Indoor part of chicken coop.

Mukluky

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2018
14
13
26
Hi. I have a 5' wide x 10' long x 6' tall welded wire dog kennel that I want to use for 4 to 6 full size chickens. I plan to build a wooden coop within the dog kennel. The coop will be off the ground so the chickens will have the whole 5' x 10' area to scratch around in. I figure I need space for three nest boxes in the wooden coop. Wanting feedback on size for wooden portion of coop. Would something 3' wide x 4' long be adequate? Also how high should the coop be (interior chicken space)? Is it important to have less height above nest boxes if so what should that height be? With regard to height of the coop off the ground, I was thinking maybe 3' off the ground would be good. Will have a "ladder" so they can get into their coop. Thanks in advance everyone.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,145
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WA, Pac NW
My Coop
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The recommendation here is 4 sq ft in coop, 10 sq ft in run, minimum. 3'x4' coop has space for 3 chickens. As far as height of the coop it doesn't have to be that tall, but ideally it needs enough space so that the roost bar is higher than the nest boxes, plus have enough head space for the chickens to get on the roost safely. So I'd say at an absolute minimum the coop would have to be 2' tall but more space is better, even vertically.

You only need 1 nest box per 3 to 4 birds, so 3 nest boxes aren't needed. In your case it's important to have the nest boxes sticking out externally from the coop space, as nest box space does NOT count as usable floor space. In a small coop like what you're building, every little bit of floor space counts.
 

Mukluky

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2018
14
13
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Thanks, 5 x 10 run is enough space for 5 chickens. Just need to make coop bigger or have fewer chickens. I'll make the coop at least 3' high.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,145
33,654
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Yes, the run would be big enough for up to 5, especially if you can put in some stuff for them to dig through or find ways to break up the space without eating up ground space (i.e. perches). I hope someone else pipes in about how far off the ground to elevate a coop. I don't have experience with an elevated coop to know if that's a good height or not.
 

Mukluky

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2018
14
13
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I am thinking three feet off the ground makes it easy for me to open it up and clean. The 5' x 10' kennel will be located within a 65 x 35 foot fenced area. They can roam in there if I am home but I don't want to leave them out there unsupervised due to predators (we have coyotes, bobcats, and other critters. There are two goats living in there so hope they would get along. I will also have a few perches out in the 5' x 10' pen.
 

Mukluky

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2018
14
13
26
I am also thinking I should insulate the coop due to heat in summer and cold in winter (we get occasional snow here. At the coldest our nights in winter can get down to 15 degrees but it's usually much warmer. In summer it usually doesn't get hotter than 90 degrees. I would have a plywood interior and likely put the insulation on the outside so the chickens don't eat it.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,157
138,536
1,807
SW Michigan
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My Coop
Good ventilation makes insulation moot at your temps.
Don't bother with it.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1048597/ventilated-but-free-of-drafts

Here's a good article by RR about Space:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

....and some tips of heights indie the coop:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/coop-stack-up-how-high-should-stuff-be.73427/

Welcome to BYC!
Adding your general location to your profile can really help, climate is important in coop design, it's easy to do and then it's always there!
upload_2018-3-25_9-30-30.png
 

Mukluky

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2018
14
13
26
Thanks aart. Very helpful information. Also a question about roosts. When I last had chickens I used a branch as a roost that was about 2" diameter. They seemed to like that OK. Is there a preferred sort of roost? Lots of people seem to use 2" x 4"s is there an advantage to that?
 

Mukluky

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2018
14
13
26
Also has anyone ever used wood pellets for bedding? I use them for my horses and they are super absorbent and tend to dehydrate poop. The break down to "sawdust" over time. Or you can get them wet first to turn them into "sawdust" initially. I am thinking of ease of cleaning for the coop.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,157
138,536
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop

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