Chicken Noobs First Coop/Run


Oct 2, 2020
Anderson, CA, USA
My Coop
My Coop
This whole process started early November, when me and my hubby realized that our 11, 8 week old Brahma chicks would soon outgrow our tiny laundry room. This was our first batch of chicks ever, so we put off building the coop till the last minute, thinking we could just keep them inside an extra couple of weeks. If we knew what we were getting ourselves into we would have started the big coop project the first week we got the little chickies.
Despite both of us having no clue what we were doing, we manged to make quite the chicken fortress! Its still not completely done, it needs a couple more windows, and we're planning on surrounding it with a much larger run. But for now, the girls and boys are loving it!


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Agree. It looks good, and seems well suited to expanding the run both up and out, as budget and desire merge. Plenty of room inside, no need to duck - never a bad thing. It also appears to be minimally framed, which will make adding additional ventilation up high (you should) very easy. and it looks sized for your flock and "chicken math". 8x12, right?

As a notorious overbuilder, greatly respect that you have such a good looking coop at less than half the framing cost of mine, and further that you painted first, then added the primed and painted trim boards. Very professional presentation, and will be more water tight, thus longer lasting, than the build then paint I've seen others use.

A location would definitely help give further tips - I know my first questions have to do with how that has been anchored to the ground, and the direction of your prevailing winds.
Very nice. I like to be able to walk into my coops. I have one coop that I can't but all of the rest I can. You have a lot of options. Ventilation would be one thing I would add regardless of where you live. Predator proofing is one of the most important things because sooner or later your flock will be discovered and predators will lurk looking for a way to get a chicken dinner. You many not see them. I also have cameras up and was surprised at the predators that lurk here especially at night but my pens are covered, concrete under the gates and electric wires around my coops and pens. Nothing gets past the hot wires. Good luck and have fun...
Thanks :D I live in Anderson CA, so not super cold, but summers are quite hot. The coop is 8x12, and the run is 10x12. As far as ventilation, how much more do i need? There are decent gaps right under the roofing that span the entire front and back of the coop. The front gap is probably a half inch tall, and back us about 3 inches tall and is covered with hc.

When we put in the larger run, were going to use 6.5 ft tall horse fence, and wire on 4ft hc to the bottom. We're also planning on putting a lower and top row of hot wire to keep the critters out. We were going to cover it with mesh too, buts its going to be too big for that to really work well.
The usual rule of thumb on ventilation is "1 sq ft/bird". so... 3" x 12' (best case) is ventilation for 3 birds. The 1" on the other side, times 12 ft of length - 1 more bird. The second rule of thumb for ventilation is "More is better, so long as its not drafty on the roosts". The third rule is "higher is better". The fourth and final rule? "A closed window doesn't count" - which is applicable to all those trying to tighten up their coops to insulate for winter, causing more harm than good.

Venting a hen house requires more venting than most people assume, its more like venting a kitchen or a bathroom than a shed or even a garage, because the poultry breath and droppings are a constant source of moisture and ammonia which need to be drawn out as rapidly as reasonably possible.

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