Layouts & Designs for Chicken Coops : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I am looking for some plans and designs for the backyard chicken coop. Before building mine, I want to view some different styles and designs. Anyone have ideas or know of books and materials that feature complete designs? Many of the recommended poultry books are lean on plans. I live in Maryland and am trying to decide on a free-standing separate building or using part of a long tool shed that is open on one side.

-- Derrick Comfort (, October 10, 1999


We built a Chicken coop that was featured in a 1998 edition of countryside. Basically it is 6'by 6' by 6' with a 3' by 6' closed in area( raised 3 foot off te ground) The whole house is on wheels and rolls around the yard to give fresh grass daily. We built it out of scrap 2"x2" and scrap vinyl siding--the estimated cost was 160 dollars but we built it for 40 dollars (the cost was for chicken wire and wheels. If you would like a picture(and that was all we had to build it by) E-mail me and I'll send you one. I do know you could find the article in a 1998 edition of countryside, complete with the picture. Our house keeps 5 laying hens and 1 unruly rooster. Good luck

-- Joel Rosen (, October 11, 1999.

You are right that most books are lean on plans. We built a strawbale coop and used a mix of several ideas that we got from various publications. The main thing is to give the chickens enough space; we used 4 sq ft per bird as a guideline. The best coop design that we found was in "A Guide to Raising Chickens" published by Storey Animal Handbooks.

The strawbale construction seems to be a good idea. We live in south central Kentucky and it got pretty hot this year. With the sb construction the coop was always comfortable for the chickens, not too hot. We hope in the winter that it will stay warm for them.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Doug & Jo Shutes

-- Doug Shutes (, October 14, 1999.

I saw a coop once that had a doorway on the back side that permitted you to reach in and scrape the manure out from under the roosts. The doorway was about 2 ft. wide and the length of the roosts. It hinged on the top. It was great because this was where the most of the manure accumulated. If and when we re-do ours, we will definately put one of these doors in.

-- Marci (, October 15, 1999.

Check out cyborganic/people/feathersite. Several links to coop designs and lots of other chicken related info. john

-- john leake (, November 03, 1999.

There is a book called "Raising Chickens the Modern Way". It's advertised in Countryside magazine. It has a ton of information.

-- Dan (, December 21, 1999.

Sorry, I think the name of the book is "Raising Poultry the Modern Way". I have a copy, but I lent it to a relative, so I can't look at the title. And all my magazines are packed away. Hope this helps! ! !

-- Dan (, December 21, 1999.

a chicken coop layout you might want to look into is the Composting Chicken House. The basic premise is that the house would have "natural ventilation and a composting floor to control both odor and temperature and to produce fertilizer". The floor coops the coop warm in winter and cool in summer. Information is available from ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas 800-346-9140 in articles "Sustainable Chicken Production", "Kerr Center's chicken house" and "Down on the Farm". The concept outlined seems to go beyond just throwing the scraps on the chicken floor.

-- Dena Rauch (, December 29, 1999.

A feature I saw in some book and that I did add to my house was having the nest boxes open from outside the house. This has been a wonderful item. No longer do I have to enter the house to collect eggs. I think this will be something I will always have in every future hen house.

-- Dena Rauch (, December 29, 1999.

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