Can I use a large dog house for a coop for 5?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 3, 2008
Hi, we just got 3 baby chicks before Easter and will be getting two laying hens as soon as we can get/build a coop for them. So we'll have 5 total pullets soon. My question is, can I get a used large dog house, and use it for a coop? I found one that was for a Rottweiler, very cheap. Or do the chickens need more space? My husband would build a covered run onto it. Thanks!
Kind of sounds like the eggloo...have you ever seen it? I guess it would depend on how big the yard is for them...I would think 3 would be able all I would put in one, but you might be able to pull it off. Also, I hope your 'laying hens' aren't much older than your young pullets b/c you don't want to mix them early on if so, especially in close quarters...
I have seen pics of the Eggloo, but wasn't sure how big it was. So do I have to keep the laying hens separate from the chicks? Where do I go on here to learn more about combining them & when to do it? TIA! I'm brand new at this and clueless.
You shouldn't mix chicks with the hens until they are at least 12 weeks old. Before that they don't have what it takes to defend themselves and will just let the hens pick on them.

As to the dog house, if you have a large enough covered/sheltered run, you can get away with it. My neighbor has roughly 13 in a dog house with a run that is covered and tarps around it and they do fine.

There is a search feature here. You will find the button toward the top of the page in the blue bar. Good luck!

Welcome to chickens and BYC!
Thanks, Farmer Kitty! I have actually tried the search engine, but it didn't seem to pull up the answer to my first question about the dog house. There is so much info on here, it's overwhelming for a newbie like me!

Okay, I'll wait till the chicks are 12 weeks to put them with the hens. I guess I'll need two coops, then, huh? Because won't the chicks need one before they're 12 weeks old?
Last edited:
Yup, you'll need someplace to put the babies between the time they go outside (6-8 weeks usually) and 12 weeks or so. If you had a bigger coop/henhouse, you could section off part of it with wire fencing, so they older ones can see the youngsters but not bother them. That is what we plan to do with our chicks.

If you haven't already bought the dog house, I'd hold out for something bigger. Ideally you want at least 20 square feet of useable floor space for 5 hens (not counting where the food/water/nest box/droppings board are) so that's about 5 x 4. Personally I would go a little bigger, especially if they aren't going to be out free ranging all the time.

Your enclosed run, assuming you have one, should give them 10 sq feet each or 50 sf total. Again, bigger is better to stave off pecking issues. If you can let them out to range in your yard, that's great, but you may have predator issues.

Some people have converted playhouses, but again it needs to be big enough. We used a corner of our garage (see coop page in my signature line).

Good luck!
Last edited:
SeaChick, I love, love your coop! My favorite part of the whole thing is the picture painted by your daughter and how you coordinated the colors of the painting into the coop colors. Your chickens sure look happy and healthy, and your coop is beautiful.
Thanks for all the tips! I actually found out the dog house is gone already, but have found a cheap bee house. It's much bigger, and we're just working on getting it transported. It's 6 feet tall and four feet wide, and about 8 feet long, I think.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom