Coop suggestions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickymamma78, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. chickymamma78

    chickymamma78 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 21, 2016
    Hubby has given the ok for a new coop and more chickens next spring. I'm wanting to keep about 21 in total. I'm looking for suggestions on size of coop.
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Go big, then bigger so you can split space off a space for new birds(and other uses) and another for supply storage space.
    1 person likes this.
  4. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2015


    You want 20.

    Build it for a spacious 30, and give yourself options.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Chickens do not understand the concept of “coop” space. They understand the concept of how much space do I have available. That can be coop alone, coop and run, or some version including free range. Quality of space makes a difference too. When chickens have conflict the weaker normally run away from the stronger or just avoid the stronger. A coop plus run is better than a coop even if the total space is the same.

    In Colorado you will get snow. Chickens don’t like change. Mine don’t like snow when they wake up to a white world but eventually get used to it. Still, snow restricts how much room they have outside. The day I took this photo they were already outside when it started to snow so the change was gradual enough they just stayed out. If it had snowed overnight it may have been days before they went outside.


    It’s going to get cold in Colorado. Your chickens can handle the cold just like the wild birds that overwinter. What they will not like is a cold wind. It was 4 degrees above zero Fahrenheit when I took this photo. I left the pop door open and let them decide what to do. If a cold wind had been blowing where it hit them, they would not have been out in it.


    For 21 chickens you are going to want a walk-in coop. If you are buying the building materials new the most economical sizes are 4’ or 8’ dimensions. If you base your coop on those dimensions you will avoid a lot of cutting and waste. I’d suggest a minimum of 8’ x 12’ coop. That gives you enough room to put in 4 to 5 nests, at least 16’ of roost space across one end, room for food and water without them pooping in it from the roosts, plus you can work in there without bumping into things.

    I’d suggest you incorporate a droppings board under the roosts. With that many chickens you are going to get a lot of poop. A droppings board helps you manage the poop. I also suggest you incorporate a wire bottomed raised isolation cage, maybe under the droppings board. That can be used to isolate an injured chicken or as a broody buster. If you put a solid bottom in it, like removable cardboard or plywood, you can isolate a broody if you wish. An isolation cage gives you a lot more flexibility in managing them. You are ready for about anything.

    I’d build it high enough that you can walk and work in there without bumping your head. It needs to be strong enough to hold the snow load. Slope it so the water drains away from the coop and run. Don’t put doors on the draining side, you don’t need to stand in the water coming off the roof as you open the door. A taller coop gives you room to put ventilation up high so winter winds don’t hit the birds on the roost.

    If you can at all, block off part of your run to keep snow and wind out of it. This area does not need to be very big but it is quality space, allowing birds to avoid the bullies if they need too.

    In the summer just give them as much space outside as you reasonably can. I don’t know your flock make-up or how you plant to manage them, but run space is usually a lot less expensive than coop space.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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