coop idea??


10 Years
May 16, 2011
Okay so I'm new at this and it's about that time to build a chicken coop. This is my idea (kind of taking the easy way out) let me know what you think.

So I have a 10ftx10ft dog kennel. I was thinking I can use that for the run and I have just enough chicken wire to go over the top for a "roof".
I also have an old wood dog house (kind of on the small side and I'm not really sure of the size. approx. 40inx30inx40in?) and the roof of the dog house has a hinge so it can be opened (so I could clean it out and collect eggs) I'll put the dog house up higher and of course make a ramp.

I'm really concerned about my 4 chickens fitting in there at night for when i lock it up, as well as a roost, and when it comes winter time. any suggestions? opinions? thanks!
Bigger is better> Chickens need alot of room. People on this site say 4 sq ft per bird in the coop & 10 sq ft per bird in the run. Personally, I go bigger. I have 16 Hens in a 330 sq ft three sided coop & they seem to be living the good life. This also would give me room to add to the flock if so desired . I have another flock of 10 hens & 1 roo living in a 10 X 8 coop with a 10 x 15 run & feel its not enough room for them . Again bigger is better its your call.
You'll need a building that is 4x4 minimum for when the weather is bad or it's too cold. That's if you never ever want to add more.

I have 5 hens in 5x8 house and a 10x8 run, and I have some mil hen pecking. It's my fault though, I rehomed 4 of the original flock and the 2 that remained are picking at the 3 7 month old pullets. But they wouldn't be so "mean" if they had a lot more space. It's a non-issue during supervised free range time. I did have 9 total with a 10x8 coop and the same 10x8 run, but we added ducks and split the house in half and added another run. There was no way they were all going to be happy in the halved house. So I rehomed 4 of them.

With yours growing up together, that is a plus. But they still need the space for long term happiness. If you could build something bigger, outside of the dog kennel, that would be better. Stalk craigslist for play houses, extra large custom dog houses, extra lumber, anything that could be of use free or cheap.

I've seen a couple designs that have the house elevated in the dog run to maximize the run space, but you'll still need something a little bigger than the measurements you provided if you're in an area that gets a real winter.
You mentioned winter, so I take it you're in an area that gets snow?? If so, you will have issues come winter time unless you go bigger. Expand the dog house - remove a back wall or side wall and build an extension. If you don't get tons of snow, you might try roofing the run (with those dog run covers angled like gable roofs). The birds are more likely to spend more winter time outside if there isn't snow in the run. Or you could downsize to 2 birds.
I have a doghouse (cedar style with the hinged roof) that I've used for quarantine periods. The two pullets I kept there seemed fine in the little coop, but they weren't grown and it was only for a few weeks... Get a more accurate measurement (length/width), and see how much room that would give you per bird. In areas that get winters, 4 sq. ft. per bird is the minimum recommended. Your outdoor space is ample for four birds.

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