Total newbie asks "Does this coop design seem ok?"


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 7, 2011
Portland, Oregon
First post here, so hi! I'm about to build my first coop for my first chickens ever, so I wanted to run my plan past you all to see if I'm making any big mistakes (besides not building for the dream flock I already want
. I am raising chicks in the basement bathroom as I write, so the coop needs to go up ASAP. I've been researching for months, and what I've worked out is a very modified Garden Coop design. I plan to extend the coop by a full section (aprx 3'w x 5'd x 8'h) and make the elevated henhouse twice as large. This would make the secure henhouse about 6'w x 5'd x 3'h not including an external (probably communal) nestbox. The coop that encloses the henhouse would have a footprint about 13'w x 5'd, with half the coop at 3'h and half at full 6'h (if that makes sense). Of course I plan to let the ladies roam the bit of property I have-I've started thinking about moveable fencing so I can rotate them around when I'm home to watch over them. During the time we're gone they will have the henhouse/coop and be secure. I should explain that I do live in an urban area but I've seen some pretty big raccoons and neighborhood dogs around, not to mention the ever present red tailed hawks (I've personally banded Red Tails w/an 8' wingspan-tale about chicken soup!). The whole henhouse and coop will be an open top design with the ploy roof above and hardware cloth over the framing to protect and ventilate (coop will be plywood sided/floored for now), and I plan to bury the hardware cloth 1 foot under ground too. I am raising 9 chicks (and am so in love I want MORE abut am holding back and sticking to this for now).

How does this sound to you?

I will have to leave building questions up to others to help u

Iam overwhelmed..with building..hehe
Awesome group of people here, you will love it here
I am currently researching and designing mine too
It can get so overwelming with all that is out there. By reading, it all makes sense. I have a question: Why did you opt for an open rooftop? Will you have windows?

Cannot wait to see pics:) I get my babies in April!
The open roofing is because ventilation of the coop is an issue in the NW. The hen house should be draft free and really well ventilated-nice for the winter rainy months. Although everyone I know here says their chickens prefer being out in the coop over the henhouse, even at night.
Understand the open rooftop design. Go with what you have and change along the way if needed. Good Luck
Coming from someone who has cleaned out 3' high coops (even with an opening roof), it's a pain to clean. I much prefer my coops I can walk into.

Ventillation is key, chickens put off a lot of moisture so they need adequate ventillation or they can end up with respiratory problems. But drafts are bad, it can cause frostbite and they can't keep warm if there are drafts.
I am possibly doing the purina design with adjustments. I also like the walk in design and have read through several posts about a door that you can shovel eveything out into a wheel barrow. Mine will be off the ground due to rain and snow here in Illinois. The more I read, the more adjustments I make. I have spent moretime on this coop than my home!!
You would almost certainly regret that design... there will be no way to reach all the way across the coop (to clean, to retrieve a floor egg, to catch a chicken you really need to catch e.g. b/c injured) without lying on your belly in the pooey bedding. Seriously.

I would suggest either making the coop narrower, no more than 4' across (even 4' is a pretty long reach and can result in some poo on the front of your waist), or rethinking the whole thing and going with a walk-in shed-style coop.

Good luck, have fun,

Having done my planning & built my coop & all I have left is the run

I hope your build goes faster than mine as you have been bold & bought your ckicks first.

So glad i did not buy my birds before i started. I would be in a right mess by now

Good luck with it. Bet you wonder why you started at some stage tho

Reg in UK

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