going to start building a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cass1776, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. cass1776

    cass1776 In the Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2010
    Mass
    im going to be getting my first chicks soon so i need to start work on a coop.im only going to start with 4 chickens.would 4x4 or 16 sq.ft of floor space be enough room.any suggestions and input would be appreciated just want to make sure i do this right because i am brand new to this
     

  2. elmo

    elmo Songster

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    The usual rule of thumb you read is 4 square foot per chicken indoors, plus 10 square feet per chicken outdoors. So at 16 square feet, your coop would be just big enough for 4 chickens.

    There's nothing wrong with building bigger than the minimums though, especially if you may need to keep your chickens confined inside the coop for extended periods (for example, you live in a cold climate with harsh winters).

    p.s. Welcome to the forum!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  3. cass1776

    cass1776 In the Brooder

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    0
    39
    Aug 28, 2010
    Mass
    thanks for your help,i do live in an area where winters get pretty bad at times.the run area will be plenty big enough im going to make it 8x12 just want to get the coop size right so they will be comfy especially on those cold days and nights
     
  4. chica57

    chica57 Songster

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Quote:Ditto---My first coop was big enough for the first group of chicks I got--but couldn't resist getting more this year so had to make another coop--consider that also you'd be surprised how all of a sudden you feel the need to get more-I think its an addiction!!!! [​IMG] And [​IMG]
     

  5. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Unless you are restricted to just having 4 chickens, I highly recommend you build bigger. Will save you money and hassles in the future. You could do 4x8 (standard size of plywood) to cut down on how much sawing you would have to do. A good example I almost used was a 4x6 coop. If you type The blue coop into the search window it will pull up, I think it is the 4th entry on the page. When you click on it, you will see a little light blue coop with darker blue trim. Under the caption at the top it says built by girl power. It is in the small coop section and has easy directions to follow. I would use that plan only make it 4x8 and without the little porch part. That looks cute but is really just wasted space. I have 12 chickens and it was just too small, so I went with 8x8 coop with an attached pvc hoop run. Love it!
    **Wait I found the forum link. www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2983
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  6. Quote:Ditto---My first coop was big enough for the first group of chicks I got--but couldn't resist getting more this year so had to make another coop--consider that also you'd be surprised how all of a sudden you feel the need to get more-I think its an addiction!!!! [​IMG] And [​IMG]

    I totally agree with this! This is my first time of being a "chicken momma". I originally thought that I would get 4-5 hens. Now I have 9 baby hens and 18 little meaty chicks. Who would have guessed! It's a good thing I planned bigger instead of smaller. My coop is a 7x10 shed with two runs each measuring 6 x 12. I plan on keeping the meaties outside in one of the runs and letting the girls have the coop and the other run. That is until the freezer is full. At that time the hens get the "run of the place"
     
  7. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    My advice:

    Plan ahead for predators.
    Use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire.
    Make some sort of skirting on the ground to avoid any digging
    Have a chicken first aid kit on hand (vitamin/electrolytes, stiptic powder, antibiotics, vaseline, etc) for those emergencies
    Personally, I like having a power source in the coop (for heat lamp in winter)
    Lots of ventilation
    Make it easy to clean out so you don't break your back bending over and hunching
     

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