq ft of coop space per bird). You can generally find something useful on there that will be cheaper then building one yourself. If you find something, post pics on here to get advice on how to convert it into a coop. My two girls live in a converted doghouse that I attached a run to. It works great!


Yoga...The Chicken Pose
11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
Fuquay Varina, NC
Quote:It can be done for little to NO money!

So far I've wanted a few extras and we spent a little here and there (less then $100 for hinges, hardware, we were short a few shingles, bought some 'reject' paint for $5 at Home Depot, siding pine sheets,... things like that) not much! We honestly got enough free stuff to do the whole thing to be livable, I just wanted it prettier for my eyes


Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
My Coop
Here is a great referance book, Gail Damerow's 'Storey's Guide to Chickens' is an excellent guide, as well as this web site. I live in Florida too. I have Red Island Reds. You will need one nest box for every 3/4 chickens. I have 3 birds per nest box. Sometimes I'll have 2 or 3 birds in one box at one time. Also you will need approximately 4 sq. feet per chicken inside the coop and 10 sq. ft. per chicken outside in their run area. For the three chickens you will need a 12 sq. ft coop. You will need an inside coop area of 3x4 sq. ft. 3x5 is better. 4x8 would be the size of a sheet of plywood. The birds need about 10"/12" per chicken on the roost, usually a 2x4. they will most likely bunch together and use less roost area. I hope this helps you.
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Morning Gem Farm
11 Years
Oct 3, 2008
east central Ohio
I'm building my coop this weekend. (I'll take pictures.) I tried to salvage and use recyclables as much as possible, but I've gotten no hits on Freecycle or Craigslist in my area -- yet. I have only enough scrap wood to finish roosts and nests on the inside. So I'm going 10x12 and aiming for about 20 layers who are going to have to pay for their mansion.

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