I need advice on building a coop!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by tweinzerl, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. tweinzerl

    tweinzerl New Egg

    Apr 3, 2012
    Hello, I bought 6 chicks yesterday. I need to build a chicken coop and enclose and area for them to run outside. My issue is, I have fairly small backyard and most of it is landscaped. I also have 3 dogs! I have planned on building a chicken tractor so that they could roam in the front yard as well. I can't seem to find any consistent info on how big this coop should be! I have seen many cool ideas and defiantly want to build one with removable sides so I can clean it easier. Can someone please tell me how many nesting boxes I need and how big the inside should be and where to put the perch? It seems no one can decide! Thanks in advance!
  2. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom True BYC Addict

    Feb 9, 2012
    Northern Indiana
    I have read that new-hatched chicks don't really know the difference between food and the chips and can fill up on the chips and actually not get enough real food to eat. When mine were 3 days old I put shavings down but decided to remove them until about week 3 due to the same problem.

    I just put down paper towel in the brood box so that they can get their footing. (No newspapers except underneith till they're older...it can cause splayed legs as the newspapers are slippery.) The paper towel is working great and if I want to put a little food on the towels it is very clear that it's food to them.

    So...my 2 cents worth is to use the paper towel for a couple weeks until they're well established. You can just keep putting a new layer of paper towel on top a couple times a day as it becomes soiled.
  3. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom True BYC Addict

    Feb 9, 2012
    Northern Indiana
    Whoops! Posted the above to the wrong topic! Sorry
  4. peterslovo

    peterslovo New Egg

    Mar 13, 2012
    southern Maine

    I'm new as well, but offer this advice:

    1) generally, plan on 4 SF per bird inside the coop.
    2) with a run, add about 8-10 SF per bird, if possible.

    So with 6 birds, you're looking at around 24 SF for the coop, and around 48-60 SF of run space.

    For nest boxes, the general rule of thumb is 1 box per 3-4 birds. I put 2 in for my four birds just for the heck of it, so you'd be looking at 2 boxes.

    Be sure to build a coop with the nest boxes BELOW the roosts, or they'll roost in the nest boxes.

    Here's a link to my build (it's a variation of a freely accessible Purina Mills design, just google Purina Mills coop):

    It's heavy but it's moveable, with detachable run.

    Oh, and check out the Coops page at the banner on BYC homepage to see all kinds of builds.

    Good luck!
  5. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
  6. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    I have brooded chicks on shavings (not sawdust) without issues. Currently I am using pelleted pine horse bedding, smells nicer and much less dusty.
  7. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Hi and :welcome from Ohio. So glad you joined. Good advice given. :thumbsup
  8. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.
  9. greymane

    greymane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2011
    Snyder County, PA

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by