First time chicken owner coop design help


In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 7, 2010
First off great site. We bought 4 pullets of different breeds and my girl wanted a duck... I think it's kinda cool. They are home and doing well. 90% of what I know now about raising chicks is from this place and because I know you like pictures here are a couple of our new birds.





Is this a brown leghorn? We are unsure.

I started the coop as soon as I got home using a bunch of recycled lumber and kinda making it up as I went along. The coop itself is going to be 6' x 4' which from my understanding is a little overkill for 5 birds but I got carried away. The run will be 16' x 4' part of which will be underneath the coop. We plan to let the chickens roam the back yard whenever they like. I haven't decided whether or not I want to do the "deep litter" method or to keep recycling wood chips/barn dry.

Here is a picture of the front and back wall frames of my design. I plan on 3 lay boxes on the front side and two vents on the sides of the coop in the top corner.

Questions I have. How big should the vents be?
How high up should I place the roosts off the floor?
If we plan on letting the chickens roam the yard would it be worth it to put sand in the run? Keep in mind I do live in the seattle area and we get a fair share of rain fall.
Is having the coop this big with only 4 birds going to be an issue as far as warmth is concerned? The temps rarely get below 20 degrees F here.

If there is anything else you can think of that I have not feel free to point it out. Thanks.

link/webb family
Thanks for the welcome!

It rarely gets above 90 degrees here and that is mid-day maybe 75 degrees at night. There is the occasional freak heat wave like last year where even I slept on the porch... what a nightmare. Unfortunately I don't have any real trees in the yard for shade so I was thinking of some adjustable vents so that when it does get warm I can open them up more. Also I planned it so that they are on the north side of the fence meaning that the fence will help a little through out the day.
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Your coop is NOT overkill for five birds--and the more room the better! Also the more ventilation the better! Just make a lot of it with close-able covers (keep the cutouts for covers and hinge them), and you can adjust for the temps. I would even consider making the top of one wall all vent, 1' high. Having a lower vent near the bottom that is close-able, is nice for those really warm nights to create a draft. Another thing that I would consider is covering your entire run, as you know how much rain we get around here. This will keep your run much drier and more comfortable for them. If your run top is peaked or slanted, you can just bungee on a tarp. Sand works really well, I use wood chip that I get for free and really like it. ETA--you can see my setup for six hens on my BYC pages.
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Thanks for the advice! I read patandchicks page on ventilation and feel a little better equipped overall.

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