Chicken coop advice

  • Chicken coop advice

    Posted by Sharp-Steading on May 18, 2023 at 3:17 pm

    Okay so I’m wanting to build a chicken coop for my chickens to move in to (right now they’re in a small temporary one), but I’ve been really stumped. I’m not sure if I want to build a walk-in coop or one that’s elevated. For reference, the coop is going to be 13ft long (or deep) and probably about 5-6ft wide. If anyone could give any advice or even just pros and cons, it would be greatly appreciated!

    Sharp-Steading replied 9 months, 2 weeks ago 9 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Hanidu-Farms

    May 18, 2023 at 3:21 pm

    If you want to deep mulch your coop/chickens then you want to have it on the ground.

  • Dian

    May 18, 2023 at 4:16 pm

    For any coop that large, I’d recommend having it on the ground and walkable height, unless you have only a few chickens and have coop elevated to make it easier to get the eggs and attach a long, tall run to it. The latter is what I’ve done for five hens and one rooster.

  • Freeholder

    May 18, 2023 at 4:17 pm

    I’ve had quite a few chicken coops and tractors over the last forty-five years. For coops, I strongly advise making it easy to get in and out of with cart or wheelbarrow loads of bedding (in) and manured bedding (out). So you want it on the ground with a wide doorway. Preferably with an airlock entry — one door, then enough room to close the first door, then a second door. This will minimize birds escaping while you go in and out.

    You also want good headroom, for your sake. I have chickens in three different structures right now; two were here on the property when I bought the place, and one was given to me by a friend. The one my friend gave me is elevated, and really inconvenient for getting in and out of it; once I’m in, there’s not enough headroom for me to stand straight. The other two both have low ceilings and I have to be careful not to bump my head. I’m short at 5’3″; when someone taller visits, they have to duck down.

    It would be really handy to be able to collect eggs and fill feeders and waterers without having to go into the pens, too. I don’t mind going in with my birds; even my roosters are pretty well-behaved. But it would speed daily chores up to be able to just go down the row taking care of things from outside the pens.

    All of my current poultry housing has at least one wall that is mostly wire for good ventilation. In the deep south, you could have all four walls wire (small-mesh, to prevent predators from getting in, and heavy-gauge wire to keep predators from tearing holes in the wire), with maybe sliding doors to cover the sides most of your wind comes from in a bad storm.

    If you plan to try to breed your own replacement birds, the ability to divide your coop into at least three breeding pens is useful, too. You don’t need to keep them separated all the time, just divide the birds into breeding flocks about four weeks before you intend to start collecting eggs for hatching. So the dividers could be wire panels that could be taken out most of the time.

  • Freeholder

    May 18, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    A couple more things: If at all possible, build in an area to store feed, bedding, extra feeders and waterers, oyster shell, an egg basket, and whatever you use for cleaning equipment. And an area built in for brooding chicks would be really helpful. The more efficient your layout is, the easier it is to do chores even if you are in a hurry or not feeling well or whatever may hinder. Makes it easier for your caretaker, too, if you need to go away and have someone else doing your chores.

  • DeeDee

    May 18, 2023 at 7:31 pm

    The one thing I wish we would have done with ours, is have a front and back doors. It would make it so much easier to do things. Since ours has a door that opens to the driveway and their yard is in opened the to our backyard. Just a thought. Hubby is going to put a door in the back as soon as the doc releases him to do normal activities.

  • EvW

    May 18, 2023 at 11:42 pm

    Eyeball what others have done.

    • PapaSlim

      May 19, 2023 at 12:07 am

      There’s some good ideas on building hoop house on YouTube

  • Susquehanna-Homestead

    May 19, 2023 at 10:16 am

    The benefit of an elevated coop is decreased rat habitat and entryways into the coop, but being able to comfortably walk into your coop is probably more important. Remember, you’re going to be going in and out of the coop everyday, and if it’s a hassle to do so your coop might not be kept as clean and maintained as it should be.

    • Sharp-Steading

      May 20, 2023 at 1:49 pm

      That’s what I was thinking because I definitely want ease of access. But we also have a lot of snakes and mice on the farm so that’s why I’m thinking elevated

  • Squashmania

    May 19, 2023 at 3:08 pm

    I LOVE my mobile coop. I hate scooping poop, and have enough grass to rotate paddocks using mobile poultry netting. I power wash it once or twice a year, I have milk crates with astroturf for nesting boxes (they like red best, orange second and will NOT use black. There are many styles from human moveable to tractor moveable.

    I built Justin Rhodes’s Chickasaw 2.0, that is good for up to 15 chickens, but he has other sizes.

    Polyface micro is a good book for resources.

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