newbie in Wi... can you show me some coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kristip, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. kristip

    kristip Songster

    Jul 29, 2010
    New Glarus
    I have been trying to weed through this and there is just so much good data that I dont know where to start.

    We are looking at building a coop. I am thinking 8-10 feet long in total, 6 feet high and 4-5 feet wide or that is what I am thinking right now. we are looking to house 6 hens.

    I prefer one that has the coop on one side and the run nice and big so we can go in it... maybe even in the coop area too for cleaning etc.

    How big should the enclosed coop be inside the run? I am thinking 2-3 nest boxes and a perch... but do I need more in that area?

    can you show me some pics of your coops that sounds around this range... gladly take any ideas.

    Would you put a floor in to help from predators or just bury the sides down a ways?
    How about insulation? What kind do you use to keep it safe for those babies?

  2. True Grit

    True Grit Songster

    :welcomeJust to answer your insulation question, we did use it and used foam board sandwiched between plywood so the chicks couldn't get at it to peck it. I would put hardware cloth under the run and put 4 inches of sand on top. [​IMG]
  3. cdawson41

    cdawson41 In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2010
    We found a cheap storage shed on craigslist and DH revamped it, working out very well for us and the girls.

  4. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Welcome to the forum!

    Browse here until you find one that strikes your fancy:

    Figure 4 square feet per chicken indoors, plus 10 square feet per chicken outdoors. Plan on building 1 square foot of ventilation per chicken, ideally high up on the top of walls where cold air won't blow in on the chickens in the winter (that's a draft, and it's bad).

    Unless you have cold sensitive bantam breeds, most chickens handle even very cold winters just fine. They come with down coats, after all. You can insulate your coop, but many people even in very cold climates don't. High heat in summer is actually more of a danger to chickens (because they can't take off those down coats). If you live someplace that has hot summers you need to be paying attention to how you will keep your coop cooler in summer (shade plus extra ventilation).

    You can lay a hardware cloth apron down on the ground like an apron or skirt on the outside of the run to deter digging in. Stake it down with landscaping staples, cover it with gravel or just let the grass grow up through it. Attach it to your vertical fence, of course.

    Don't use chicken wire to try to keep out predators!
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  5. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    All good advice above. I would add that, if you can, make it at least 7' tall if your plan is to be able to walk inside and easily clean. You can stand up straight inside and you won't ever have the issue of bumping your head. If you make it 6' tall, then add the header for the door and if you use the deep litter method, then you start to cramp your vertical space. If you look at my BYC page you'll see what I did with my coop. I wanted to use one piece of 6' welded wire, so I planned my framing to make that fit, while still achieving height. I don't think you'll ever regret making it taller. Good luck.
  6. SparksNV

    SparksNV Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Spanish Springs, NV

    It is overwhelming - if you can, either buy or check out from your library "Chickens for Dummies" and "Chicken Coop Building for Dummies". It's not really necessary but a good source of handy reference.

    Read through this link for pre building tips:

    We based our coop on one we saw on the coops link. We are building a composting bin/area today. I told dh - as with every project, I wish I could have a run through and then build the real one - I always want to do something different than how it turned out. It was the same with my fish pond, my coop, and I'm sure with the composting area.

  7. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Hi Kristip and welcome from MN!

    You've gotten some good advice so far. I'd recommend checking out the coop design pages to see what appeals to you and then spend some time searching (see the blue bar above) for specific information on cold weather coops.

    Choose your breeds wisely for cold tolerance. Smaller combs and wattles do better in the freezing temperatures.

    In WI, you will likely need insulation. Some don't use it, but many do. My coop is 6x8, walk-in, and I house 4 hens. This is significantly larger inside than the minimum suggestions (4 sq/ft per bird) but I find that in the winter the hens don't like to go outside. This way they have plenty of space indoors without getting into each other's way. My run is 6x8 (recommended space is 10 sq/ft per bird) also and is a walk-in style.

    More important than insulation will be your ventilation. It seems counterproductive to put holes into your coop when the goal is to keep it warmer in the winter, but it is VERY important. Guestimate 1 sq/ft of ventilation per bird and put it as high as you can so that the moist/warm air has a way to escape.

    I have one larger community style nest box vs. smaller individual boxes, but if you wanted to go with individual boxes then 2 should be enough with 6 birds. For you roost, put a 2x4 on the wide side (4" side up) so that birds can tuck their toes under their downy feathers in the winter. Put your roost higher than the nest box(es).

    Also, consider how you will get electricity to your coop -- whether or not you choose to provide supplemental light and/or heat, you will need a way to keep water fluid throughout the winter.

    A floor is your choice. Some do, some don't. One thing to consider is snow-melt and whether or not it's going to adversely affect the interior of your coop. Build on a high spot to avoid flooding and a muddy run (stinky!).

    ETA: Insulation: I used fiberglass R13 from Home Depot. Walls and ceiling. It was very affordable. Regardless of what type of insulation you use, you will HAVE to seal it into the walls (1/4" plywood does the trick) or the chickens will eat it.

    Feel free to PM me anytime - welcome!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  8. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Have you looked at the Coop pages? Small, medium and large. That is the best place to see more coops than you can shake a stick at!
    Here is mine, 8x8 with 10x10 pvc run.
    I built the run first, then the coop. Here they are together.
  9. VioletandBodie

    VioletandBodie Songster

    Aug 11, 2010
    hello fellow wisconsinight [​IMG] where are you at south or north? are copp is an insu;ated dog house but i dont have a pic of it
  10. moondog425

    moondog425 Chirping

    Jul 29, 2010
    Its not much but it gets the job done. I have a pannel that fits over the wire in the front for this winter and will have a heat lamp for the cold nights. I have about 60 bucks in it. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010

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