What could you not live without in your coop?

Wise Woman

12 Years
Apr 12, 2011
My Cottage
After researching here and online most of the winter and figuring out what I do and don't like about my current and past coops, I am just about ready to start on my new coop this weekend hopefully. At least I will be getting the area leveled out and so forth. Real construction will begin in 2 weeks. Anyway, I have been working on my design and I am getting nervous that I will forget something or wish I did something different. I want to cover all my bases. I don't care if it takes 6 months to build this coop, I want it to be perfect so I never have to do this again. This is our 5th and last coop.

So what do you like best about your coop? Did you insulate it, run electricity or water to it or have some special set up like a brooder box that is built in? Do you have solar lights outside or a light inside? What would you do different if you could?

We will be building from scratch a playhouse type coop with an attached, covered run, which will butt up against our big run. So they will have the coop, the covered run and the big run. Come winter, we will enclose the covered run with plexiglas or those clear greenhouse type panels to keep the snow out. All windows and doors will have screens for summer and the coop will be ventilated the whole way around the top.

It will be raised about 2 feet high so I don't have to stoop to clean it. I will have a water station and a heater for winter, a feeding station and a snack station. I will also be putting in one of those hanging balls you can put greens in. I have a really cute idea for a chicken ramp, but I want to wait and show everyone instead of telling them. I will be using dishpans in the nest boxes for easy cleaning and poop hammocks under the roosts. I will also be painting some faux stained glass chickens on all the windows. In the winter, the screens will be covered with plexiglas to keep out any drafts.

We will keep pine shavings in the coop and sand in the run. We will be using hardwire cloth on everything and burying it under the coop as well. The coop will have a paved driveway on one side and a 3 ft wide side walk on the other side. The other two sides will have some sort of rocks or pavers put down on top of the hardwire cloth as well.

We have a perfect location under 3 oak trees. They will get lots of shade in the summer and lots of southern sun in the winter. I think I will be using plywood and covering that with tongue and groove I took from an old cabin. I will be using the old windows from the same cabin for doors. We will have 4 nest boxes. I have 6 now and they only use 2, so I will cut back. I am thinking of making a built in brooder as well, but am not sure I need that as I don't have that many chicks.

So, what am I forgetting? What else should I plan on putting in there? My goals are easy for me to clean, easy for me to care for the chickens, cute and pleasing to look at, and most important, provide a safe, clean environment for the chickens to live in. This coop is highly visible from the street and even though I am not supposed to have more than 4 chickens, no one ever bothers us about it. I would also like a coop I can show to people and give them ideas how to do it in their own yards. Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
I can't imagine what you are forgetting. It sounds great. Mine is a raised coop with attached covered run as well and I love that I don't have to do any stooping or squeezing into small spaces to clean it.
The main thing I could live without is POOP

If you put much more in their they might be living better than people
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Sounds like it's going to be AWESOME! As for the brooder box, a friend of mine ran 1 inch chicken wire inside the coop in the corner. That kept them safe in there. When her chicks are big enough she's going to take the chicken wire down and the whole coop will be back to normal. She clamped the heat lamp next to them. That's a way to do it that is easy
Good luck on the coop and PLEASE keep us posted with pictures!
Glad to see I am not the only one who obsesses about their coop (and I don't even have the chicks yet!) I am making mine a raised walk-in (no stooping over for me!), as I want the option of going inside if weather is crummy to check for eggs, etc. I am also going to make access areas to gather eggs and poop trays from the outside. Will probably have a wall mounted fan for added ventilation, chicken water nipple system in the coop as well as in the run, linoleum covered floor and part way up walls for easy cleaning, entryway with storage area, screened off 1/3 area for Bantams, broodies or anyone else who needs to be separated.
I couldn't imagine not having a dropping board!
I'm spoiled by the auto door in my big coop, and will have one by the end of summer in my bantam coop because I feel so obligated to get out there EARLY to open it. But so far I'm managing to live without it in that coop...

Your coop sounds like it'll have all the bells and whistles!
Oooohh...don't forget your chicken bench or chicken chairs for sitting outside under those big trees watching chicken t.v.!!
I like widows that open, gives lots of ventilation on hot days but can be closed in winter. Also not just hardware cloth but screens on windows too.... so the biting flies and mosquitoes stay out of the coop at night.

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