my first coop... finally finished!*pics*


11 Years
Sep 7, 2008
So, I don't have any chickens, yet, but I started building a coop for our "planned" 3 silkie hens. It's 3'x2' floor space and just over 3' high. I have never built anything like this, and I'm using wood that was left in our garage. I need some input/advice! My idea is that a smaller coop will help hold in body heat in the winter. Will this be too small? I also plan to use deep litter on a dirt floor. I'm going to put the pop door about a foot up from the ground, to hold the litter. Opinions on that? I plan on attaching an 8' run, and in decent weather the chickens will be out in the yard with us. The roof will lift off and the back will open for cleaning/collecting eggs. Do I need to put a roost for silkies? I probably will, just in case. I have some sheets of tin to cover the roof and sheets of styrofoam and paneling for insulation. I have no idea what I'm doing, just going by what I've read so far! Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks
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I would be afraid to have the ground be the floor. What happens when it rains? I have always elevated my coops. Cheapest is plywood covered in scrap linoleum off of craigslist! Also things might dig into the coop. That sounds bad. If you live where it is warm you could use wire for the bottom and scoop the manure out from the side. The size sounds ok for 3 chickens, but I would build it bigger since it's never just pringles, once you get chickens you'll want more!
Hm, I would worry. Partly because of space-per-chicken but mostly because of humidity issues.

The problem is that you still need ventilation in wintertime, and the smaller the coop the *more* ventilation you need (on a 'per cubic foot' basis), and it can be pretty challenging to keep a tiny coop like that from getting too humid (=frostbite and respiratory problems) or too cold. Is there by any chance a building you could put the chickens in, either inside this tiny coop (moved for winter) or by building them a 'real' coop inside the building? Buildings usually do not get as cold inside as the great outdoors, thus temperature is not as much of a challenge for your coop, thus the temperature-ventilation conflict is not as much a problem.

I also plan to use deep litter on a dirt floor.

I would seriously not suggest this for a tiny coop. Deep litter and natural earth are both humidity sources, and you will not want any more of that than you can avoid. If you really want the leetle box coop (I am not criticizing; my tractor, summer-use only, has the house part only 2.5x4) then you will be much better off with a plywood floor (insulated well underneath) and change the bedding frequently to remove poo and damp spots.

Building a 'normal' or box-style coop inside an existing building would work an *awful* lot better, though.

Good luck, hope this helps some,

I always say bigger is always better. If you live in a cold area you want to give your bird lots of in door space to get out of the cold, you don't want them to feel "cooped" up in the winter (hehe pun intended). Plus who ever stopped at 3 chicken

It is always nice to leave room to grow.

Silkies would love a roost all chickens like to roost.

I've heard of alot of people using the dirt as the floor. I'd be afraid of something digging in. You could always lay down hardware cloth on the ground to keep diggers out. If you put it straight on the ground make sure the ground is very well drained soil You don't want it to get soggy in the rain.
Whew! Am I glad I asked before I got too far :eek: Thanks, you guys! So, I will adjust. Maybe 3'x4' with a floor? Let me know what you think. I've just finished the frame and barely started the walls, so it won't be a big deal to make it bigger. I have plenty of free wood! We live in the city, so we're going to have to keep the population down
We regularly go to the park to feed the ducks and geese. I'd love to be able to have a horde of chickens, but I don't think my neighbors would dig it. Should I make it higher, too? Maybe I should do a 4'x4' floor. Can you tell I'm totally clueless?
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Fair warning, I started with 2 silkies in July... I just wanted 2! I have 5 and I am planning on breeding my buffs in the spring.
I have an A frame coop with an open bottom and attached run. Its a temp while my husband builds the new coop. As for the open bottom all seems fine. I've laid down a couple 2x4s so the have a little step up on rainy days so they don't mind. It works great for now, but I know will not work come winter.

Next year it will be for whatever Hen goes broody on me.

I would suggest at least a small bit of raised floor for them... ESPECIALLY because silkies don't roost as much as other chickens, mine don't as all... they DIG holes in the dirt, drag over some straw and sleep there. It'll really be hard on your yard. You should see all our holes from moving the Aframe tractor coop around. Hubby not too happy with his lawn.
Oh Lordy, do not tell me that! I am too suseptable to going overboard, and the chicken cuteness doesn't help! Perhaps, I should just ask someone to build a barn in my backyard :eek:
Just as an idea: My old coop (Chicken Taj-Mahal) was 4x8 floor with a shelf half of the width running through it/ second story w/ perches and nests. This comfortably held 12 chickens, even when they were "coop-ed up" on bad days in the winter. So I'd say 4 would fit in your 3x4 coop. That's enough you think now:D... The only idea on height: if you had to put a lightbulb in there for warmth...would they have enough head room not to walk into the thing? Plus having it a bit taller will make it easier for you to clean it out...i don't like crawling in dirty coops
Give it a floor and put it up on cinder blocks or those cement pillar things you can screw into...make sure you make little window flaps on opposite ends covered in harware cloth (1"x1" squares) so you can leave the windows open in the summer. I don't like chicken wire...too flimsy.

Did you look at all of the coops in the "Coop Design" section? There are good ideas there...just mash them all together to fit your situation!
I agree.

Stop what youre doing and run!
Stay away from BYC, they make everyone an addict!

I started off with wanting just one chicken. Well that one chicken turned into 6. I just added 6 more! Theyre almost a week old. Just a fair warning.
I'm hoping that the other two in my household will have willpower for me
I don't know though, my Mother spent an hour "oooh-ing and aahhh-ing" at all of the different breed photos on another site.

Thanks everyone, for pointing me in the right direction! I'm sure, I'll have more questions, but this at least gives me a start

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