Please give advice for the coop


In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 17, 2013
Brand new to chickens as of a month ago. Got three chicks, though I couldn't even tell you what they were. One is white, one is golden, and the last is dark. Got them from a co-op and wanted a little variety. Anyway, built what I guess I would consider to be a decent run for three of them. 4x15 area inside a car port with a gravel bottom, then a small hole through the carport wall to another 4x15 area outside with grass. All is 2x4 framed with chicken wire on the bottom, side, and top of the run. The carport piece is next to the shop, which is where I intend to build the coop. I cut a hole in the wall of the shop and plan on running a plank down to the gravel bottom of the run in carport. I have a 4x10 area cleared in the shop to build the coop, but that is where it stops. I have a few questions about what to do with the coop. Could I wall in 4-5 feet of it with plywood, and leave the rest open/exposed to the shop with just chicken wire as barrier or does the whole thing need to be enclosed? If I wall the whole thing in, the only light that would enter the coop is from the hole to the outside. Should I put a window that looks into the shop? One of the two existing walls of the shop I was going to use has OLD sheetrock on it. Will the chickens peck it to pieces (should I cover it with plywood)? The hole that leads to the outside run is about 18" high and a foot or so wide. Do I need to put something there to stop wind/breezes in the winter time (I live in the pacific northwest where we get down into the 20s, and occasionally into the teens, though not often)? Should I build each of the hens her own nesting box? From what I have read so far, it sounds like painting over the wood floor/walls is advised. I have a white, flat-roof sealant I used on my roof. Would that be good for the floor of the coop? Any advice on which type of bedding to use in this area - pacific northwest, but the shop is dry with no leaks - just OLD wood (built in the 50s)? Chicks are a month since we got them, and assuming they were a couple weeks old at that point, how soon should I be letting them into the run? They are pretty much fully feathered. I feel like I need to hurry up and finish the coop. They are currently in a 3x3x3 (maybe 4x4x3) crate with a heat lamp. It currently gets down to the mid-30s at night and mid-50s during the day. Sorry for so many questions, just trying to get it all out there! Thank you for reading and/or responding...
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I'm not a very good builder, but I can tell you you only need one nest box for the three.
The walled-in part will depend completely on your weather. I'm in the hottest part of the US, and we don't really even have coops because it all has to be open, to keep temps down. It's so dry that we didn't add any bedding, I just go in and shovel up the dirt/poop mix for compost every couple weeks. The chickens are definitely old enough to go outside as soon as they're ready, but they don't need to go out until they start pecking at each other...that's what tells you they need more space.
A window would be a good idea if you can manage it, or just an inside light. Having light is what triggers laying.
I think not covering the hole would be okay, if the rest of the coop is sufficiently covered. You don't want it too tight or you'll have ventilation issues.

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