What is a good beginner coop? What have you done that worked and didn't work?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by afisher25, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. afisher25

    afisher25 Hatching

    Oct 7, 2013
    Hi! My name is Anna and I am getting into chicken raising. I am looking to write an e-book on chicken raising to help beginners like me have a great start. If you can contribute your insights that would be awesome! Here are a few questions I have.

    What questions did you have when you first started looking at a coop for your chicken?

    If you have a couple more minutes...

    What is a good basic starter coop for someone who is just beginning to raise chickens?

    What do you wish you would have done differently with your coop and what do you love about your coop?

    Thanks so much!
  2. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    Jun 21, 2009
    [​IMG] I have two styles of coops, one is a pallet coop which was inexpensive to build and I have an a frame coop where the chickens are on top and the tractor is on the bottom, nest boxes on either side and roosting the in the top middle.

    What I like about both styles is that they protect my chickens from predators. I can lock them up at night and have not lost chickens to predators.
    I think that they are both easy to clean. The A frame coop has hay which I layer in so that I can roll out the dirty hay with a pitch fork.

    Painting the coop will preserve the wood. I painted the a frame coops a year after building them and I wish I had painted them before the chicks ever went to live within the coop. The painted surfaces are easier to clean.

    The Pallet coop has vinyl flooring which is a snap to clean. The wide doors make clean up easier and since I do not like to stoop over I lifted the coop up and that was a plus too.

    The easier you make access to clean the coop the more likely you will clean it.

    Just my humble opinion
  3. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chirping

    Sep 24, 2012
    Do you need an enclosed run as well? How many chickens?

    If you are a typical backyard chicken farmer with 3-6 birds then something similar to the Wichita coop is hard to beat...

    In any case a walk in run and easy access to the coop is essential.
  4. chynasparks

    chynasparks Songster

    Jun 21, 2013
    If you have a few minutes you can click on my album below. Pictured is my starter coop. Hubby and I know very little about raising chickens, but he is no stranger to working with wood. This structure is as solid as can be. I got 95% of my advice and ideas from BYC. Thanks to all you experienced posters! Everything is working great. We made a design flaw. We created a ledge on the upper level where they enter the nest / roost area. They would go in, they huddled up together on that ledge for the night so the were sitting in their poop. I found a decorative solution and they started going inside. I wishe we would have made the nest house bigger. Perhaps we could have built the nest box like an extention giving them a bit more walking room. They aren't laying yet so we will see later if we need to make a modification. Storage, I wish we would have created space for storing feed and other things like scratch. What hubby did was put most of it together with wood screws. With his know how we can make modifications and add ons fairly easy. We deffinitly wanted to be able to walk in for cleaning and just hanging out with them. But the biggest tip I can give, and you will find that written by BYC'ers, build before you buy chickens. I didn't do that and we felt the pressure of their rapid growth. Get the housing worked out first it will be less stressful in the long run.
  5. afisher25

    afisher25 Hatching

    Oct 7, 2013
    Wow, these are awesome replies. Thank you so much!! It seems like there are so many variables and tricks out there. What resources do you guys wish you had when you were first starting?
  6. chynasparks

    chynasparks Songster

    Jun 21, 2013
    MONEY! There are so many fantastic coops out there. I would love to create a beautiful coop from one of those fancy custom play houses. The chickens don't care, all they need is protection from the eliments and predators, a safe place to roost and nest. How humans provide that is the human's choice. I wanted a pleasing to the eye coop because my yard is just a stone's throw from our city hall/PD station. All their outdoor festivities are right outside my back door. So, you see, a poorly constructed lean too type of coop just wasn't going to do it for me. Plus I must make sure I control odor for all the same reasons. Building the coop is the most expensive part of it all. That was my wish list. Our coop cost us about $700 to build. That was our vacation money. I'm glad we spent it on the coop.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  8. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Songster

    May 1, 2009
    Rockford MI
    My Coop
    If they are in your area, try checking out a ReStore for building supplies. We got the glass for our tractor cottage there and took the panel out of a kitchen cabinet door and used that for the door.


  9. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    Poop boards 3½ inches below removable 2x4 roost in cups WORKED.

    Pop door 6 inches above floor (should have been 12 inches above floor) worked NOT this is in a 4x8 foot print coop.
  10. ChickenCrazy123

    ChickenCrazy123 Chirping

    Jul 7, 2013
    This is from our first time having chickens how much you learn some from good experiences[​IMG] and others sad ones[​IMG]. Wished we had made sure we had away to hang the food and water containers in the coop house before buying it[​IMG] . Also on a sadder note we got the coop and run all set up. The run is made up of two 10x10x6 dog kennels put together to make a 20x10x6 and then put chicken wire around it and at the bottom of it we thought it was safe. The first day outside for our girls in the run and a snake got in a killed one of our girls. We learned the hard way expect the unexpected. I never thought a snake would go after a bigger sized chicken. Eggs and young birds yes but not one as big as she was. We put everyone up in the house and went and bought bird netting and put it around the run. Its been awhile and so far we have not had another run in with it. What did work great is these waterers and feeders we made for the outside run. I also like that we got different breeds. There are alot of different breeds out there so chicken people have a wide variety to chose from based on what you want in a chicken looks or for eggs or meat or all three. I would talk about some of the best breeds for eggs and meat and about some interesting looking chickens that are pretty like Silkies, Polish, Cochins, Serama, Mille Fleur d'uccles, etc.. That would have been nice when we started off to have all this info from other people and what breeds are best for what all in one place. Good luck with your book and hope this gives you some ideas or help[​IMG]



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