Coop "Always" and "Nevers"

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by desertgirl, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. desertgirl

    desertgirl Roo Magnet

    Mar 29, 2009
    Could you please share any cardinal rules of coop building you all have encountered? Like "Always have enough room for happy chickens" and "Never build your coop downhill from a sewage treatment plant" (haha;)).Trying to avoid some newbie mistakkes as we design our coop.

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't think there are absolute alwayses and nevers, just things that you will rue more vs less [​IMG]

    Less obvious things that can be hard to change, or may not be obvious til it's too late, include:

    -build on high ground, preferably not too windy a location, preferably with some shade available in summer if you're in a hot climate

    -it's nice to have the roof slope some way that it does *not* dump water and snow right on top of people doors or chicken popholes.

    -it's nice to have the pophole high enough on the wall (like 12" ish) to prevent lotsa litter from getting kicked out every day.

    -it's nice to have more ventilation than you need and simply not have it all open all the time, as opposed to having to trudge out there in a winter storm after they've already started getting frostbite (which is encouraged by *humid* air, and sometimes solved by more ventilation, perversely enough)

    -don't rely on chickenwire to keep predators out

    -remember raccoons can reach through 1" mesh and grab parts of chickens that are within reach and yank them out to eat

    -remember raccoons, and some other things as well, are superb climbers and can scale everything short of a blank wall (and some of those, too). Also they open most latches short of a padlock.

    -if you're building a tractor (moveable little coop), add up the weight of the materials in the proposed design and see if it seems plausibly moveable before you build anything

    -there is no such thing as too big a coop (no, not even up North); there is no such thing as too much room per chicken.

    -you are almost certain to want more chickens than you initially expect [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. hennypenny9

    hennypenny9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:So so true. I'd like to add, if you live where it rains a lot, think about mud! Chickens turn everything to mud.

    And think about your back while you plan. If you have to bend over... Well I'd re-think, LOL.
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:Regarding the back- Think about having poop boards under your roosts. This was the single smartest thing I did, and it makes bending virtually unnecessary. I only have to put a bucket in and sweep off the boards occasionally rather than a bunch of shoveling/sweeping.
  5. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Make the door taller than you are.
    I speak from experience...

    (now where is the headache smilie?)
  6. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    It's been implied here but, to put it in words, I loved having a roof high enough I didn't have to bend over like I did in my first coop. Also, I wouldn't put windows in facing north.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Saves bedding and improves coop air quality, too [​IMG] I second the motion.


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