Your chickens have grown and thrived in the brooder and it is time for them to go out to their permanent home. By this point they have gotten too big for the brooder box, your spouse is tired of the smell and constant dust from all the flapping, and luckily they can tolerate the outside temps. So its time to move your chickens outside.
A coop can be just about anything. Most people use a small building. Some construct or purchase a small coop. Still others use a barn, and I have even seen an old dilapidated car turned into a chicken coop. There are many options and no one right answer, but there are some necessary things you need in a chicken coop.
|Small Chicken Coop|
Chickens want to roost as high as possible while they sleep. You will need roosts up off of the ground or floor of your coop or they may try to find a higher place to roost outside the coop at night.
Most people use the coop as a safe place for the hens to lay eggs. For this, you will need to add nesting boxes. You really need at least one nesting box for every 3 laying hens. They will share boxes but at some point, a hen will want to lay an egg while another hen is using her favorite box. After much complaining about not being able to use their favorite spot, she will usually use another box if its available.
|Nesting Boxes, Feeder, and Waterer|
The coop should help keep the chickens protected from the weather. Chickens do no like rain. A good coop must protect them from the rain. Chickens are amazingly resistant to cold but do need protected from cold drafts. However, the coop also needs ventilation to allow ammonia to escape. Having windows and gaps to allow ventilation is very important but be careful not to create too much of a breeze through the coop.
|Windows for Ventilation|