I need help please


In the Brooder
May 2, 2015
Randleman, NC
Okay, I have been owned but 3 chicks for over a week now. They are so cute, funny, and are growing fast. Currently they are in a browder (I think that's what it is called) but will need a coop soon. I have no building skills at all and don't want to buy a coop pre assembled. Can anyone tell me the best thing to do. Should I hire someone to build the framework, or is this something a beginner can do?
Brooder :)

And its going to be pretty hard to tell you if you are able to build a coop :D
But ill tell you what I did, I spent a few hours in the coop photos forum, and figured out the basics of what I wanted in a coop. For example, I planned on free ranging, so I didnt need a tractor or the ability to move it. I wanted a walk in coop. I wanted to have it big enough that if they needed to stay in for a day or two that theyd be ok. And then I assessed my needs. Where I am, we get 60+mph winds, so I needed something that was strong enough to not blow over, some of the more "cobbled together" coops wouldnt work for me.
I also have taken a couple architecture classes, and my dad was in construction years ago, so when he came out to visit, he helped turn my sketches into a coop. If I didnt have that, I would propbably watch some youtube videos, and look into buying or finding coop plans and following those.
Money is also another factor, figure out how much you can spend and how much coop you can get for that.
Hello @kimismurf , and welcome to BYC!

I would suggest maybe looking for a coop on craigslist - if you can find something affordable that you can use in the short-term, you will buy yourself plenty of time to work on building your own coop if that's what you would like to do.
I think that building your own is certainly achievable, even for a beginner, but the concern would be that your chicks are going to grow up very quickly - I'm in the process of building a coop now, and it is taking quite a bit longer to build than I planned, and I've had to scramble to find more space for the girls while I'm finishing the build.
As far as hiring somebody, if you know a reliable handyman/carpenter, go ahead, but I would still be concerned about how quickly they could finish the job - and of course this would be more expensive than building one yourself.
Either way, good luck, and enjoy the ride!

Please don't take this the wrong way - but with little design and build skills, I would order a prebuilt one. There are so many other issues to consider, do you have the means to transport the materials home? The tools to properly build a coop and run? And lastly, do you know your local building codes and ordinances regarding any structure on your land? Some times writing a check is well worth than the stress of constructing your own. Plus...if you decide one day to create your very own structure you can sell the existing coop! I see them on Craigslist all of the time. Wishing you luck and come back to show us what you decided for your flock!
Coop/run designs are on here. What you want is up to you. Pre-built ones are expensive and usually not big enough in the long run. I count 3 heads in your picture. but that is probably just the start. I was started with 8 now I got 15. (had 16 but one died). Everyone else had good ideas and pointers especially building codes. You don't want to have a chicken coop out there and come to find out its against city ordnance or something
You say you have no building skills, well do you know someone that does? Have them come over and help you build one then have a BBQ as a show of thanks or something. It all depends on your needs and the room you have.
I actually live in the country so I don't need to worry about building permits and such. We have all kinds of tools, saws etc... and a mini van we can use to get things home. I'm just not experienced and don't know how big of a challenge this will be.
We had basic skills last year and used a basic design. It's not hard... but it is time consuming. There is a company out of Raleigh called All Cooped Up (you can find them on FB) that sells ready to assemble coop kits... which is a great compromise- there are probably others too. We purchased a coop from a farm supply store (needed one in a pinch or so we thought) and though it's really cute, it lacks many much needed features that we will need to add- like ventilation. It will be a great coop if the quail hatch- but is even too small for our bantam hen to be comfortable.

You'll be surprised at how fast they grow and then there is always chicken math ... We're up to about 30 now :) and counting!!! Welcome to the flock!
Those chicks are going to grow fast (really fast!) and you'll need somewhere to house them sooner than later. Maybe look on Craigs List for a used coop for now . There are some great coop & run ideas on this forum, get some ideas then take your time building or having it built. With only 3 a small coop will work for the short term especially if you can open range.

If you do buy a pre fab coop, with your 3 chicks, look for one that claims to house 6.
My sister and her 15 year old daughter just built a coop and run for their 3 chicks. So I have faith that you too can get this done. She used some of the same materials we did.

My husband and I also just put an addition on to our already existing coop and run. Our first coop was a shed we sectioned off and then we cut a hole in the side for them to enter. If you don't have a shed then this may be useless info to your plan. But for the run it was really very simple. We used 1x1 sticks of wood that we got at home depot and hardware cloth. Both are light weight. You will need some tools to get this done. You will also need some fastener and think about the door. We also love to recycle where we can. My nesting boxes are old wine crates screwed to the wall. Our roots are sticks are branches I found next to trees around town. When we started out I just scoured the internet to see what Ideas I could manipulate into my own. Where we live it doesn't snow at all or rain much so weather is not a factor for us. So you might have more to do than we did to make it warm and dry.

Sisters is a smaller set up not tall enough to walk into. But VERY functional. For 3 chicks

Ours you can walk into with full size gate. For 9 chickens.

Good luck and have fun. I hope you love your lady birds as much as I do. :)

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