Coop Questions!


6 Years
Jun 18, 2013
Denver, CO
1) If I wanted a build an only for them at night coop for 2 chickens, would 4x3 be okay?
2) Is keeping chickens inside detrimental to their health?
3) For 8 (one bantam) is an 8x12 run okay?
4) We have raccoons, coyotes, foxes, dogs, and cats in our neighborhood. Yay. When it comes to the run, which they would only be in during the daytime hours, so from about 7ish AM to around 5-6 PM, before it goes dark so I can make sure they are safe, is it okay to simply place a run, without a floor, on the ground, or would I need to secure it somehow? They would have access to the coop if they felt harmed at all. The run has chicken wire over top and sides.
5) For 6-8 chickens at night, is a 4x6 okay, or should I go 5x6?
6) I would like to keep out predators, obviously. I plan to just go with a plywood box basically (boxes and roost on the inside), complete with a hinged top so I can get access to the whole coop. I plan to secure it with a lock that has a number code, since apparently raccoons are real handymen, same with the little coop door for the chickens to go in and out. I assume that even they won't be able to figure that out. The issue I am having is with 1/4 inch plywood. For a hungry coyote, would that be like attacking cardboard for us? If not, could I go for 1/2 inch, or maybe the 1/4 with oak boards?

Thank you so much!
The recommended space for a coop is 4 sq ft per bird, and 10 sq ft in the run. Based on this, a 3x4 can house 3 birds, so you are in good shape using it for 2. An 8x12 run is good for up to 9-10 birds. For 6-8 birds, you should go with 5x6 or 4x8. My advice is go bigger - it will give you the option to add more birds down the road. If you are thinking about a movable run, you need to make it strong enough to stop predators. A raccoon or dog can go through chicken wire very easily. Most people use 1/2" hardware wire - it is much stronger and has smaller openings than chicken wire. If the run is movable, you should secure it to the ground. Picture a large god like a german shepherd going at the run, and make it strong enough to withstand any attack. Electric netting is a good defence - the shock will keep most predators away and they won't try to tear up the run. The walls of the coop can be made of plywood, and 1/2 inch would be a better choice than 1/4 inch. If you overbuild, using materials that you would use for a shed, you will give yourself peace of mind.

I have built, and re-built my coop and run several times, each time upgrading to make my life easier in taking care of the birds in rain, winter etc. My current project is finishing my duck coop. I have to make the duck door bigger, as I built it for mallard ducks, and now have pekins which are much bigger birds!


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