Chicken Coop Designs

Chicken Coop Designs

When it comes to creating the perfect chicken coop, I think everyone will have a different answer. A lot depends on space, how many chickens you want, and if you are free ranging or needing a run built off of your coop.

At a minimum, your coop will need 3 square feet in the coop per chicken. So if you have 6 chickens, you’ll need at minimum 18 square feet. That said, if you build a run space, you’ll need 10-12 square feet minimum per chicken. So with those same 6 chickens you’ll need anywhere from 60-72 square feet. The more space you can give, the better though. I personally aim to have my run space 12-15 square feet per chicken but my chickens get to free range in our backyard most days.

If you don’t have enough space for your chickens, this can cause stress, pecking other chickens, cannibalism, and even death.

We built our coop from wood and metal and it functions but isn’t pretty to look at. I’m all about function over the look when it came to our first chicken coop. We had a nice shed that was about halfway built for the chickens until a hurricane came and blew it away. With that said we had to then pull it apart and just used the metal sheets that were usable still and built wood frames off of it.

If you prefer to purchase a coop that is easy to build, definitely check out this one. That one has options for the size of the run as well as having wheels to move the chicken coop and run around your yard. This one offers mobility and I think if we have more land or build another coop or buy one, I definitely want it to be mobile. Chickens love the fresh grass and finding bugs. With that, moving them around allows them to find bugs, always have fresh grass, and fertilize your entire yard.

Chicken Coop Roosting Space

When it comes to roost space, I’ve had many people say each chicken needs a minimum of 10-12 inches of roost space per chicken. I’ve found they tend to huddle closer together at night and squish together so they don’t need 10+ inches but always best to have more and not need it than not enough. So if you have 6 chickens you’ll want 60 inches (5 feet) of roosting space in your coop. My coop has a tiered roost with three rows but most squish onto the top row and a few on the second row. It’s rare anyone uses the bottom but I wanted adequate roost space for my chickens.

Chicken Nest Boxes

In addition to your coop, you will need nesting boxes inside your coop. The average amount of nest boxes you’ll need is one per 4-5 chickens. So if you have 6 hens, you’ll want one or two nest boxes. Having two allows your hens to lay an egg in the available box if there is another hen laying.

My personal experience, my hens all prefer to use the same nest box regardless of having three available for our hens. If you build the nest box yourself you’ll want it around 12x12x12 inches. The height will only be on one side. My spouse has built some for our chickens but we’ve also purchased some of these ones from our local feed store. They have held up wonderfully for the year we have been using them so I’d definitely recommend them. You can also buy ones like these metal ones that have a few attached as one piece. I think it’s preference but we have ours on the ground in our coop while many I know have them raise up on a wall in their coop.

Chicken Coop & Runs

How do I know if I can classify my chickens as free range is a common question I’ve seen asked and I don’t feel there is truly any real answer. A lot will depend on who you talk to and the website you are reading on. For me, I feel that letting chickens have access to 25 square feet minimum per chicken in a run space can be free range although it’s more ideal for them to not have a run space to classify as free range. Honestly, this isn’t always ideal or possible due to numerous predators.

I hope this answers some of the more basic questions about chicken care and requirements for their coop and run space. I’d be happy to help answer any questions you have regarding a chicken coop or anything else related to chickens.

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