what do you like to see

teddy k10

Hatching
Jan 26, 2021
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hi there I have joined this forum because I an doing an A LEVEL design project in the UK and I need to find out what you all look for when buying a chicken coop and what would be useful so that I can design a chicken coop that will be ideal for those who want to keep chickens in urban areas and be both ergonomic and aesthetic

thankyou so much everything is useful!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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hi there I have joined this forum because I an doing an A LEVEL design project in the UK and I need to find out what you all look for when buying a chicken coop and what would be useful so that I can design a chicken coop that will be ideal for those who want to keep chickens in urban areas and be both ergonomic and aesthetic

thankyou so much everything is useful!
I like to see a properly sized and ventilated coop first and foremost. A properly ventilated coop does not have a few holes drilled in it for ventilation. Shooting for 1 sq ft of ventilation per bird is good.
The MINIMUM size for the coop should be 4 sq ft per full size chicken and 12 sq ft per bird in the run.
I much prefer a walk-in style coop but realize urban regulations may prohibit that.
 

woodworm

Songster
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May 31, 2015
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Size and ventilation always come up as the most important aspects of coops in almost every build thread on here. Security is another concern but this seems to vary depending on where people live. For example here in Wales our biggest predators are foxes and badgers, but in the USA racoons get mentioned a lot (amongst others).

Personally I didn't want a walk in coop because I felt it maximised the amount of space I had available as it allows the run to go under the coop. I personally don't have access issues as I built my coop with access doors on both sides which allows me to easily reach any part of the coop itself.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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What @DobieLover said.

Large roof overhangs with open soffits and plenty of top hinged windows for max ventilation.
Best to have a run that is weather and predator proof.

"Urban" is a red flag for not enough space, IMO.

Most coops that are for sale, and many plans, are way too small and not well ventilated.
They say you can keep so many birds, but it's usually double the space provided.
They look nice, but are crap, for the birds and the keepers.
 

3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
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Jul 10, 2009
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I wouldn't buy a coop because my DH is a skilled handyman who could build better for much less money, but what I'd like to see available to people who are not skilled handyman is a coop that adheres to the guidelines of:

4 square feet per bird inside the coop.
10 square feet per bird in the run.
1 linear foot of roost per bird.
1 square foot of permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation per bird. The pop door that's closed at night and the windows that are closed in the winter don't count.
Roosts above nestboxes and ventilation above the birds' heads when they're roosting.
Either walk-in or a BIG access door for cleaning that allows us to reach everything with a manure fork.
Solid construction.
Generous roof overhangs to keep rain out of the ventilation spaces.

That is, a coop that looks like a chicken coop for actual chickens not a dollhouse to keep toy chickens in. :)
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
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Nov 12, 2017
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From a design perspective, in an urban area. My first thought was to be inspired by some of the notable urban architecture. Urban architecture tends to have a common problem: fitting a lot into a small ground footprint. You can build up, but only to a point with chickens. They need space to fly down from a roost, for example. They also need space to get out of each other’s way. Some breeds are light and good at flying (Leghorns), but others are heavy and large and can be injured if they have to jump down too far.

Assume there will be some givens: you are designing for 6 chickens (females only) for an urban backyard in the N district (maybe this gives a tip off to your inspired style) as an example.

if you design a raised coop with ground space underneath for chickens, it needs to be 2.5-3’ above the ground. If it is reach-in style, then it would need to be somewhat shallow so a person can reach to the back for clean out. Most people wouldprefer a walk-in coop (unless you need to give this thing a price tag and stay within some kind of cost parameters). A walk-in style allows you more flexibility with design and more space as you are not limited to arms length.

roost space: you should assume 12 inches per bird. A very common style is a roost bar over a poop tray that usually has sand or similar non toxic material spread out on it to make scooping poop easier. Some people just spread out old feed bags and up/toss when covered or they stink. Basically a perch bar centered over a narrow table with a lip. The table will be about 20-24” wide x whatever length needed or available. This offers useable space for storage under the poop tray (poop table). Another style is a ladder roost. Yup, like a ladder leaned up against a wall. We use this ladder style, but the “ladder” is on an approx 45 degree angle to the ground, with the lowest rung about 12-18 inches above the floor.

Space: always helpful with birds. Don’t go narrow, when passing each other, birds need some space and are not so well behaved as to not harass another flock member that is in easy reach. So, never restrict any areas to be really narrow. We have less than 4sqft per bird bc they have so much roost space inside, plus the floor area, and a lot of covered run area, so we don’t typically have any space behavior issues.

Good luck with your project.
 

IamRainey

Crowing
Aug 22, 2017
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The sense I have (from watching Monty Don) is that people in the UK seem to have much smaller coops and runs. (Or am I watching gardeners with chickens rather than chicken keepers?) The population here is mostly American. THRILLED to see all non-Americans add to the community here! but we build bigger and stronger. Possibly because we simply have more space.

You will need to be the judge of what the market there is if what you're contemplating is a commercial product.
 

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