coop design help

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by andjemima, May 20, 2019.

  1. andjemima

    andjemima In the Brooder

    May 20, 2019
    i am looking for some help/guidance/ideas on the kind of coop I could build. I have six big chickens and I am not able to free range them so I need a coop and run that is big enough to be there permanent living space. It snows a lot where I live and we also have really hot summers. Please recommend some plans that I could use to build my own coop on a small budget!
  2. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    Have you gone through any of the coop articles to see if something there suits your needs?
    BarnhartChickens98 likes this.
  3. andjemima

    andjemima In the Brooder

    May 20, 2019
    yes I’ve looked at a few but none of them have talked about whether their run is large enough for permanent use. I guess my quiestions here are 1. how big should th run/coop be if they are never going to leave it 2. how to manage poop in a run that they never leave and 3. a design or link to one that is cheap diy and large enoughZ
    trumpeting_angel likes this.
  4. archeryrob

    archeryrob Songster

    Aug 3, 2018
    Western Maryland
    1. We have 19 in a 10' x 16' run but I have a roost tree built where 10 - 12 can roost on it. Cleaning around the roost tree is heavy.

    2. Hard surface like pavers, patio stones on concrete and scrape it out. My daughter tried sand with stones over it and it became Shyte covers stones that you can get clean. We tries straw and lots of work to replace and rain makes it worse.

    3. Here is our run off the first coop. 2x4 wire up 4' to keep out predators and chicken wire over to keep out hawks.

    The roost tree is in the center. I have since rebuilt it so the 2x4 hang off 2' sideways in all 4 directions with a 45° brace. The over lapping roosts was letting them crap on each other.

    Here is a link to the coop build. Maybe it will have ideas for you. I would think if you looked through the hundred or so chicken coop posts you should have found something you liked.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    As big as possible.
    You'll want to be able to walk into the coop and run for ease of chores.

    Good to have a run with a solid roof where walls can be wind/snow blocked in winter.
    My runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed.
    Aged ramial wood chippings are best IMO.

    Gonna be hard(time consuming) to find the exact coop you want/need...might have to design it yourself.
    But just keep looking around here, this might help:[title_only]=1
    BTW...It likely won't be 'cheap', but not sure what your budget is.

    Oh, and...Welcome to BYC! @andjemima
    Where in this world are you located?
    Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Welcome to the forum, glad you joined.

    My first consideration in planning a coop/run system is to look at drainage. If you build it where water drains to it, or even worse stands, you are almost certainly going to have issues. If water drains way from it your life is easier. If you want to discuss that more let me know. I'll be watching this thread.

    My personal preference is also for a walk-in coop. My grow-out coop is a 4' x 8' elevated coop but my main coop is a 8' x 12' coop on the ground. It's just so much easier with that walk-in coop. But if you limit yourself to 6 chickens you can make an elevated coop work. And don't think of the coop in isolation. Think of your coop and run as an integrated system. Your climate and how you manage them has a part to play in when that space is available. You said you get a lot of snow. That argues for a larger than normal coop or you enclose your run enough top and sides to keep snow out. That might make the run expense.

    You have a small budget. I totally understand that. If you buy your materials new most building materials come in 4' and 8' dimensions here in the USA for less expensive sizes. Not sure where you are but I suspect it's similar. If you take that into consideration you can avoid a lot of cutting and waste. A 6' width isn't horrible. The cut-offs can be used for nests (for 6 hens you will want 2 nests) and the roof needs to be sloped so water and snow doesn't stand. Sloped means they are longer than the width plus overhang gives you a good place to put ventilation that keeps rain and snow out. If you have an alternate source of materials use the dimensions of that material in your plans.

    If you are in the USA you probably have access to Craigslist, if somewhere else you may have something similar. With a little patience and some work you can often find an existing out-building that you can get for free. You will probably have to transport it yourself or maybe even tear it down and rebuild it. Or use the materials for another design. Sometimes you can get materials really inexpensively or just for hauling them away. If you are looking for a design you are probably handy enough and have the tools to turn a shed into a coop. Anyway Craigslist or something similar is often a good hunting ground for inexpensive stuff.

    Hardware can get expensive. In addition to Craigslist, do you have a "Habitat" store around. Sometimes you can get some pretty good deals on hardware there. Sometimes windows and doors. If you have one it is worth walking through.

    Don't be shy about asking for scrap materials at construction sites. Often they have construction aide materials like forms for concrete or lumber to hold things in place temporarily that they are just going to have to pay to haul to the dump. Other than some possible embarrassment if you are shy, what will it cost you to ask?

    Not much help on actual design, I know. I'm trying to think inexpensive. If you follow the links in Aart's signature in the post above you can get some hep there. I wrote that "Space" article. My general recommendation is to give them more than the minimum space. I find the more I crowd them the more behavioral problems I have to deal with, the harder I have to work, and the less flexibility I have to deal with issues. I do value flexibility.

    Good luck and again, :frow
  7. andjemima

    andjemima In the Brooder

    May 20, 2019
    so sorry I didnt answer earlier. Thanks so much for the advice. It has been super helpful!!! a previous coop I had had major drainage issues and I had alot of bullying issues. I am going to make this one as big as possible in order to stop those issues from happening again. I was thinking about getting an old shed off of craiglist because that will be a little easier than building from scratch. I have come up with a small design, but the main thing I want is large enough to walk into with a storage section and two sections that connect but can be closed off for chickens. I think this could help with future chicken introductions or for bullying issues. (I was pretty scarred after what happened with the last ones)
    again thanks so much for the detailed response!! it was super helpful and I loved your article!
    Ridgerunner likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: