building a new coop. hoop coop style suggestions please


8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
hi, i am a newbie. i am having a friend build me a coop. i was looking at the hoop coop designs here and that seems like the way we are going to go. i have some questions tho. i saw that some people are using milk cartons as nest boxes. how do they get the eggs. do they have a door on the back? we will be having 3-4 hens do we need 1 or 2 nest boxes? i have read that 1 per 4 hens is plenty. also should the back be solid to protect from the wind? i would leave some ventilation at the top. do the hens need an actual coop to sleep in or is having some roost poles or branches sufficient? also most of these designs are covered with tarp over the whole top. don't the birds need sun? we are in baltimore md so we have all kinds of weather here. i would need this to be movable by just me as well. like i said i am new so any suggestions are welcome. thanks jenny
Welcome to the forum!

Chickens need dry, draft free but adequately ventilated housing for winters as harsh as you get in Baltimore. Personally, I would not use an open, wire sided coop in a climate like that. You get considerable snow there, right? You'll also need to think about building something that won't collapse under the load of a heavy snowfall. To start, I'd read these two excellent pages:
well i have done quite a bit of research and saw several pics of these type coops buried in a lot of snow. that is why i was wondering if that would be adequate. i think i will use this design as a run and attach a coop to it. thanks for the fast response


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