We added a few more fowl to our group of girls when we moved out to the farm and right away knew we would need a bigger coop to hold all of them. Fortunately we had a month or so before the baby chicks and ducks would be outside so we had time to build something that would accommodate everyone. We have tried a few different types of coops in the 6 years we have been keeping backyard chickens.
Our first model was a classic chicken tractor. We were able to built it completely from wood recycled from an old church play set so with the exception of the wheels and paint it was practically free. This model worked great for our backyard because it was on wheels we were able to move it around the yard to give the chickens plenty of green grass to munch on. At this time we only had 4 chickens so they were all able to roost comfortably at night and had plenty of room. The sides opened to allow for easy access to the egg boxes and the ventilation through the top kept it from getting too humid in the winter which can cause frostbite.
However, when we added more chickens to our flock we decided they need a bigger yard and more space. So our next coop was built. It was insulated with a green roof and a sizeable yard. It was ideal for our small backyard and our 8-10 chickens.
On to our last and current model. We found the plans at: http://www.homegardendesignplan.com/2011/07/backyard-chicken-coop-plans-s101.html they have great FREE plans and we were able to change the plans to meet our needs by enlarging the yard and adding a metal roof instead of the shingles.
With everyone’s help and many, many hours of work we now have a great place for our chickens to roam and an easy one for us to maintain.