coop questions for new chicken owner


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
My coop I am building will set about 2 feet off the ground. Do I need a ramp or can chickens fly up and down to get in and out. Also I live in Kansas and it can get cold in the winter, but we have very not summers. Sould I insulate or not? Some say do some say don't. Last would anyone recommend a droppings box under the roost. If so can I maybe get some suggestions or pics.
My coop is almost that high off the ground, and my large birds can manage it, but my bantams need assistance. I just place a home foundation type cinder block at the coop door and everyone gets in and out of the coop just fine now. As far as insulation goes, you are right about mixed opinions. It gets over 100 degrees F here in west central Mississippi in summertime, and my coop is not really insulated. The winters fluctuate wildly and are unpredictable, but it rarely dips into the teens this far south. Since I've had chickens, the coldest night was 28 degrees and even my tropical Serama bantams made it fine. I have read they don't need to be exposed to temps below 40 degrees, so I guess my coop is much warmer inside than outside when closed.

My coop is an old homemade wooden shed approx. 8'x8' with a tin roof (rusty) and siding (which still looks like it did 23 years ago!). It is perched upon cinderblocks two deep at the corners, center walls, and down the middle. It has 3/4" plywood floor covered in deep pine shavings. I have decided that ventilation is more important than insulation. A tree shading the coop would be great. I have a small oak (which is supposed to be TOXIC to chickens) shading my coop. It is on the north (back) side of the building. There is a young sweet gum tree just south of the run and my DH's barn is to the east of all this. Woods are not too far away on the west side. I have read that heat is a much bigger problem for most chickens than cold. I plan to replace the fixed glass window on the north with hardware cloth and a window that will open and close for cross ventilation with the coop door. Also, I hope to have a wind turbine vent (no power at my coop) installed in the tin roof.

I hope someone posts a picture of a dropping board so we can both see it. I'm looking for a good idea in that area, too!
At 5+ weeks old your chickens should be fine jumping up and getting out of the coop, although I would recommend a little "stoop" for them to grab onto. I have a similar coop and my three girls (all standards) do well with no ladder. Also my coop is made of plywood, we get 100+ in summer and -25 in winter and they've been fine with no door to the coop and no's up to you.

Details of my coop:

many more photos:
Good responses so far

I'd give 'em a ramp, but they prolly don't need one.

I live in OK, and have the same problems as you. I don't think it gets cold enough, for long enough here to make insulation worthwhile. In the summer, insulation won't make much difference, it will be hot either way.

I addressed that by making the entire side of the houe removable, and I can see leaving it open all night in July/August.

Take a look at the link below

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