Looking for Something?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chicken Coops

Our chickens give us eggs, meat, and great entertainment.  In return, we want to provide them with the things they need.  When it comes to chicken coop designs, the sky is the limit! So don't be afraid to think outside the box or use items you already have.

There are a few things you will need for your coop:
Coop: The indoor area
Run: The outdoor area
Roost/Perch: A place for them to get off the floor
Nests: A place for them lay eggs
Feeder: For their food
Waterer: For their water
Ventilation: For fresh air

Here are just a few options:

Tractor Style
The benefit of a tractor style is that it is mobile. If you worry about chickens destroying one area of the yard, or if you want to provide the girls with fresh bugs and grass each day, this would be the coop for you.

 The Converted Shed
This is an easy option if you aren't into building something yourself.

 A Raised Coop
This coop would be good if you have limited space. The run (outside area) is underneath the coop taking up less real estate.

Straw Bale
The benefits of a straw bale coop would be that it has really good insulation, I don't know that I would recommend this type of coop without covering the straw with plaster, see the second strawbale image. 

This image is actually a little strawbale cottage, I just wanted to give you an idea of what a finished strawbale structure can look like.
It is my dream to have a beautiful strawbale chicken coop similar to this, but it isn't likely.

Be Creative


What type of coop do you have? What do you like about your coop?


Kara said...

I have the Eglu "Go," and it is amazing. I've had three little chickens since summer and this is my first time with chickens, so the Eglu is all I know, but it is totally awesome. I'm not worried at all about predators, and it is really easy to move, so I drag it all over the yard (currently using the chickens as weed destroyers). Easy to clean, totally weatherproof, it has kept them happy through a cold, rainy winter!

Sarah said...

This is exactly what I needed to see! We are trying to find a cheaper way to build a coop out of recycled "stuff". Thanks for the ideas!

Randi C. said...

I have a question... I am planning to get three chicks this spring, and have my hubby build us a chicken tractor for them. But we live in an area with a very harsh winter. (we just got 14 inches of snow, and it can get down to -20 at night!) What do I do with them in the winter time? I wouldn't be able to move them around, and it would be pointless, seeing as there is no grass anyway...

brookie said...

We have one 12/12 stall in our horse barn covered in chicken wire with nest boxes that have a door that opens to the barn aisle. Now they need a big run this spring. Does it have to have a top on it?

marisa said...

Kara, I was wondering if those who had the eglu liked them, I'm glad to know that you do!

Sara, glad this post was helpful!

Randi, chickens do really well in the winter. Like you said, you wouldn't be moving your coop in the snow, but you could surround the run with straw to help keep drafts out, but still provide ventilation. Check out this post for some other suggestions: http://backyardfarming.blogspot.com/2011/02/reader-question-chickens-in-cold.html

Brookie, the run doesn't HAVE to be covered. I ended up covering mine to help keep other birds out (and eating my feed) and keep my birds in. Covering it will help keep predators out as well. You are so lucky to have a barn!

Cindy said...

Love the coop that looks like a giant egg!

Our coop began as a 4' x 4' x 4' wooden box with a door on the front. We raised it up about 2 1/2 feet off the ground, cut a rectangular hole in the floor and added a ramp, then enclosed the area under the coop. We added wheels and a detachable run so that we can move it around the yard.

Here's a pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cindytabacchi/5466869450/

marisa said...

Cindy, nice job! Thanks for sharing the picture.

courtneyb said...

old dog house and dog run.

Dani said...

Love the ideas, especially the half a car.

Thanks for sharing :-)

daisy said...

I can only aspire to have a coop. We are currently restricted by our HOA and have to wait until we move to have one of these beauties. Love the car one though.

Holly said...

My husband built ours. It's about 4x8 and raised off the ground about one foot. If we had it to do over, we could have made it a lot smaller (only 5 chickens). The coop is inside a 12x24 dog run, however. It works great at keeping out everything but birds that fly in for the feed. We need to cover it again. We used plastic "chicken wire" to cover it before but this did not hold up to snow.

Martha said...

Loving the chicken houses! Just joined the followers on your blog and I've been enjoying reading it.

marisa said...

Welcome Martha, thanks for following us!

Birds, Bees, Berries, & Blooms said...

Darn, with I had found this blog last year when my sister was desperate for a chicken coop. Great ideas. I would like a few hens, but we get so much snow for so long the poor biddies would go nuts.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! We have the Eglu Go. This is our first chicken coop and the girls come home this Sunday. So far it's holding up great in high winds and snow. I think it's going to be a great home and I'm looking forward to adding a cube too.