coop help


5 Years
Sep 17, 2014
We are reusing materials from an older structure to make our chicken coop. The previous building had three main walls with the fourth side open (I will attach photos). My question is about the open side. We plan to keep this open with chicken wire or the hardware mesh but I'm concerned about having too much ventilation. Do the hens need an all enclosed area to sleep at night or can we put in some roosting branches and call it good??

The other question is with the flooring. You will see there are 6 inch timbers laid as foundation. I plan on digging down and placing wire so critters can't break in. Will filling this area with sand be ok or should we use something else?

We are in Texas (for weather information) and hope to have 10 hens.

Any and all comments/suggestions would be appreciated! Thank you!


5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
Central Oregon

Here is another angle.
Since you plan on having 10 hens you should finish off the open parts of the structure with walls. Why? Because trying to stuff 10 ladies in that back half will most certainly lead to overcrowding, cramped quarters and fighting will occur for sure. You can re-purpose those walls that are there right now for use on the perimeter walls so that will help with expense. Be sure to allow for good air circulation as you live in Texas and it can really hot. From there you can build an attached run which for 10 girls should be at least 20' x 40' .. this yields 80 sq.ft. and should be okay for 10 hens.

When you get to the interior work of the coop be sure to use 2 x 4's laying flat. Hens need at least 1 foot of space each on the roost so you can figure that out as to how long/many you will need.

If you want to make your life easier when it comes to the daily poop patrol from the droppings during the night I highly suggest doing a roost bar/poop tray setup, similar to mine:

NOTE: my setup is for my 4 Black Australorp ladies...they are large breed girls). With this setup I use Sweet PDZ granular with a layer of regular sand at the bottom....makes daily cleanup a snap! I use a kitty litter scoop (you can just see it up there on the left) and in 3-4 minutes...DONE! And Sweet PDZ makes your coop smell fresh!

Well, I'm sure I've bombarded you with enough "details" ... wishing you all the best and good luck!
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Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I'm going to guess that that structure is about 5' x 12'?

If you put a roost along the back, a foot away from the back wall, under cover it might be enough cover for them, depending on your prevailing winds.

You might need a ramp to the roost depending on how high you put it due to the narrowness of the coop, they may crash into wall trying to fly down from roost.

Definitely do not use chicken wire as it will make your birds susceptible to predators, hardware cloth will offer much more protection.


Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
You do need some walls where they will sleep and where nests will go. We don't usually get extreme cold in Georgia either, but last year had several extremely cold days. But the concern even in summer is that storms with high winds will effect them. Don't want them to get blown off roosts. In the summer, direct sunlight really heats things up. my coop has 4 walls with chicken door, 2 large windows and is always significantly cooler inside there than in the run for the summer and warmer than outside in winter.

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