Hoop Coops for Hen+chicks

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by barbara4rb, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. barbara4rb

    barbara4rb Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 22, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    I have anywhere from 20-30? free ranging chickens on my 1 acre property (no one lives on it--it is all fenced/gated). The chickens meander between properties. They're fed scratch daily, fresh water + day old bread. They roost in trees at night. I'm sure cats, roadrunners and other birds are getting my chicks.

    Someone on the forum suggested I use hoop coops! What a great idea!

    Now I ask you chicken experts, I want to build 1-2? hoop coops to have ready whenever the next hen + chicks show up. My last hen + 5 chicks showed up, and none of the babies made it. :-( In the future, I think I can put the hoop coop over them to protect them. Will weight it down or stake it...plus will move it around every few days. I have protected areas too so they get some sun/shade.

    Any suggestions as to size, material, technique, how to's are much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    If you plan to lock the birds in the coop they need a good 4 square ft each of space.
  3. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2007
    Hmm, Prissy...do you think she can get a way with less since most are going to be chicks?? I would think you could. I dont know about hoop coops personally but Im sure there are plenty of set up you could use to help the babies reach an older age and be able to escape a bit better.....

    What about a large dog crate or a small portable chain link kennel thats four feet high, you can cover the top. Are you or your s.o. handy? You could just build a small "box" frame and wire it up. if you are just placing them under it, you wouldnt even need a door on it, just put it over them and weigh it down....

    Let us know what you think up!
  4. k625

    k625 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2007
    I just want to know.. about the 4sq ft in the coop space. I have 5 chickens, all still around 3mo. There are 2 really nice wood dog houses in their run, but not by any means 4sq ft per bird. They all cram in to one of thos things and hover in the corner together (getting a littl cold here). So... I guess im asking is that ok, since they dont even want the space?
  5. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Getting back to hoop coops....

    We used 4' x 16' cattle panels to build our main run, based on the hoop coop idea.

    We had bought extra panels, when building the main run as they were on sale. After we bought our Harley, we needed a shed to keep her out of the weather so we built a basic hoop coop and covered it with tarps.

    We zip-tied 2 panels together, length-wise to form the "shed"...


    For chickens, you'd need a front and back and to cover the panels with hardware cloth to keep the chicks from getting out and to keep anything from coming in.

    Here are some hoop coop links that I have bookmarked:




    Hope this is some help!

  6. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Thanks Dawn! This is exactly what I need. The only concern I have with that design, when used as a portable chicken tractor, is digging coyotes. I guess I'd just have to have several more permanent ones and rotate my ducks regularly.
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    They don't huddle in one spot all day and night. They need plenty of room to move around and get away from one another. Cramped quarters leads to feather picking and pecking. Also they don't stay small very long. They grow quickly. Making a small shelter just means having to make a larger one as they grow to full size.

    Also if the chickens spend most of their time without human contact there should be some wire laid on the ground around the hoop house to prevent wild animals from digging under.
  8. barbara4rb

    barbara4rb Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 22, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    HI Dawn (and others),
    Thanks for the links to the various types of coops. I will study them.

    For whatever I build, I'll include screen skirts that can lie out on the ground so that I can weight it down with rocks, to keep the babies from going out under the edge, and keep anyone from going under.

    I'll need to include a door of some kind, to put in the chicken waterer, because I don't want to lift up on one end, as they babies might escape.

    Now that it's alittle cooler, the chickens are always STARVING when I pull up and open the gate. Here they come running! They forget the piles of scratch and loaves of bread they ate yesterday.

    I find chickens so funny--if you got the money, honey, they've got the time. (something like that.) I should take a picture and the group when I come in to feed them and see if I can post it.

    On another note, is there any other higher calorie food they should eat in the cooler weather?

  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Cracked corn before roosting time will help rev up their engines and generate body heat.
  10. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    The Deliberate Agrarian talks about his hoop coop here:


    If you have time, this guy is a great writer. I don't always agree with everything he says, but he can paint a word picture of pastoral life and living with purpose better than anyone I've ever read on the internet.

    He also sells the "whiz-bang-chicken-plucker" plans, for those of you who have SERIOUS processing need. Watch the video-it has brought grown men to tears of laughter, even as they knew it was "sick" to laugh.....

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