First coop guidance

Dbolles

In the Brooder
Mar 9, 2018
6
13
31
Missouri, Johnson county
I'm looking to start my first flock for eggs. I'm planning on 4 hens to start. I've been looking at coops both fit and pre-fab. I am looking to keep it as simple as possible.
I found this coop available online.
https://www.urbannorthern.com/collections/coops/products/the-farmhouse-limited-quantity-eta-sept
I am thinking about the pre-fab to start with then building a better one later if chickens turn out to be something I am successful with. At that point I might want something larger with specific features.
I plan to free range. I have dogs on the property that keep most predators at bay. I also plan to use motion activated solar powered lights at night.
Any thoughts?
 

mrshafer5

Songster
Mar 10, 2017
107
122
121
West Salem, OH
That's a great idea thanks. My thought is you should go big and build a nice one now. Maybe take the prefab dimensions and double it. 4 chickens is fine though i got 6 last year and got 7 more this week. having a larger coop you can integrate the flock easier. Also sounds like you have enough space for a larger flock in the future. Whats wrong with a bit of extra room for your flock in the meantime :) good luck
 

X_and_Z

Songster
Feb 16, 2018
207
404
116
SF Bay Area
My Coop
My Coop
That is a very small coop.

While they say it is tall enough to be in the coop, the highest point is less than 5' tall (58.5") which will be very awkward unless you are quite short or have unlimited reliable child labor.

The total run square footage is under 30sqft while the coop is 8sqft. That is much less than the typical minimums of 4sqft in the coop and 10sqft in the run per chicken (since you want 4).

If you want a temporary coop until you decide that you are hooked, what about a hoop coop (a few 2x4s, some cattle panels, hardware cloth, and a tarp) to start out. Then if you get hooked (you will) you can put that $500 + whatever else you have saved towards a larger nicer coop - either homemade or professional build/kit. Or get a used shed (CL is usually full of them) and modify it as a coop.

Most pre-fabs are very poorly made and overly optimistic about how many chickens can live in them. If they are nicely made, they are going to cost quite a bit more than this one.

Since your focus is eggs, you might want to read this article - it will help you understand how big your coop will eventually have to be (although chicken math is real, regardless of egg production needs):

https://nwedible.com/chicken-rotation-optimizing-for-year-round-laying-from-the-backyard-flock/
 

Dbolles

In the Brooder
Mar 9, 2018
6
13
31
Missouri, Johnson county
That's a great idea thanks. My thought is you should go big and build a nice one now. Maybe take the prefab dimensions and double it. 4 chickens is fine though i got 6 last year and got 7 more this week. having a larger coop you can integrate the flock easier. Also sounds like you have enough space for a larger flock in the future. Whats wrong with a bit of extra room for your flock in the meantime :) good luck

I am afraid of having a large coop and a few birds during the winter months. I don't want to have to supplement with heatlamps. I understand they will create enough heat in an appropriate size coop. I may be wrong?
 

Dbolles

In the Brooder
Mar 9, 2018
6
13
31
Missouri, Johnson county
That is a very small coop.

While they say it is tall enough to be in the coop, the highest point is less than 5' tall (58.5") which will be very awkward unless you are quite short or have unlimited reliable child labor.

The total run square footage is under 30sqft while the coop is 8sqft. That is much less than the typical minimums of 4sqft in the coop and 10sqft in the run per chicken (since you want 4).

If you want a temporary coop until you decide that you are hooked, what about a hoop coop (a few 2x4s, some cattle panels, hardware cloth, and a tarp) to start out. Then if you get hooked (you will) you can put that $500 + whatever else you have saved towards a larger nicer coop - either homemade or professional build/kit. Or get a used shed (CL is usually full of them) and modify it as a coop.

Most pre-fabs are very poorly made and overly optimistic about how many chickens can live in them. If they are nicely made, they are going to cost quite a bit more than this one.

Since your focus is eggs, you might want to read this article - it will help you understand how big your coop will eventually have to be (although chicken math is real, regardless of egg production needs):

https://nwedible.com/chicken-rotation-optimizing-for-year-round-laying-from-the-backyard-flock/

Would a hoop-coop be sufficient during the winter in Missouri?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,110
37,997
1,096
southern Michigan
Yes, a hoop coop can be very secure and work in all weathers. There are simple 'temporary' hoop coops, for meat birds, and more advanced structures meant to be safe all year for layers.
You will want electricity out there, to keep their drinking water unfrozen, if at all possible.
Mary
 

X_and_Z

Songster
Feb 16, 2018
207
404
116
SF Bay Area
My Coop
My Coop

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom