chicken coop help


13 Years
May 23, 2009
Welcome to the forum!

For 4 hens, 1 or 2 nestboxes will be plenty. They'll usually want to lay in the same one anyway, although it's nice to have a spare if one box is occupied but another hen just has to lay right then.

The basic design of the coop/run combo is fine, although I would definitely not recommend the use of chicken wire because that won't keep chickens safe from predators. Use welded wire (sometimes called hardware cloth) instead. And the coop in the link is also vulnerable to having predators dig in under the edge. To fix this problem, fasten a welded wire apron to the base of the run extending outwards flat on the ground about 2 feet. Stake the apron down with landscaping staples, rocks or whatever you have handy.

A 4' x 8' run is only 32 square feet total. The rule of thumb often suggested is to allow 4 square feet per chicken indoors (coop) plus 10 square feet per chicken outdoors (run), for a total of 14 square feet per chicken. The combo coop/run in the picture is not quite large enough by this measure even for 3 chickens.

I'd suggest you think about building bigger, maybe 4' by 16' or 8' by 8'?
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9 Years
Sep 10, 2010
Wendy I plan on builing something very similar to that sine I'm also in Tampa. I am making a few addition such as 2 outside nest boxes, roof on the entire thing and hardwire on the bottom since I'm not digging it all round. YOu can look for the Coop Model contest around here. I made a model of what I'm thinking on making. I'm also interested on the asnwer to the # of chickens b/c I may go for 4 also. Good luck.


here is the link to the model I made.
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