10 Years
Mar 13, 2009
Northern Kentucky
So, I am planning on about 3-4 standard size birds. I am a bit confused on whether or not I have to have a movable coop. My plan was to make my coop, with a built in, partly covered run. Then when I was out in the backyard letting them out of the run and in the yard. I hope to be able to do this everyday, at least for a little bit. Is this an ok plan? If my coop isnt movable do I put litter in the run? I had some info in the two books I have, but I am really wanting to find some plans with a materials list and maybe instructions. Anyone know where I could get some free, or at the very least not crazy expensive?



Microbrewing Chickenologist
12 Years
Nov 25, 2007
High Desert, CA
We have a stationery coop in a permanent run. The run is partially covered from the weather while the rest is just wire mesh on top. We do the deep litter method in the coop, but the run is bare. I don't see the need to litter the run. As for plans, we searched the 'net for coop plans and found several free sites. Don't remember what they were though...sorry.


10 Years
Mar 13, 2009
Northern Kentucky
Thanks BarkerChickens. I am also planning on doing the DLM, make my life eaiser, right? lol No worries on the sites, I have been looking, but there is a lot of spam out there.


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
Your plan sounds good to me. You do not need to put litter in the run, but it will probably get real muddy at times if you don't do something. Partially covering it will help, but you need to do what you can to keep water from running into it in a heavy rain and set it up so rainwater drains out of it. Otherwise you are going to have a muddy mess. Some people put a layer of small gravel or pea gravel, then cover it with sand. The sand drains real well and the gravel helps keep it from disappearing into the mud. This can get a little exensive. Ifyou have access to regular dirt, especially clay, you can put some dirt in there and try to mound it so it will drain. This will help, but the chickens will take dust baths and wallow out a hole that becomes a mud puddle. I think it is a losing battle to keep it dry, but it can really get bad if you don't try.

I'll include a link to a thread on here that gives a lot of advise on designing coops. A lot of this will not apply to your situation, but you might get some pointers.


I do not have and design plans, but you might try Craigslist to get free materials or sometimes even something you can use as a coop.


12 Years
May 8, 2007
That sounds like a great plan.

I think the Playhouse coop plans would work for you. A few people on the forum have built that one. You can also look at the very top of the page and click on the coop designs link, to get more coop ideas. Many of the people on the forum have done an excellent job of taking pictures of their construction, as a how-to on coop construction. I think that might help you, too.

Here's a link to the Playhouse coop page. He also sells the plans on e-bay.


I thought about building this one for some new pullets and was going to make it 2' longer, so they'd have a 4'x4' house and a 2' longer run.
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11 Years
Apr 9, 2008
Minneapolis, MN
My Coop
My Coop
The playhouse design was the kind of coop that I wanted originally. We ended up going with a shed style, walk in coop because of our MN weather (too cold to have moving winter air underneath the floor). There are plans available for this coop, I think on ebay for $40 or so (???) as well as a video on youtube, but you could probably do just as well working from photos. There are many versions on the coop page and if you do a search in the coop section you will gleen lots of great information. Decide what features you like, draw it up on a piece of paper and plan out your own materials list. Price out your materials and search for some scrap and hand-me-downs from friends. You'll be surprised what you can find for free or at least a good deal. Write up your budget and then double it, (and when you finish with money left over you'll feel like a rockstar).

I have a permanent structure with an attached run, fully covered. I also have sand in the run - between the roof and the sand it is totally dry. I have DLM inside the coop and clean it out 2-3 times per year. No big deal.

Search for ventilation and predator protection and learn all that you can. You'll be fine. Enjoy the process!

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