You’ve got your chickens, they’re fed and watered and growing. They’re about ready to move to their permanent home. There are a lot of options for you. How fancy you go is entirely up to you.
Our first coop.
We have purchased a coop from Amazon, purchased one from an owner who got a new coop, and we’ve built from scratch. If you’re handy, in my opinion, building your own is best, because you can build in all of the features you want.
You want it to be big enough. You need it to be secure, so that animals can’t get in, especially in the first couple of months. In our experience having a chicken run is good, but it isn’t required. The good thing with a chicken run is that if you are on vacation, you can have someone just open and close the run and leave food and water. They will likely return to the coop even if roaming free, but this takes the work out of the chore.
Plan for the wood to warp a bit. The coop is out in the rain, snow, etc. A hook and eye latch is great… if the wood doesn’t warp. We started using plain latches, and it helps keep things closed.
One thing we found, and you can see it in the picture above, having a lip on the back of the nesting box helps you to keep the litter contained.
If you live where it is windy, you may want to reinforce the coop by staking it in the ground. We have had the thing blown over a few times.
Especially if you buy your coop. They are often lightweight wood.