Coop Design Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CoolClucker, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. CoolClucker

    CoolClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2013
    Central USA
    Hi all, I've been looking through plans to get ideas on how to build our chicken coop. Lots of neat coops out there! I was wondering if there is an ideal place to put the coop, like so the North wind doesn't blow on it, etc. I was also thinking about the door. I want a coop with an attached run, and was thinking about using a doggy door for the door to the coop? Would the chickens be able to figure that out? I'd of course have the run predator proofed but that way if I'm not up at sunrise they can let themselves out.Do you guys put tarps over the runs during winter to keep snow out? oh, and do you let chickens out in the rain? lol ty! :)
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Put it where the ground is high so water doesn't collect in it. It is best to put it in the shade, and where it will get a good breeze in summer, as chickens have a lot of trouble dealing with summer heat. You can have a solid wass facing where your winter winds come from, but you might find you need to put a window (can be just an opening covered in wire mesh) there in the summer for the breeze.

    If the run is predator proof, you don't need a coop door for the chickens, unless it's to block winter air from blowing on the roost . I've never heard of using a doggy door; I would think it would pull their feathers out, but maybe not. I've seen those clear vinyl strips used, though.

    Chickens often go out in the rain; you can let them choose. Mine don't go in unless it's really flooding out. Most chickens don't like to walk on snow, though, so an outdoor run that's at least partially covered will encourage them to go outside. If you get much snow, you'll probably find tarps won't work well.

    Build it as big as you can. There are plenty of uses for extra coop space -- keeps them peaceful if they want to be in because of weather, storage, space to have feed and water inside so there is no worry about feed getting wet, maybe a place to add a sick pen or broody pen or brooder, etc. I have an oversized coop partly because I used to have a lot more chickens, but the extra space makes everything SO much more convenient, and gives them room to get away from each other if they are inside and awake. It also gives them the sideways room they need to fly off the roost safely, without hitting a wall.
  3. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana

    A covered run is best for shade and to keep out rain. Tarps are OK as long as they are sloped and installed tight; Otherwise, you will have heavy pockets of sagging water and snow. South side windows are nice to have. Leave your pop door open into a secure run. Your birds will enjoy going in the coop or outside on their own. You can build an extension around your pop door if you want to minimize wind drafts.


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