This spring, we’ll build the chicken coop on my new property. My goal is simple: Build a coop which will serve my needs and last at least 40 years. With this as my goal, my requirements were clarified:
- Room for enough chickens to provide meat and eggs for at least six people (my husband and I, parents, future children)
- Additional room to make up for the extra time the birds will spend inside with all of that snow!
- Great insulation value and large mass of still air
- Sufficient ventilation
- Rainwater collection
- Separate pens for breeding groups, broody hens, etc.
- Work and storage space
- Low cost
For cost, insulation, and ease of building, we’re going with cordwood construction. Cordwood is easiest when buildings are round, so round it is. Usually, cordwood roofs are rounded, but we’re going with a flat, metal roof to collect rainwater. So that I can walk around and to create a larger mass of air, the coop will be 8′ at the front to the south and 6′ in the rear. I want to have room for 40+ birds, and I would like to allow six square feet per adult bird. I’ll need at least 240 square feet. A 20′ diameter coop will give me a total of 314 square feet, some of which will be for human use. To calculate area of a circle: πr2 = 3.14(102) = 3.14(100) = 314 sq. ft.
Here are some preliminary sketches of my ideas. I haven’t run this by my friend who will be building it, so it is definitely subject to change. You can click on the images to make them larger. The files are pretty big. Try using “Ctrl” and “+” to zoom in gradually.
I’m planning to build in the clearing pictured below. I’m not great at estimating distance, but I think this clearing is 60’+ in diameter. It’s a bit away from the house, but there is a beautiful pathway connecting the two clearings, and this way I don’t have to worry so much about runoff from the run contaminating the stocked fish pond.
This post is part of the Homestead Vision and Action series about planning my new homestead. Check it out!