In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 8, 2012
I have been pouring over every coop pictured on BYC, and would like to hear from you folks with lots of experience.

My coop will be constructed of 6'' thick SIP panels. Approx. 8' wide x 12' long, and 8' height at the top of the walls. ( I will determine how to use the "attic space"...and suggestions here are welcome too!)

My goal is to make this coop as low maintenance as possible. To reduce the amount of time required to keep it clean on a daily basis.

All input will be appreciated!


Heavy Vinyl flooring that runs at least 18 inches up the wall.

roof vents (my coop is 10 x 20 and I have three) they were only $8.00 each at Lowes (what a difference on smell, and I was well vented before that) now everything rises up and out carried by the warm air rising. instead of just moving back and forth with the windows and side vents.

A dedicated clean out door or easy access to the man door with the litter

A single long roost bar with a wide poop tray below. I tried multiple levels and other designs...they were always harder to get the poo to fall where you wanted it on the catch boards.

Those are the biggies for me. Sounds simple enough, but Ive tried a lot of styles to come up with those simple solutions..LOL
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All Bario said. Though I prefer DLM to a poop board.
Nest boxes with outside access for collecting eggs.
Make sure you can unlock the coop door from the inside.
Run water and electricity out to the coop.
The electricity id for a light you can see by and a heater water bowl in the winter.
Chickens do not need heat lamps so save your money.
Make sure the nest boxes are below the roost.
Use a 2x4 with the wide side up for a roost.
Use heavy gauge wire and hardware cloth.
Chicken wire does not protect your chickens, it protects your garden from chickens.
Hey Chick Obs... you say vinyl on walls AND floor? That's what I wanted to do, but everyone told me NO... just the plywood with straw on the floor. (P.S. I have ducks and a goose). Would it work?
Thanks folks! I have some rookie questions - hope you don't mind. And - if there are threads I have over-looked please direct me to them if that saves your time. I don't want to abuse anybody's generosity.

***bairo***- the flooring and 18'' kickboard/coving up the wall sounds good. I am guessing it keeps the poop from sticking to the wood or concrete sub floor...? If that is true, I will look into applying several coats of floor wax to the vinyl just before putting down the bedding materials too....

And - roger on the vents! Anyone use a low speed, small "draw fan? Nothing big enough to feel a draft - just for positive air movement? ( I am thinking that even a computer fan or similar up high, located in the vent, and a similar sized Intake with louvered grate down low on opposite end of chicken house...thoughts?

The clean out door....I am thinking about a trap door in the floor that has a catch pan/bucket below it. That will allow mw to carry the waste and used bedding to the composter easily. Ideas?

The roost: I see some folks prefer a 2'' x 4'' with the 4'' side parallel to the floor...and some prefer the "natural" shapes of branches that are free of rough surfaces. I know they will both work - but are there advantages/disadvantages? ( At first glance - the 2''x4'' is easier to find and work with, but with that wide flat surface, will *IT* become a poop catcher?) And - the single bar approach above an easily removable tray - or some quickly cleaned collection area - seems smart to me. I need to refine this design area for sure.... I will look intot he PDZ - smell is a big factor to the Mrs.

***cargo***- what is a DLM? ( I have had Double Layered Mayo on a BLT...? Not the same I bet!
) I am liking the 5-gallon bucket style nesting boxes, which are mounted thru the wall. Anyone here use them? Love them? Hate them? Reasons? Water and electricity for sure! ( Will also install a skylight if I can find a salvage yard price on one or more.)
And - point taken on the nest box height, and heat lamps. This coop will be so well insulated I believe that making sure the latent moisture/humidity inside it will be more important than most.
Not sure I understand the 2''x4'' preference - but for bigger chickens, it makes sense? Much poop collecting on the roost? Understood on the heavy gage wire vs chicken wire.

***Reyvaughn*** understood on the outside egg collection....but on the outside food and water access - do you mean that outside and inside food and water should be provided? That is my plan.
As it is a "walk-in" style coop/chicken house I will have access tot eh water and food fairly easy. I plan to automate both the food and water to some degree.

***Scott*** - I will look up the poop-hammocks, tho the very name does not create a feel good image....

THANK YOU ALL...and - keep 'em coming!
I mean inside food/water that you access from the outside to fill. ;)
Also, make sure you have a board in front of all doors to keep litter in. I have a few lacking that and it drives me nuts.
Reyvaughn- Got it! And - the board could be fit into a "pocket" so it is removable, so I can see the benefit there!

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