need help designing a coop

frogman240r

Hatching
5 Years
May 20, 2014
2
0
7
Hi, i'm a newbie to chickens and we bought 11 chicks. I need some help designing a coop for them. We live in Missouri and have a few acres so they would free range but winters can be cold. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
 

TomGallopavo

Songster
8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
110
10
136
Hillbillyville, MO
I live in Missouri too. You have given us very little information to go on, the big one being what is your budget? You should look over the coops designs on this site, that will help you narrow it down. Personally I like it to be a little bigger than necessary and I also have a run that we use. Mostly we free range them. My coop is 8x8 and the run is 8 by 24 plus under the coop. We have had as many as 20 or so living fine but have 8 now with 7 chicks from a broody. We also have two more broodies with 8 eggs and 5 eggs. We will eat the roos and see what happens with the hens.

You might want a roost up high, some egg boxes (we have two) lower than the roost, pop door, waterer, food. Insulation is not needed but you may want electricity for lights and a water heater in winter. I can show you my set-up if you like?
 

midget_farms

Songster
12 Years
Apr 15, 2008
1,359
11
194
Dunlap Illinois
Sky is the limit! or your budget is -

I've seen people use bales of straw for a coop - or an old school bus!

For me personally - I bought a store bought shed - less expensive than building one though not as nice (but heck its going to be covered in chicken poop - how nice does it need to be!).

You need to consider size - 11 adult chickens take up a lot of space.

Summer is no big deal - they can have a tiny space for summer - they will only sleep there & maybe lay eggs if thats where your nest boxes are. But the dead of winter when its 5 degrees out & the wind is blowing - they wont go outside. If it's too small in winter they will start picking on each other & it can really be a mess - so............you want no less than 3 sq ft per adult bird - so your coop should be no smaller than 4x8.

You want plenty of ventalation but also protection from the wind (think winter again).

Also - it needs to be closed & locked at night - raccoons, oppossum, fox, hawk, owl, snake, weasel, neighbor dogs, flying monkeys, terrorists and in-laws all eat chickens! most of those come out after dark - the girls will put themselves to bed - but someone must close the door. Speaking from experience here - I've had to replace my flock several times.
 
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