Newbie Research Questions


6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
Hi, I have a couple of newbie questions. I am doing research before I take the plunge with some Buff Orpingtons.

1) I want to put a coop in my back yard. What is the best resource for putting together a DYI coop for 3-4 birds? I'm willing to go to Home Depot and band the nails together, but some direction would be helpful. I am especially concerned about making sure that the birds would be safe from predators, including the kind that might try to dig under the fence.

2) Do the birds have to spend their entire lives inside the coop, or can I let them out from time to time? We have a 4 1/2-foot chain link fence around the back yard.

3) How do the birds hold up when the lawnmower runs by the coop?

I live outside the city (rural TN), and I already know that this complies with county codes.



8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I have Buff Orpingtons also. My coop cost us $200.00 in materials. My husband made it. The chickens are very curious. They will not mind the lawn mower one bit. In fact, mine will follow me around while I mow my lawn (riding mower) because the LOVE the grass clippings and the bugs that it stirs up. Buff Orpingtons area a great breed for a small outdoor flock. They are extremely friendly and love people and kids and are great layers. You need to consider the proper size for your birds. 4 sq. ft. per bird for the interior of the coop and 10sq. ft. per bird in the run. You may want to consider building bigger in case you decide you like chickens so much that you want more. Trust me in that this happens OFTEN. Here's my coop:

You would never want to make your chickens live totally inside the coop. And with your fence, it would be a perfect set up for them to free range in your yard. Do you plan to make a run for them attached to the coop like mine? That would be greatly advised. My hens free range all day and are so happy, but there are times when I need to keep them locked in the run (during storms or deep snow). I have a blog that has a ton of helpful information on it. Feel free to check it out. Especially my Coop Management post. I also did a BYC review on Buff Orpingtons. If you check it out, you'll get a glimpse of what you have to look forward with this very unique breed!
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