When Building a Coop Should I....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FirstTimer, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. FirstTimer

    FirstTimer Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 3, 2009
    have somthing above to stop rain? because in my mind a coop was just a bunch of chicken wire and 2 by 4's
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    What you're describing sounds more like a run, an area where the chickens can get outside and "exercise" and enjoy fresh air. Most people (unless in a very warm weather area such Florida, California, etc....and even they have a covered area), use a little "house" of some kind for sleeping and night time protection. See the coop pages for ideas...
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    A coop is an actual structure, with walls and a roof. It provides shelter from the weather and protection against predators. What you're thinking of is a pen, also called a run.

    Most people have a coop with a run attached to it. I have 4 pens, 2 of which have actual coops, the other two are roofed pens only. (The covered tops protect against the weather and hawks.)
    Chicken wire is just that- it will keep a chicken in it's run. It will not protect agains predators at all.

    There are a lot of coop/run pics here, some even have drawings of the plans.

    Use this link: https://www.backyardchickens.com/coopdesigns.html

    luck, once you get started you end up building to match your house! [​IMG]
  4. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Welcome to BYC, site of the friendliest most helpful folks ever.

    For optimal egg-laying the chooks need to have a dry, clean, secure space with plenty of ventilation and adequate light, but with no drafts near where they roost in cold weather. Drafts in warm weather are desireable. Ventilation best if at top of coop interior on more than one wall. N wall is usually not used for that, but ok in lots of areas. In other areas it should have a door to stop wind from that direction in cold weather. Do not concern yourself with cold unless it is very cold in winter where you live.

    Do not underestimate predators. They are both cunning and patient and in minutes can undo what you have spent months or years on. Do make the roost place higher than the nests are. Do make a weatherproof bump-out for nest boxes if coop is small. Do allow minimum 4 sq ft/bird inside and min 10 sq ft/bird for outside/run. Do not trust chicken wire to keep preds out. Many can chew thru it or rip it apart. Use welded wire and on the bottom 24" to 32" use hardware cloth mesh over that all around. Do build to eliminate preds digging their way in. Windows that open on 3 sides are best for optimun ventilation. Air out coop daily if possible. use deep litter method. Wood chips best, I use grass clippings and leaves for both floor litter and nest liltter because I have tons and it is free. Run water and electricity to site. You will be glad you did. Do not pick a place where drainage is poor for the run.

    Keep up with this site for best suggestions. Lots of accumulated experience here. Take all the time needed to come up with a good design with an eye towards all the things I mentioned plus lightening your work load as well.

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