setting up my first coop


May 18, 2015
My hubby and i are doing research into getting some chooks my hubby had them as a kid and i have always wanted some.
This is the coop we are looking into getting it says it can house up to 9 chickens but we only want 6 so a little extra room will be beneficial. It has 6 nest boxes in total the ones you can see in the picture and 3 at the back. We want this to be placed straight on grass however ive read they make a mess of grass with their scratching can we put standard chicken wire or larger mesh onto the flooring so the grass can poke through without getting fully ripped up? We would also be moving it around to give the grass a rest.. It also means the birds dont have to be shut inside the main coop over night they can come out and have a peck at grass if we happen to sleep in.. They will be given opportunity to free range when wete home to supervise we have dogs so free ranging without us at home is not an option
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Generally, commercial coops will actually house half the chickens they say, at best. And 9 chickens need only two nest boxes. What is the square footage, or measurements, of the actual floor space inside the coop? Also, the amount of outdoor space provided under that coop is probably only enough for about 2.

The rule of thumb here, which is a minimum to prevent serious pecking, feather pulling, and cannibalism. is 4 sq ft per bird in the coop and 10 sq ft per bird in the run. Chickens actually are happier with a good deal more than that.

Also, if you are in a warmer area, they really only need a 3 sided shelter with an attached wire mesh run. Here are a couple of links that I hope will be hepful. Also, and especially if you live in the far northern US or in Canada. please see the links in my signature line.

Good luck!
We live in queensland, australia so summers are hot and winters can get cold.. Can you tell me the dimensions in meters for 6 chooks please i dont understand feet measurements..
Honestly the money you spend on one of those prefab coop, you can start collecting materials to build your own coop, which will be larger and more secure than the prefab. Backyard coop help me to utilize what stuff I already had and then I went hunting for cheep and free stuff. I used an old book shelf as the nest box, kitchen cabinets as doors and took apart an old sofa to use as the base floor and roof. When it was done I spent about 500.00us on it and it is still holding up to the weather and wild rodents.

It's not the prettiest, but it works and my six hens like it.
Would the chicken wire or larger mesh work on the floor to allow grass to grow without them ripping it all up? Or am i just gonna have to live with a dirt floor run eventually? Can you do a planted coop so the dirt floor looks nicer?
A meter is a little over 3ft., so about a square meter per bird, for you. A coop for six hens should have 22-24 sq.ft. (7.3 - 8sq.m.) of space for them to walk around in, with no nesting boxes or feeders in the way. The coop should, then, be 4'x 6', (1.3x 2m) or 3'x 8' (1 x 2.6m). Each non-bantam hen will need 4sq.ft. of indoor space if they only have 10sq.ft. outside, but you can give them a little less if you expand their pen. Do not go below 3sq.ft. per bird, they will want all the space indoors the can get during the winter. If you keep the chicken coop in one place for longer than two or three weeks, your chickens will eat all the grass to bare ground. If you move it (and a coop for 6-'9' hens will be heavy, but that one might not hold up to being moved repeatedly) then they will never have enough time to eat all the grass. You can make a run or a tractor for use during the day, and have the coop be in a permanent location. Another thing you can do is to make a wooden box and cover it with hardware cloth (1/2" mesh) to make a sort of plant tent, and as the grass and/or weeds grow up through the mesh it will get eaten, but not dug up. If you put mesh directly on the ground, this might prevent them from killing the grass, but it will also prevent them from scratching up and eating bugs or dust bathing, and will need to be scraped clean of poop accumulation.

Is that accurate, everybody? Did I miss anything important?
Howdy Kimberly4403 and welcome to BYC

As always with BYC, you have received great advice regarding the coop and run size etc and I really cannot add more.

What I would like to mention is that I also live in Queensland and have learnt that the chickens spend very little time in the coop, besides when sleeping and egg laying, the majority of their time is spent outside in the run. Even when it is raining, they do not go into the coop and actually shelter under covered areas I have for them in the run.

I have also learnt that, in our climate, the bigger the run the better.

I like that the run is covered, also a good thing in the wet season.

I have 6 bantams and if I was looking at that coop for them, I would summarise that the coop itself is probably too big and the run no where near big enough.

They have a supervised free range session every day.

I actually have two kit-coops which I have joined together (chicken math necessitated expansion) and they are approximately two years old. They have done OK, but have faded and are looking a bit worse for wear. The doors have warped a little and the extended nest box (similar to that coop) has started to droop.

When the time comes that they are just not cutting it I will definitely be going with something sturdier and maybe even look at building from scratch.
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If we were to go something like the picture i showed you still would that whole think be classed as a coop then we would just need to add a 3x2m extention run onto that?? Or does the 2x2m coop mean entire thing closed no access to outside at all
Remember that as your cute chick get bigger they make bigger a bigger mess and you should ask your self how are you going to clean it. That is why I made my run so that it is covered and I can still walk in and clean it quickly every day. Put the crap in a composting area and keep the birds happy and healthy. Those prefabs are not that tall.

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