Chicken Coop Design - Questions...


Jun 1, 2017
Big Bottom Valley WA State
Hey All -

Just found this website. About 2 months ago, Wifey and the kids surprised me with a dozen little chickys (That are quickly growing at about 10 weeks now) while I was away on a business trip. When I got back I was volunteered to design and build a chicken coop.

I have absolutely no idea what I am doing and am about 75% of the way done with the project but thought I would post here and see what kind of feedback I get so that I can fix any issues before I finish this project rather than finding out later that i need to pull everything apart.

Here is the initial design plan -
Chicken Coop.jpg

I am also in the process of building a run that will double as a tractor and attaches at the back of the coop.
Chicken Coop Run.jpg

My current conundrum is creating a doorway for the chickens to access the downstairs area of the condo. I was going to put a hole in the floor but not sure where. My wife said to make a door in the wall but that would have to go outside the coop (kind of like a hallway) and then downstairs to the bottom. Not sure that the chickens would like the hallway idea... I think they would want to see where they are going. If we do put a door in the floor of the coop I am thinking in the center away from the nesting boxes. Any feedback is welcome.

I'll post some more pics of the coop as it is now in the next post.


Doc -

Just used sketchup for these. Its free to use and quick to draw things in. Much easier to learn than AutoCAD or Vectorworks if you have never used a vector based program before.

If you do use one of the aforementioned then you can quick sketch in sketchup then import into those programs to detail out your drawing.

The only thing I can see is you might want to make a door on the run big enough for you to get in and to be able to clean out the run. You never know when will have to climb in and get a chicken or clean it out.
If you have not completed the run and attached it to the coop yet, I would suggest attaching it to the side opposite of the double doors. Add a chicken door to that side leading into the run. I would also suggest raising your run and adding a door so whoever is cleaning the run can stand up.
If you raise your run you gain the option of having your door in the wall without the hallway.


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Thanks for the feedback. Here is the idea with the run -
The run is made out of lightweight wood - 2x3's and 1x3's and will have wheels so we can tractor it around. It's light enough to lift up and move if we need to get under it.

There will be (2) 4x4 posts lying in the ground that the tractor/run will slide into place on and will "lock" into so that when it is being used as a run an animal wouldn't be able to knock it over or lift it up and get into it. When we want to move the chickens we pop the locks on each side and pull the tractor back and roll it to another part of the yard.

A 4x6 coop for a dozen chickens is extremely small. How do you plan on putting enough roosts in there without them pooping in any food or water in there? I don't know where you are located (interest is climate) but if you have any weather at all where they are pretty much locked in the coop by itself for any length of time, you could have serious behavioral problems. You need to be able to reach every part of the inside of the coop for many different reasons. You might want to follow the link in my signature for some of my thoughts on why more space just might be better. If you are planning on keeping all 12 I'd want a walk-in coop. It's just so much more convenient for you. Make it big enough so you can work in there and it will fit your chickens much better.

Do you know the sex of your 12? For 12 hens 3 nests should be enough.

I'd certainly want a run tall enough you can stand up in, but if you are building your run to be a tractor also you don't want it to be too heavy to move. There might be some trade-offs there. Maybe consider a permanent run with a separate tractor you can attach to that.

My main objection to a door in the coop floor is that the bedding falls out. They also reduce the effective floor space in the coop.

For doors between the tractor and the coop or run, consider a guillotine type door. Many years ago I had a tractor that was in two parts to make the sections lighter and easier to move. I used guillotine type doors to lock the chickens in when they were being moved. it didn't take me long to scratch the idea of a tractor, moving it became too much of a time commitment.

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