Coop fundamentals.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenparents, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. chickenparents

    chickenparents In the Brooder

    Sep 5, 2010
    I have my coop framed. Ready to install the walls. What are basic coop requirements? Windows? Doors? Does the place where they lay eggs need to be out of the coop like I see in a lot of coops? Any articles on the basic requirements of a coop?
  2. Ibicella

    Ibicella Songster

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    A lot of it is a matter of preference. Definitely research tips and tricks to see what would make your life easier before you proceed!

    Doors and windows are a must. They need ventilation and a way for you to get in to clean. Make sure you have hardwire cloth across the windows and predator proof it.

    Also suggest some cheap on-sale linoleum for the floor covering. Makes it easier to sweep, clean, and disinfect as needed.

    The next boxes don't HAVE to be outside the coop. This is just preference and ease to reach the eggs for some folks. Chickens often will lay on the floor or anywhere they darned well feel like it.
  3. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    Ventilation is a must. Narrow openings at top of coop on at least two sides. Usually covered with hardware cloth. Vents help keep air circulating and ammonia smell down. They are also needed for cold weather.
  4. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    Quote:Wow, that's a pretty broad range of questions. Your best bet is to read, read and read here on BYC. To get started, here's a great page on ventilation:
    You'll need a people door (for you to get in and clean it), a pop door (tiny door for the chickens to get out), and plenty of ventilation (see above).

    Watering and feeding systems are requirements and there are thousands of ways to go about implementing the ones of your choosing. Here's a link that contains information on feeding and watering:

    roost is a definite coop requirement. A droppings board under the roost is a requirement for ME in any coop I own (keeps the coop super-clean and fresh-smelling).

    Here's a helpful link on nesting boxes:

    should get you started. Oh, and take lots of pictures along the way! Good luck!!
  5. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Pat's ventilation page is a good place to start. You might also want to look into things like poop boards and/or poop pits since they can be a major time saver and keep major cleaning to a minimum.

    I have my nest boxes inside, but it really depends on what you want and the size of your coop--a smaller coop that you can't walk into usually has the boxes on the outside. Also nestboxes can take up valuable floor space even in a larger coop so you may want to attach them to the outside or raise them up a couple of feet to preserve the floor space.

    You want your roosting bars to be higher then the nestboxes because if they are lower you'll have chickens (like to sleep up high) snoozing and pooping in the nestboxes.

    Think about how your birds will get up and back down from the roost, most like to hop up (like using a ladder) to the roost, but will fly down--This can be a problem if one of your windows is opposite the roost........please don't ask how I know this [​IMG]

    Same thing goes with feed/water, give some thought to where the sit in relation to the rest of the coop. I keep the water in the run and the feed inside. I had to move the feed because it was too close to the nest boxes and they kept kicking shavings into it.

    ETA: I type wayyy tooo slowwww! I think you get the idea though.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  6. Pheonix

    Pheonix In the Brooder

    Sep 11, 2010
    San Jose, Ca
    Make it so you can get into the different areas EASILY. Don't make the coop 4' if you are over 4'. I really wish mine was taller since I have to crawl on chicken poop to get the chickens are are hiding in the corner. Also, you don't want to be cleaning all the time. It makes it really nice if parts are plastic and easy to remove and wash off. I do have laying boxes and I put the smallest litter box I could find for them to lay in so when they poop in it I can just pull it out, dump it into my deep litter, and put fresh litter back in. Really easy.

    Also, try to have lots of different roosts at different heights. I have two and the alpha sits on one, and since the second is below the nesting boxes, the other 5 cram into one of the four nesting boxes and that is where they sleep. Have 2-3 above the nesting area.

    This is a few of the things I've learned in the last week.
  7. In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2010
    Here are some pics that may be helpful.





    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010

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