I have two barns in my backyard. The “Big Barn” is visible on HenCam. It’s the barn with the Dutch doors on the other side of the fence. The Big Barn is not really that big, but it is large enough for a bunch of chickens, and soon, two mini-goats. It’s a lovely, post and beam structure, bought as a kit, and put together by the manufacturer, Country Carpenters. Instead of the standard wood floor, I had a concrete slab installed.
The other barn is a small shed. Ours was custom-built, but it is similar to the prefab buildings for sale at home centers. What makes this coop so charming are the salvaged windows. On one side there is a 100+ year old round window, framed by climbing hydrangea and roses. There are also two Queen Anne-style windows on hinges that let east, morning sunlight into the coop.
This, too, is on a slab. I like how easy the concrete floor is to clean, and that it makes it harder for predators and parasites to get in. After having chicken wire fencing that rusted, we invested in a sturdy coated mesh. It’s installed a half-foot below the ground level to deter predators (and also to keep our burrowing bunny from tunneling out.) Hawk netting covers the run. Even with these secure measures, we close the little door to the coop at night. Raccoons and fisher cats think nothing of climbing fences, ripping off hawk netting, and taking sleeping chickens. The rabbit is also latched into her hutch at night.
The barn is not insulated or heated. It really isn’t necessary unless you have silkies or frizzles. What is important is that the coop has shade and is well-ventilated. Make sure that you have windows that open, and soffits and vents in the eaves. Because the rabbit overheats easily in the summer, a special 8 x 8 foot piece of shade material is stretched over her hutch. The chickens appreciate this shade, too, as most of the yard is in full-sun.
Below is a plan of the HenCam coop. It is just the right size for our seven hens and bunny. Perhaps this will inspire you!