Input on this Coop plan



10 Years
Jan 2, 2013
China Spring, Texas

After (literally) years of planning I am within a month of having my dream of chickens come true! :celebrate Despite the many plans/ideas/set-ups I have considered over that time (you can see my history of posts, it has been all over the place) I’m ending up with a pre-made shed. I had asked my dad if he would help me with the coop construction and he said “sure” then told me to go buy a shed and he would pay for it. :rolleyes: :idunno

Soooo, we are getting a 10’x16’ shed that will be installed sometime over the next week (the gravel pad is going in right now as I type). The first 4’ of the shed is actually a porch, so I have 10’x12’ for the coop. After much contemplation, referencing back to everyone’s suggestions, and rearranging items this is what I’ve come up with.

My main goals:
- To start with 8 chicks (the minimum number I can get from Meyer hatchery in the winter), but be able to comfortably fit up to 16 chicken
- Be able to brood and/or isolate inside the coop (not quarantine)
- Be able to access feed, water, and nest boxes without entering the coop (this is mainly for when we have friends watching them)
- Have storage for feed, bedding, and cleaning tools in the coop
- Have poop trays
- Have a community nest box, possibly a roll-out one (will wait and see if it is needed)
- Make coop maintenance and clean-up easy (hinged poop trays, lift out roosts, sweep through clean-out door, painted/sealed floors and walls)
- Coop and run should be predator safe (I realize predator proof is virtually impossible, I live in the country and I am planning on a certain amount of loss)
- Have a run large enough for short periods of confinement of 16 chickens (for a week’s vacation when friends are watching them)
- Have a yard for free ranging
- Use mostly rainwater collection for fresh water

- Central Texas, hot weather
- Run must be on right side of coop due to yard layout
- Predators include bobcats, house cats, foxes, skunks, coyotes, wild dogs, hawks, and rattlesnakes (that we’ve seen/heard/smelt) and raccoons, weasels (least and long-tailed), opossums, and owls (that we’ve read about).
- Electricity will be run to the coop
- Water spigot 50’ from coop
- Highly visible from the house, the coop is essentially facing the house across our driveway and small “front” yard

I haven’t shown any windows/ventilation on the plans as I will be adding it them the coop is in place. The shed windows available were fairly expensive, only opened from the inside, and didn’t open all the way. I will be adding about 96 sq.ft. of ventilated window area and another 6 sq.ft. of gable venting.

The plan shows a storage vestibule separated from the main coop area by chicken wire (chicken wire will only be used INSIDE the coop to limit chicken access to areas. The left side of the vestibule area is the brooder. It will be about 3’x4’ and counter height, the brooder will have a “chick door” connecting the brooder to the main coop (I think I read this on one of Blooie’s threads). When not in use as a brooder or isolation pen the top half and front doors of the brooder will fold back to allow for a 18” working counter and easier access to the shelves above. The right side of the vestibule has access to the nesting boxes, water tank for the nipple bar, and through wall PVC feeders (feeders and water nipples are accessed from the covered run, chickens will have access to the run 24/7)

The door between the vestibule and main coop will be a Dutch door so that I can toss treats into the coop. The bottom portion of the door will be raised up with a large lift-out threshold (in case I want to do deep litter, I’m leaving my options open at this point). As you enter the coop portion the community nest box is to your right with the pop door next to it. To your left is a large 24” deep poop tray at about waist height, the same type of poop tray will be on the wall opposite.

The run will be approximately 10’x20’, covered, enclosed in hardware cloth, and skirted with a 3’ no-dig apron. It will have a people door on one end.

I would love to hear any constructive criticism or helpful comments. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
It sounds like you have been planning and researching for some time. I found that I didn't need a separate broody area. My family chickens only use the coop to lay eggs and brood. They prefer to treat their yard as their main home and roost in the rafters. My other chickens have a coop with 6 nesting boxes. My broody chicken (so far) tends to lay in the last box which they picked as their laying box and if she is there, the remaining laying hens lay in one or two of the other boxes. I'd be a bit wary of tossing treats in to an area where the chickens are pooping. I lost two hens to coccidiosis. I missed the blood in poop for the first hen and found it only after the second one died. I attribute it to throwing mealy worms into their small yard for treats. I treated the remaining hens and haven't had a problem since although they are supposedly beyond the age of contracting the disease and the two that died were borderline age... I hang in those little baskets lettuce and the like and put other treats for this group in feeders. My "family group" is a small group and I do still toss mealy worms into their yard, but their yard is not full of poop like the larger group of chickens. Home Depot has a material in the lumber department not the flooring department. It is white like formica and comes in sheets like plywood does. This is a nice floor addition. My new coop has similar flooring and it is sooo much easier to clean than my other coop's wooden flooring.... Love your run. I'm still working on another one for the bachelor pad and ducks...
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Nice drawing!
Got any elevations and or pics of shed?

Just a couple quickies...
Brooder should be at floor level for integration.
Why hinged poop boards?
What are the circles in storage are labeled fgfcf?

Hey Aart, was hoping you’d pop in. So I don’t have drawn elevations (they are still in my head), but the first picture shows what I was going off of, white board & batten (to match house) with a metal roof (like all our outbuilding will have) with 10” eaves all the way around both to protect the shed and to make it look less shed like. The next two show a larger version of the porch we will have. That one is 6’ deep and ours will only be 4’.

I didn’t word the brooder description well, the TOP of the brooder will be counter height, so it will be at the floor level and the “roof” of the brooder will form a counter. The roof will be hinged so that when that area isn’t being used the roof will fold in half making an 18” deep counter.

I decided to hinge the poop boards so that when I do a really thorough clean-out I can flip them up against the walls and really get the underside clean without crawling around. They don’t necessarily have to have hinges, they can be loose laid and just lift up.

The circles indicate pvc feeders that go through the wall into the run - Feed, Grit, Feed, Calcium, Feed.
Gotcha on the brooder.
I made my poop board just sit on angled 2x4 braces with a couple screws going thru back into studs. Easy to remove if needed.
Made roosts removable too, but ended up screwing those down too as I never really needed to remove them to do do the daily poop board cleaning.

Do angled braces like ones on board on left(partially shown),
all the way out to edge of board, I had to 'fix' the ones on right.
Gotcha on the brooder.
I made my poop board just sit on angled 2x4 braces with a couple screws going thru back into studs. Easy to remove if needed.
Made roosts removable too, but ended up screwing those down too as I never really needed to remove them to do do the daily poop board cleaning.

What did you make your poop board out of? I’m considering using that white “shower board” supported by a framework of 1x2s underneath. It seems like you’d need at least ½” of plywood for it to be self-supporting and that could get really heavy.

Here’s an old sketch showing how I plan to make the windows (ish). Instead of T-11 siding I found polycarbonate multi-wall sheet goods at Home Depot that I plan on using so they get plenty of sunlight.


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