Some coop questions.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MsChickenMomma, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 2, 2012
    Hello everyone,

    I currently live in the country, and I am used to having big flocks and coops, and never having to worry about neighbors. Until now. In two months I will be moving into the city limits. I just recently downsized my flock of 22, to 8.

    I am trying to come up with a nice coop that will comfortably fit 8 hens, and won't be an eyesore for the new neighbors.

    I have some questions about this. How big would a coop need to be for 8 hens, and how big should the run be?

    If anyone in the city limits has would like to share some pictures of your coop to give me some ideas, I would be so grateful.

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    I believe the requirements are 4 sqft per bird in the coop and 10 sqft per bird in the run. I haven't built a small coop before, but I have some ideas from what I have seen. If you look threw the coop pages some people have built some great multi-level coops to reduce the footprint space for small backyards. Also, for the eye sore thing, some have converted garden sheds into coops. Unless they know there are chickens there they would never be able to tell from those designs. A 4'x8' or a 6'x6' would be good for the coop size or you could do levels and make that footprint smaller. The best ideas on this are going to be if you give us a few more details.

    Can it look like a coop or does it need to look like something that would normally be found in a backyard? What kind of space are you looking at for the chickens to be in? Are you looking to build or to remodel something you already have? What are your must haves?
  3. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2013
    New Jersey
    These dimensions are incredibly large. 10sqft per bird in the run is way too difficult to contain a bird in a more consolidated area. I believe that the requirement for the coop would be 2 SQFT per bird and then the run could be anywhere from 2-5 SQFT per bird. Keep in mind that the coop doesn't need to be huge...put more effort into the run where they will spend more time. I would do the smallest possible for the coop (probably 20 sqft and then put the rest as space in the run!
  4. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 2, 2012
    Sorry, I probably should've given a few more details. I'm thinking it should look more like something you would typically find in a suburban backyard, to reduce the risk of complaints. We won't have anything to remodel in the yard, so we'll have to start from scratch.

    I would really like my chickens just to have a small coop (big enough to keep them happy in the winter), with a decent sized run attached. I don't really have any must haves for the coop, so I'm open to any ideas.

    I am used to building all of my coops in the corners of already existing barns, so I'm not sure how I want the new coop to look. I really like the shed designs that people use, but those all seem so big. I just want something small that will easily contain a maximum of 8 birds. Im thinking maybe a 6x6 ft coop, and I'm not sure about the size of the run.

    Our new yard will have a privacy fence, so it's not like it has to be super fancy. But I would like it to still look nice enough that if anyone were to see it, they wouldn't make complaints about it.

    The city we are moving to JUST started allowing backyard chickens, so I'm really wanting to make a good impression so that they don't decide to take back their decision.

    Thanks again for the help. :)
  5. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2013
    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    I would go with a shed style coop, which is a pretty common sight in loads of backyards, minues the run. Find an old one and repurpose, or buy a new one from a big box store when they are on sale.
  6. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2013
    a lot of yards in the city are small enough you could fence in your whole back yard. I know a guy that lives in the city that fenced in his whole back yard and lets his chickens free range all time it works great for him.
  7. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    The 4 sq. ft. per large breed bird in coop and 10 sq. ft. per same in run is recommended by a number of sources. Of course, Bantams need less space. You can get away with less space in a tractor provided they have a protected area to go to during the day should there be bad weather.

    The University of Missouri extension office has put together guidelines for poultry that states 4 sq. ft. in coop and 10 sq. ft. in run along with other advice:

    I would think the main reason for the sq. footage recommendation is to prevent pecking issues and disease caused by overcrowding.
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I'm a big fan of chain link fence for a run. Mainly due to ease of setting up 10x6 panels and mine was very inexpensive clearance when purchased. With a privacy fence like I have too the birds can get hours of free range summer afternoons and a 10X10X6 kennel looks "normal" if not actually pleasing to the eye. 100 sqft run is a good space for the birds when confined, I have 6-8 birds in winter.

    This is a fairly simple construction and well suited coop for town limits:

    I forgot to add that in lieu of normal plywood you can use a T-111 siding which can have rough side and varies in width of router lines. It akes an exterior stain well so can be solid color or a wood tone. I didn't word that well so here is what I mean: Below is rough surface with 4" spacing router lines.

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  9. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    You could make a coop that looks like a shed in the front and open into a run in the back and maybe a hidden side. If you do it 6' wide and 4' deep that would be a nice coop size and make the 6'wide side (front) look like a storage shed. Then fence off behind it for a run. Unless someone is in your yard they wouldn't have a clue from the looks. They will just think you have a garden shed back there. Plus, with the height of sheds you can put the roost and a poop board above the nesting boxes (with a ramp up) to conserve floor space. It is also normal to see windows in sheds so that is a plus.
  10. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 2, 2012
    That's a good idea! Thanks! We are working on planning a coop right now, so I'll add that to our list of options.

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