Two small coops or one large?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChickiChica, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. ChickiChica

    ChickiChica In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2011
    Humboldt County, CA
    Hi all,

    Looking for a little advice from the more experienced here:

    I'm planning to expand my current coop - which is housed inside a fully enclosed run - both to give my current flock of 6 a bit more room and also to allow for the possibility of adding 4-6 more chickens at some point. I was thinking to just expand off the back side of the current coop, but given that all it would take to make the "expansion" into it's own coop would be one wall, I'm wondering if over the long term it might be more practical to just have the two smaller coops. Any thoughts on this? Would they use two coops, or just all crowd into one? I was thinking in terms of trying to introduce more birds, it might make sense for there to be the option to have two coops, and also the ease of being able to move them around easier if wee need to.

    Thanks for any feedback, you guys are great!

  2. wava1vaughn

    wava1vaughn Songster

    Jun 24, 2011
    Cairo Ga.
    Hi from Ga. having 2 coops is fine at night they'll pick and chose which one to go in. In 2 of my pens I have Australian Light Sussex about 20 of them. I let them out in the morning at night when we go to put them up they go into different pens not necessarily the same one they were in the night before. [​IMG]
  3. ChickiKat

    ChickiKat Songster

    Jul 10, 2011
    Eastern Kansas
    you know, maybe I am greedy, but if I could have two coops I sure would.... the more the better eh!
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I've had up to 3 tractor/coops inhabited at once. Which ever coop the bird "grew up in" they tended to always go back to. One exception is when my ee hen found out there was an ee roo of age who slept in the tractor to the side... she moved in with that bunch of hens. LOL

    I had mulitple coops that all free range the same area b/c it's nice to be able to separate age groups till they are all ready to co-habitate. Adults don't tend to harass youngsters free ranging.

  5. ChickiChica

    ChickiChica In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2011
    Humboldt County, CA
    Sounds like I'm hearing votes for multiple coops.

    So the follow on question is - if I do build multiple coops, and they are all housed in the same run, do I need to have nesting boxes in each one?
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  6. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chirping

    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    Two ideas here for you to ponder.

    One is a consideration if you decide to expand at all in the future, which is a real possibilty and become a chicken addict like most of us.

    I have 2 coops, one larger and one smaller. Larger coop and run came 2nd for me. I have one coop on each end of the runs. The runs are offset, but have a door between them, so I can open up the runs and coops to everyone, or I can close the door between the runs, which works wonderfully if I buy new chickens, or if I have chicks. My runs are covered with 1x2 welded wire. The smaller run has chicken wire lining the welded wire, 3 ft up, so chicks can't slip through it. Once everyone is integrated, I open up the run door and they all have access to the runs and the coops.

    I also have a removable wood divider in my small coop, with a 3x3 small animal cage attached to it. I use this area when I have a broody, or chicks, or a sick one that I want to keep separated.

    I use extended lighting in the winter to keep my hens laying, but normally, in the winter, I close off the runs and put my older hens in the smaller coop and run without lighting so they can have a natural rest.
  7. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Songster

    Feb 18, 2011
    I have two coops. My younger girls always sleep in one and my older girls always sleep in the other. I have a nest box in each and oddly, the girls will lay in either house. Here is a pic of the setup... the second coop is under the green tarp

    The run by Raven Wren Designs, on Flickr

  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:Well.. mine free range the same area and they tend to go back to their home coops to lay... however, they will also lay in hay bales, behind tires, and in the cat boxes...
  9. Hollywood Hen

    Hollywood Hen In the Brooder

    May 3, 2011
    I have two - a main coop and a small one that open onto the same run. It is nice to have a secondary coop (my husband calls it the summer house) for younger hens who would get picked on in the flock. This way, by the time they get to be full sized, they've gotten to know the other girls pretty well. When it's time for them to all move in together, it just takes a few nights for them to learn to roost in the big coop that they've been wandering in and out of for a couple of months.

    Then again, it's kind of a ridiculous amount of infrastructure for a little backyard flock, when you throw in the little brooder and the big husband thinks I'm nuts.

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