New coop and run design plans - input needed


8 Years
Mar 7, 2011
New member and new to chicken keeping all together! My wife is in charge of picking the chicks and I am in charge of putting together the coop. We are looking to have 4 hens at the most, probably 2 or 3 to start out with. I have done a drawing of my proposed coop and run and am looking for any input you experienced chicken keepers have about potential problems and/or improvements to my design.

See my BYC page for the drawings and details. Thanks for any comments anyone might have!
Pretty darned near perfect for 4 hens. Any more than that and you'll want more room in the coop and pen, but for what your plans are, I think it's perfect. Nice looking design. Can't wait to see the finished work!
I'm assuming that top under the overhang is covered with hardware cloth for good ventilation and to keep predators out. If not, it should be. They need that ventilation at night. Just make sure the roosts are low enough so when they are sleeping, they are below any drafts blowing between the vents.

I love the idea of more roost space. On the roost settling in at night is when mine are most vicious toward each other. They really get jealous of their pecking order rights when deciding where to sleep. I cannot see the inside view you mentioned. It did not show up when I looked. Do you have room inside to feed and water without them pooping in them from the roosts?

Integrating new chickens can be a challenge, especially in a fairly small space. I suggest you get all your chickens at one time. It is usually a lot less stressful for them and you if you do that.

Overall, it looks very nice abd servicable.
Yes, the top under the overhang will be covered with hardware cloth for ventilation in the coop even when the window doors are closed.

I had planned to keep the food and water out in the run hanging underneath the coop - should I keep it inside the coop instead? The hens will probably be locked up inside the coop at night. If I need food and water in there then I can hang them below one of the roosts and put a poop board above the food and water to keep it clean.

Thanks for the input!
If you leave them locked up for a long time after they wake up, food and water should be available. If they do not spend a lot of time locked up, in the run is fine. Your management practices decide a lot of these things. There is no one correct answer for all of us.

I have it available both in the coop and in the run and I free range a lot. I have different aged chickens a lot and the older ones will sometimes keep the younger away from food and water as part of the pecking order intimidation. Multiple food and water stations makes it harder for them to be effective bullies. And sometimes, I like sleeping in a bit.
Did you do that drawing in SketchUp? I've been fiddling with it to try and make plans for an expansion of my current coop, and it feels like it takes almost as much time to build it in SketchUp as it does in real life!

It looks like a great design to me.
Yes, the drawings were all done with SketchUp. There is a pretty steep learning curve but I use it a lot for furniture design so am getting quicker. However by spending the time up front with the planning I can try out different things to see what I like and also reduce mistakes during the construction (which I seem to make a LOT of when I don't have a good set of plans). It is sure a lot easier to change a window size or add ventilation or move a door in SketchUp then after your lumber has been cut. I found a add-on for SketchUp called CutList which will print out your material and cut list based on your drawing. I take that to the lumber yard and just buy exactly what I need. Then I can take all the lumber to the garage and cut everything to size, then move it out to the yard for assembly.

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