first coop questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by yankee, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. yankee

    yankee In the Brooder

    Feb 21, 2007

    I'm building my first coop for my first chickens. I'm keeping six hens near the city of Pittsburgh. Don't worry I checked my local zoning laws, I'm good to go! But I keep finding different guidlines for square feet per bird. I want to know all your suggestions for minimum inside, my chickens are going to have a big run area, completley safe from predators. But I do want to keep the actual coop as small as possable, while still raising happy chickens. Also I want to hear suggestions about ventilation. How do I accomplish proper ventilation, without causing a draft.

    Thanks in advance for all 'yunz help
  2. Welcome yankee to the forum. [​IMG]
    Whereabouts from pgh are you from? I was born and raised there and now live about 1 hour north. I'm just starting to build my coop as well and i've gotten some great ideas here. My coop has a vent in two different places on the roof, and on the south side of the building. we can close it off or open it up for light or ventilation. The north side has too much wind so it's window will be closed in the winter and opened in the summer.
  3. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    Check out the coop construction part of the BYC site. There are a lot of great ideas.
  4. ChrisnTiff

    ChrisnTiff In the Brooder

    Jan 11, 2007
    Crane, Missouri
    Check this out. This site has alot of ideas for small coops and tractors. I do believe 3 to 4 square feet of floor space per bird is fine as long as they have a good run. I would say a 6' by 4' coop with a 6' roosting pole and a couple of nesting boxes would fit your needs just fine. Keep in mind chickens are addictive. you should proboably think ahead for more space for more birds. It is much cheaper and easier to build bigger now than it is to add on later. Good luck,

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2007
  5. yankee

    yankee In the Brooder

    Feb 21, 2007
    Thanks for the help, I live in Ross. I am really intreasted in everyone's opinion on square footage per bird, I just cant find a common recomendation while searching all over the internet. I read four feet per bird, and I hear two feet, that is a big difference in coop design.
  6. Backyard rancher

    Backyard rancher In the Brooder

    Feb 12, 2007
    I too am a newbee and have researched soooooo many places.
    One place that has been a wealth of knowledge for me has been
    a book called Back Yard Barn Yard. You can find it at any good book store. I bought mine at Tractor Suppy. Good luck, I can't wait for my little girls to arrive.
  7. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Square footage recomendations are going to change depending on the breed also. Most standards do well with 3 sq ft if they have good outdoor access. Build it tall enough you can stand up in it. Your back, head and knees will thank you later.
    All hens or will you have a rooster eventually?
  8. yankee

    yankee In the Brooder

    Feb 21, 2007
    All hens. Roosters are agains the zoning laws. I have two Rhode Island Reds, Two barred Rocks, and Two Black Sex Links. I actually only wanted four or five, but ordered a few more for fear of some death in shipment, but all my chicks arrived and are doing well so far. They are still in the brooder, and will move to my basement soon, until they are safe to move outside.
  9. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Quote:In my coops I purposely left some small gaps between the wood, and leave the coop door open all year round, fortunately it doesn’t get very cold here so I don’t need insulation. Also I have two windows I will leave open in spring and summer, in winter I drape a couple of sand bags over them and a couple of wood boards on top of them which hang from a nail.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: